Brentwood BasicsTravel

How To Get Rid Of Ants Without Hurting Pets & Kids

When a little black ant crawled across my keyboard, I new that I could no longer put off writing this article about getting rid of ants!

For weeks I’ve been asking, “What are these small ants all over my kitchen? And how do I get rid of them without using dangerous chemicals?” Before we moved to Brentwood Tennessee, our houses were never invaded by ants like these.

They’re tiny, fast, and attracted to anything that is sweet or wet. They march across the floor in long parades.

Here’s how I am getting rid of these small ants without poisoning my kids:

The Best Way To Get Rid Of Ants Naturally: Borax

Insecticide sprays are out of the question.

Neither did I want to hire an exterminator.

I just can’t feel good about squirting poisons around my home — not with pets and kids on the floor.

So, I researched the Internet to find a natural ant killer. Vinegar, cinnamon, soapy water… I tried them all. No luck!

There are lots of popular home remedies to get rid of ants naturally, but none of them are as effective as this one product that uses natural Borax as its main ingredient.

The only other natural suggestion to get rid of ants seemed to be Borax — which you can buy in the laundry aisle of most supermarkets.

I had some Borax on hand, so I tried sprinkling it around the doorways and windowsills in the kitchen.

But the kids started poking their fingers in it!

Borax is natural, but it’s not necessarily safe — definitely not for kids who might rub it in their eyes or put it in their mouth. They say less than 5 grams can kill a pet or child.

So I set out to find if there’s a way to use natural Borax to get rid of ants without leaving it out in the open…

Terro Liquid Ant Killer Uses Borax

Bingo!  Terro Ant Bait uses a sugary Borax gel inside a small plastic case. A child would have to pick it up and suck on the opening, in order to come in contact with the Borax itself.

How did Terro liquid ant killer work on the small ants in my kitchen?

It worked great! 

Even if you put some of the Terro liquid ant bait on a thin piece of cardboard (like the box it comes in), the ants are immediately attracted to it, will eat it, and die.

We put 2 Terro ant traps on either side of the kitchen sink. Instantly, the ants began swarming the opening. (They ingest a bit of the Borax solution, then crawl home and die.)

Two days later, we still had a steady stream of ants at both traps — but the ants elsewhere in the kitchen were largely gone.

We continued to use Terro liquid ant bait until the original source of ants dried up and the ants went away once and for all.

TIP: You can also put some Terro outdoor ant killer outside to target the colony itself and/or to get rid of ants that are a problem around the outside of your home.

Read more about the safety and effectiveness of Terro ant traps on Terro’s FAQ page.

Do you have experience getting rid of small ants in the kitchen? I would love to know what worked for you!

Update From Lynnette (The Editor)

We live about 30 miles away from Meredith – in Spring Hill.

We, too, had ants when we first moved into our house. They were only in the kitchen, and it was clear that they were coming in from the large opening behind (and on either side) of our stove.

My husband spotted the location where the ants were getting in -- the space behind the stove that butts up to the counter.

Like Meredith, we tried a number of natural remedies for ants first — then we asked an exterminator friend of ours for the best way to get rid of ants.

He said, “I could use professional chemicals in your house, but Terro ant traps work just as well… and cost less.”

He mentioned that you don’t even have to use the “special plastic trap/ container” that’s included when you buy Terro! You can just put some of the liquid on any piece of cardboard (like the Terro box itself), and the ants will come running because they’re so attracted to the Terro liquid ant bait — as seen here:

This is a closeup of the space where the ants were getting into the house and on the kitchen countertop.

So we bought some of the Terro liquid ant killer. Then we watched closely as the ants came… and then they went… for good!

The results were immediate. And in the 9 years that we’ve lived here now, the ants have never returned.

Here are some photos from our ant removal process: