It's that time of year when Michiganders are forced to go to war and battle one of the most annoying home-invading insects. As the temperatures begin to rise, ants become more active and start foraging for food. It's also a time when their colonies start to expand, and they begin working their way into our homes.

Most people usually run out and purchase harmful chemicals and various ant traps. While this option tends to work, there is something about spraying unknown chemicals inside your home that most people just aren't comfortable with. Even if the can says it's safe, we still don't feel comfortable spraying it in our homes.

Before you go filling your home with nasty sprays, know there is a much better alternative, and there are much safer options.

  • Citrus Peels: Place citrus peels, such as lemon or orange, near entry points or in areas where ants are active as they hate the scent. This is a great natural deterrent that won't cause ants any harm.
  • Distilled White Vinegar:  Create a solution of equal parts vinegar and water and spray it along ant trails and entry points to deter them. This is another deterrent that ants hate.
  • Essential Oils: Use essential oils like peppermint, tea tree, or citrus oils by diluting them in water and spraying them along ant trails or entry points to repel ants.
  • Salt: Sprinkling salt across entry points or areas where ants are present can create a barrier that they may avoid crossing. A spray of saltwater solution can also help kill ants by dehydrating them.
  • Black Pepper: Ants don't like the smell of pepper. You can place pepper around the entry point to prevent ants from entering.
  • Coffee: Researchers found that Arabian coffee has the highest mortality rate among three types of ants: ghost ant, big-headed ant, and pharaoh ant. You can sprinkle coffee grounds around entry points or areas where ants are present to create a barrier that they are less likely to cross.
  • Cinnamon: Sprinkle ground cinnamon in areas where ants are present or along entry points to disrupt their scent trails.

See Also: Gross -This is the Most Foul Smelling Tree in Michigan

According to Better Homes & Gardens, there are some common-sense tips you can follow, including taking out your trash regularly, keeping your countertops clean and wiped down, keeping sweets in sealed containers, and caulking and sealing any cracks or exposed crevices where ants can access the house.

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