There are thousands of species of ants , like black ants, red ants and the gigantic ants found in Amazon rain forest. Ants mean trouble for the house as they can bite kids and babies, or even sleeping adults. Their bite is quite painful. They also destroy many eatables if they find them open. One can use brilliant techniques to keep them off the house. Many people are fascinated by ants. They are so focussed on their job, just going along on their job. Ants are so dedicated on their work that they would not leave your house if they find delicious food stock.
Common ant species are not dangerous. They bite but it resolves within a few days. But most home-owners fear ants, specially after they have witnessed an ant attack. This is an event in which swarm of ants arrive into your skin and wreak havoc. This forces people to look for pest control option, like calling an ant exterminators. These teams charge lot of money.
Ant extermination also makes use of harmful toxin chemicals which can remain in your house if they do not perform a good job. These toxins are harmful, more so for kids and pets. You can deal with an ant invasion yourself. Ants would strike your house only if they find some exposed food, to which they have access. So, the idea is to make sure everything is well covered and sealed, so ants don’t get anything.
Although ants can be easily seen moving around the house, the most problematic symptom is the ant bites. Most ants bite. These are usually small bites which may grow in size over time and then diminish on their own. However, some ants release poisonous venom through the bite. This leads to blisters or painful rashes, like the fire ants. People who are allergic to the venom often develop allergic reactions. In some cases, these allergic reactions can even turn deadly, as seen in this study, although it is rare. 
( Photo Courtesy: striatic )
Home remedies for ants. There is hardly any reason to kill them. There are hundreds of natural things they hate and which drive them away. With some wit and technique, one can even fend off a dangerous ant attack.
1. Remove the item to which they are attracted
Ants mostly come for food. They come and take away things like cookies, grains, honey, sweets and other such foods. If these foods are out of the reach of the ants, they would obviously move to a different location. Search the entire house for any open food source. Close all containers and tighten the lids. Use air tight containers wherever you can.
2. Clean the house ( Lots of work to do ! )
Ants can also find something useful in garbage or something that is littered somewhere. Find out and clean the house. Mop the house and clean everything which can be a potential place for ants to do their job. This includes garbage bins and corners or cracks in the lining of the floors or drywall. Cleaning the house takes a lot of effort, but it helps.
- First use vacuum cleaner for an overall cleaning.
- Use floor cleaner for flooring.
- Also clean your garden, deck, balcony and any exteriors, like patio.
- Cut the grass, if it is big.
Yep, that should be enough. Ants don’t like a clean house.
3. Ant bait ( lure all those hiding inside )
A simple technique to divert the ants is to divert their path. Ants would form a trail for more ants to come searching for food. In between their trail place sugar cubes and put them strategically to drive them outside the house. The ants would follow the path that you make. Other ants following the previous path can be swept away with a mechanical broom. If you have kids, ask them to make such a broom. They would love to get this done. Sugar cubes are perfect bait for ants. They would come out of their hiding and follow the trail.
4. Blowing cold air
Use a table fan to blow air towards them. It feels like a blizzard to them, or something like a tornado. Ants may not be able to overcome this force of the wind and leave away. This method is only applicable if you know where the ants are coming from. If there are many places and they are storming in from all sides, then we got a situation on our hands.
5. Block their point of entry ( Seal the house )
Find the place from where the ants are entering the house. Then, use caulk to block the point of entry. Seal drafts and minor entrance points. This is also helpful in winter when you need to seal the house perfectly for heating equipment to work better. This saves lot of power, and that turns into money. So, you are doing double good with one act. With your house well sealed, there is no way ants can get in. Your house is now a fortress to them. Besides caulk, you can use silica gel or diatomaceous earth (food grade ) to seal holes.
6. Natural ant repellents
There are many things which confuse ants and force them to head away. Using them cleverly can do the job for you. These repellents should work on most ant species.
- Camphor : Powder the camphor you have and spray it on access points. If you have a toddler, do not do this. He or she can accidentally ingest camphor, which is very harmful .
- Mint leaves, both dried or fresh. Use any mint variety – peppermint, spearmint and spray crushed leaves around the house. Ants won’t come in.
- Citronella essential oil ( made from lemongrass ). This is an all in one remedy which works against many insects. Put 20 drops of this oil in a spray bottle. Fill the rest with water. Sprinkle this oily water in the way of ants.
- Bay leaves are a terrific ant repellents. They take care of them very well, and they last longer as well.
- Oil of cloves, or powdered clove is also a wonderful insect repellent.
- Spraying lemon juice using sprayer also fend them off. Do not dilute it.
- Cinnamon – Sprinkle powdered cinnamon and they are deterred .
- Ground ginger is a smell they can’t take at all.
- Black pepper powder too works.
- Vinegar can also do the job for you. Mix it in your house cleaning liquids. Apple cider vinegar too works.
Of all of them, camphor is extremely powerful.
Get some chalk sticks. Use it to draw a line around places where ants can enter and repellents are not easy to apply. Ants can’t fly, well, most species can’t. So, they have to walk. When they see chalk, it is like a wall to them. They don’t cross it, for whatever reason.If an ant or two dares to cross it, use concentric layers of chalk lines. They would be totally exhausted crossing these fort walls.
8. Egg shell road block
Use shells of eggs to block their path. Sweep away the ants at the other side of the block.
Ants leave a trail behind them. One can destroy the substance that forms this trail using these natural things. Coffee grounds confuse ants and prevent them from following their trail chemicals. Lemon juice dissolves away the chemical. No trail, no ants coming back.
If you are really fed up with ants, then you can use home remedies which can kill ants without causing any toxic chemical use.
- Soapy water : It kills ants. They are caught up in lather and die. Simple and really effective. very quick to do.
- Cream of wheat : You may be wondering how this works. Ants love grains, especially wheat. But when they eat cream of wheat, they swell up and die.
- Boric acid : It is poison for ants. But, keep your kids away from it. Boric acid is harmful and should not be ingested.
- Kerosene. You can use it but beware, it is highly flammable.
- Sparrows too can take care of them.
- Mynah bird can eat ants, and so can babblers.
- Starlings are wonderful birds. They eat ants too.
In fact, if your pet bird likes to eat ants, you never have to be bothered by them. Sometimes, even parrot species like parakeets kill and eat ants.
If you spot any of the larger and more powerful ant species which are not stopped by these home remedies, then one should become wary of this. Some ants are very powerful and bite very forcefully. Protect yourself, elders and babies from them and use specialized ant repellent to drive them away.
These ants burrow into damp wood. They soon make it their home, coming in large numbers. You can identify them from the noise they make in wood, sometimes louder than termites. Do these home remedies against carpenter ants.
- Find their burrow and seal it with caulk. Seal the entire wood with coat of a wood sealant. It traps the insects inside. Over the sealant, rub chalk. This keeps new carpenter ants away.
- If there is good sunshine, take your furniture out. Angle the burrow towards bright sunshine. It gets heated and carpenter ants leave quickly.
Most of them are reddish to brown in color. Their bite is quite painful. These ants are very stubborn and often need to be eliminated. Find their mound, which should be close by in your locality.Prepare a solution of soap in essential oil of orange. Then put this liquid into their mound. Repeat after 2 days. This should kill all fire ants.
To get rid of these ants, you will have to get rid of anything sweet which they can take. Most of the times, it is the kitchen sink where they aggregate. Pour white vinegar in sink to drive them away.
These ants are perhaps the most dangerous of all ants. They are also called legionary ants for their specific nature. It is difficult to control these ants using natural remedies. If they strike your house, it is time to call ant-exterminators.
These ants are a problem in vegetation rich areas, like golf courses, managed outdoor resorts and even household gardens. Their bite is quite painful. Mow all the grass , deep cut and take your lovely plants inside. Dispose off the rest. When harvester ants get no food, they run away.
These are small ant species which can be easily controlled using home remedies mentioned above.
2. Personal protection measures against fire ant attacks.Goddard J
3. INSECTS AND SCORPIONS. CDC