The other day a friend called me up concerned about the stream of ants that have forged a thoroughfare straight through her kitchen. With a 9 month-old son at home, she's wary of using chemicals to get rid of them, and asked for help tracking down all-natural solutions. I've researched a bunch of options though (thankfully) haven't had the need to experiment with any of them yet myself. Read on to see the list of non-toxic, make-them-yourself remedies (the genius here is that you probably already have all these components lying around in your kitchen). If you can personally vouch for any of them, please chime in here.
Apparently ants hate cucumbers, especially bitter ones, so leaving a few slices at their point of entry can deter them from coming in.
Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and spritz any area you've seen ants (you can even do this preemptively, washing windows and countertops with vinegar to help keep the ants away). Doing the same with 1 part water to 1 part apple cider vinegar, or even soapy water, is also said to be effective.
If ants are climbing wires to get into your home, smear some petroleum jelly on the cables to prevent them from coming in.
Place a couple mint tea bags (or dried crushed mint leaves, or cloves) where ants are congregating.
Form a line of cinnamon, lemon juice, coffee grounds, or cayenne pepper, and ants won't cross it.
If ants are overtaking your deck, wedge a couple cloves of garlic through the cracks near where they're hanging.
Plug in a nightlight close to where the ants are most active-this can disrupt them from their usual patterns, and they'll be less likely to make themselves at home.