- Seal up as many cracks in your home as possible. Start with the windows and doors and then look for less conspicuous cracks around the foundation of your home.
- Kill any lone ants you might find in your home. These ants are most likely scouts, searching for food. So don't let them return to the nest as they will most likely bring more ants back with them.
- Keep your home clean. Make sure counters are wiped off at all times and no dirty dishes are left in the sink. Wipe down the sink so that no standing water is left in the bottom. Confine foods to the kitchen or dining area only and vacuum these areas twice a week, or more often if needed.
- Purchase sticky traps or ant traps and place them behind appliances and under cabinets away from pets and children.
You can make your own ant bait by mixing boric acid with sugar water. Mix 1 cup water with 2 cups sugar and 2 tablespoons boric acid. It's important to get the ratio right so that you have a better chance of killing the whole colony. Put the poisoned sugar water inside a small glass jar that has a lid. Punch holes in the lid big enough for ants to get into. Smear some plain sugar water on the outside of the jar and wait. If they are not taking the sugar water bait, try a mixture of equal parts peanut butter and borax instead. Homemade bait methods, could take several weeks to several months to work. Put the bait next to the trail, not across the trail, so that the ants will take the bait back to the colony. Before using a bait like this, make sure you have cleaned your house thoroughly so that you don't accidentally attract a new colony of ants. Wait until you have a definite ant problem before putting down bait and only put the bait where you are actually seeing ants congregate. Again, keep away from pets and children. Since boric acid is toxic, please make sure you follow the manufacturer's instructions for handling it and always wear gloves and wear a mask if exposed to the powder for a long period.
- Sprinkle diatomaceous earth, salt or powder that contains talc under cabinets where ants frequent and around the perimeter of your home during dry weather. All these ingredients will dry out the body of an ant, so they generally will not even cross a powder of any kind.
- Ants have a keen sense of smell and do not like the scents of cinnamon, vinegar, cloves, peppermint, cayenne pepper, black pepper, or bay leaves. I generally clean the floor with a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water and don't usually have a problem with ants when I do.
- If you can't seal up all the holes where ants are visibly coming in, try this spray to repel them. Mix 1 teaspoon of rubbing alcohol, 1 teaspoon of dish soap, and 1 quart of water. Add it to a spray bottle, shake until sudsy and spray on any areas where ants have been known to frequent. You can also use this same spray on other pests as it will kill on contact. Just make sure you use soap and not a detergent. Real soaps include ivory and Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap. I use Dr. Bronner's for lots of things and it has an added effect of the peppermint smell, which also wards off the ants.
- Vacuum any ants you might find in the house and add a little talcum powder, cornstarch or borax to the vacuum bag to kill them. Empty the bag immediately in an outside trash can. If you use a bagless vacuum, just sprinkle a little of the talcum powder, cornstarch or borax in the catch container before you begin vacuuming. Better yet, if you use a vacuum that uses water as a filter, there is no need to add anything as they will drown in the water, if not from the trauma of being vacuumed up in the first place.
- If you have pets, try not to keep pet foods out all day. If this is a problem, place the food dish inside another dish of water. The water will create a moat that the ants cannot cross. Check often for dead ants and change water immediately when you see them.
You may be able to find more ant control methods on the Internet, but these are the ones I have personally found to be useful for me and my region.