DIY Ant Removal (and When to Call for Professional Backup)

Most homeowners do not see ants as particularly harmful, although nobody likes ants crawling from outside into their kitchen either. What may come as a surprise to many people is that there are several species of ants found in San Joaquin County that can create both health hazards and structural damage in a home when their population is left unchecked. Hiring an exterminator can cost more than some people want to spend. These DIY ant removal methods can help you get rid of your problem and save money in the process. Some helpful tips on when to call a professional are also included.


You can dissuade ants from invading the interior of your home by using simple, and sometimes all-natural, ant repellents. Here are a few options that have a great effect on small ant infestations:

  • Baby powder (talc)
  • Soapy water
  • Whole cloves
  • Cinnamon (ground/powdered)
  • Essential oils (peppermint, tea tree, eucalyptus, lavender)

Ants move and navigate by using scent trails to follow each other. Applying repellent to the areas they are moving through breaks the scent trail, and the ants are not able to find their way back to the nest or move ahead to forage inside your home.

Spray your repellent along man-made lines and edges inside your home where you see ants in groups. Additionally, be sure to spray along the perimeter of your home outside, too. Repellent can help keep ants from exploring your home in the first place if it is placed outside of potential entrances at ground level.

Ant Baits

Using bait traps to fool ants into carrying toxic materials back to their nest is one of the best ways to eliminate an ant infestation without the help of an exterminator. This method kills the nest at its source. Here are a few options known to work well for ant bait traps:

  • Borax solution (boric acid powder in water)
  • Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
  • Amdro Liquid Ant Killer (Bait Station)
  • Terro Liquid Ant Bait

Place your bait trap along baseboards or in corners where you see lines of ants moving in and out of your home. Ants like damp and warm areas, so you may find that you need traps in your kitchen and bathrooms to deal with a nest effectively.

When to “Call in the Cavalry”

Sometimes an ant problem needs more power than you can exert on your own. If the ants keep coming despite using different repellents or if they are not taking the bait you are leaving for them, then it is time to call in a professional to get rid of that nest once and for all.

If you live in San Joaquin County, call Valley Pest Solutions or visit our website. We will set up a consultation and provide you with an estimate of what it will take to make your ant problem go away. DIY solutions can work effectively, but when they fail, it is time to contact the pros. Call Valley Pest Solutions and let us help you make your home ant-free.