7 ways to get rid of ants and termites

6 min read

Ants and termites are common pests found in a lot of homes. The thing about them is that oftentimes, you don’t just find one or two of them, but a colony. Not only are they unsightly, but they can be harmful too. While ants carry bacteria like salmonella, termites can damage your wooden furniture. 

Found an infestation at home? Don’t worry, here’s how you can get rid of ants and termites. 

1. Get rid of their food sources

The simplest way of eliminating ants and termites is to keep your house clean. Like all living creatures, they need food to survive. So one of the best ways to get rid of them is to remove their food sources. And this includes cleaning up the crumbs after eating as they’re great sources of food for ants. 

You should also keep your food, especially the sweet and sugary ones that ants are attracted to, in sealed containers and bags, or store them in the fridge. 

Cookies in a jar
Don’t leave your cookie jar open for the ants.

Note that ants aren’t just attracted to what we eat, but what our pets eat too. So if you have pets, be sure to remove the pet bowls and wash them after they’ve finished eating to prevent ants from gathering. 

Termites mainly feed on wood, so try not to have too much wooden furniture and finishings. You should also get rid of rotten wood, timber and mulch to cut off their food sources. 

2. Keep your home dry

Likewise, ants and termites need water to survive and thrive in areas with moisture. 

So be sure to check for moisture from leaking faucets and pipes in the kitchen and bathrooms, and under the sink. Have them fixed. 

Opening your windows to ensure your home is well ventilated also helps. 

3. Use essential oils

Have small bottles of essential oils lying around? They might just be able to help you get rid of ants and termites. 

For instance, peppermint oil is effective in repelling ants. You can make a natural insecticide with it. Here’s how to get rid of ants with it: 

  1. Mix 10 to 20 drops of peppermint oil with two cups of water. 
  2. Spray it on the areas with lots of ants and let it dry. 

However, avoid using it if you have pets at home. They can get sick when they’re exposed to peppermint oil. 

Don’t have peppermint oil at home? You can also use other types of essential oils like neem, citrus, tea tree or cinnamon to make a spray. 

As for getting rid of termites, you can use orange oil and neem oil. They help to restrict their ability to shed their skin and lay eggs.

  1. Mix 10 drops of the oil with two cups of water and a couple of drops of dishwashing soap. 
  2. Spray it on the infested woods and materials. 

4. Seal any cracks 

Another way to get rid of ants and termites is to trace where they’re coming from. They can enter from the tiniest cracks in the walls, floorboards, window sills and door frames. 

Caulk and seal up as many cracks as possible to prevent them from coming into your house. 

5. Vinegar

Vinegar has a lot of uses. Not only can you use it to remove bacteria, but it can also be used as a natural insecticide. Here’s how to get rid of ants with it: 

  1. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water. 
  2. Spray areas with lots of ants with it. 
  3. Alternatively, you can use it when mopping the floor or wiping hard surfaces like countertops. 

Even after the solution has dried, the ants can still smell it. And since they hate the smell, they’ll get away from the area. 

You can also use vinegar on termites. Here are the steps:  

Three lemons and a spay bottle containing a mixture of vinegar and lemon, which can help get rid of ants and termites
Mix vinegar with lemon juice to make a termite killer spray.
  1. Mix half a cup with the juice of two lemons. 
  2. Spray it on areas with termites. The acid will kill them. 
  3. Use it regularly to prevent termites infestation. 

6. Use boric acid to make traps

Boric acid is a type of poison that’s effective in getting rid of ants and termites. It kills them by shutting down their nervous system. So you can use it to make traps. 

But use boric acid with caution. Keep it away from children and pets. It can cause nausea, vomiting, rashes and diarrhoea, so you should wear gloves when handling it. 

Here’s how you can get rid of ants with boric acid: 

  1. Mix the boric acid with something sweet and sugary to attract ants, like maple syrup. 
  2. Spread the mixture on a flat surface, such as cardboard. 
  3. Place the trap in areas close to ant trails to lure them. 

It works on the premise that the worker ants will carry the bait back to the nest to help eliminate the colony. 

Boric acid is used a little differently to kill termites. It doesn’t need to be mixed with other ingredients. Here’s how you can make a termite trap with it. 

  1. Coat or spray wood with boric acid. 
  2. Put the trap somewhere near an infestation. 
  3. Check the trap regularly and spray it with boric acid as needed. 

Alternatively, you can simply spray termites with it. 

7. Use the insecticide

This is probably the fastest way on how to get rid of ants and termites. And probably the first thing you grab when you see an infestation. 

The good thing about using insecticides is that they can kill the pests fast. Plus, the ants and termites will bring back the toxin and transmit it to their colonies. 

But don’t use it too often as it can irritate the eyes and skin. 

If you found this article helpful, 99.co recommends How to deal with termites in your home and How to choose a cleaning service in Singapore

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About Virginia Tanggono

Virginia covers the property news in Singapore, from record sales to profile stories on home ownership. In her free time, she occasionally searches for spoilers of movies and TV shows.

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