How to Get Rid of Ants in the Basement (+Prevention)

Ants are a tremendous asset to the ecosystem, even though we generally consider them unwelcome pests. Having them in your garden or yard is beneficial as they aerate the soil and help eradicate countless parasites.

If they invade your house, though, they rapidly become a problem. They can harm structures and even cause health risks.

You can, however, easily get rid of ants in your basement with various methods such as white glue, baking soda, ant gel, white vinegar, lemon juice, pepper, cinnamon, peppermint, coffee grounds, and pyrethrum chemical repellents.

Ants on a window

What attracts ants into the basement?

It can be challenging to pinpoint what is drawing ants to your home or how they got there in the first place. Ants are attracted to your basement by the following items and conditions:

1. Food 

The most prevalent source is readily available food. Despite their small size, ants have a remarkable sense of smell with more than 400 olfactory receptors.

They are drawn to different foods, but most are drawn to sugar and oil. Often, they will be drawn to unnoticed food spills or hidden messes. 

In addition, food that isn’t sealed correctly in a container or kept in the fridge might be easily detected by ants. While ants aren’t included in the category of pantry pest destruction, they can be drawn to dry items like flour or grains if they aren’t properly stored.

2. Water

Dampness also attracts ants to your house. Water is often a concern if ants are in your bathroom, basement, or attic. Carpenter ants make their homes there because bathroom sinks and tiles have the most moisture.

If you see ants indoors, there may be a leak close to a sink, toilet, and bathtub. They might be drawn to water even if you’ve properly stored and secured food in your kitchen.

3. Shelter

Like other pests, shelter ants require protection from predators. They search for areas to build nests. These insects can get inside through tiny cracks and gaps in the walls and flooring because they are so small.

Keep windows and doors tightly shut. Look for any loose areas in your weatherstripping where bugs could get in. Fix any foundational cracks in your house to keep them out.

How do ants get into the basement?

Ants must first enter your house before they pillage your trashcan. Sadly, that’s not a difficult task as they are tiny, resourceful, and abundant. Often, they infiltrate via the door or window, or even the smallest crack or gap. 

They can also enter through a foundational fissure by moving through pipes, wires, or vents, a wall crack, or even up through the subflooring underneath carpet, wood, or tiled floors.

Even though it’s challenging to seal off every potential entrance point, being vigilant about weather-sealing doors and windows and filling in gaps and cracks in walls and floors will assist. Additionally, rinse anything before bringing it inside that has lingered outside.

How do you get rid of ants in the basement?

You’ll be relieved to learn there are ways to get rid of ants if they are plaguing your house or yard. Killing ants will eliminate them from your home, but you’ll also need to eliminate their pheromone trail because it draws in other ants.

You may also get rid of ants from your yard using essential remedies. You need tape, a bucket, bleach, a vacuum cleaner, soap, water, a sponge, a broom and pan, and a commercial bait trap.

Step 1

Find the entry point for the ants and stop their route. Along a path a scout-ant has laid out for them, ants frequently travel in a line. See if you can locate that ant track.

Step 2

If you spot an ant path, get a damp, soapy sponge and remove the ants. Go back with the soapy sponge and repeat the process after rinsing the sponge in the sink to get rid of the ants you’ve caught. 

Repeat this until the entire ant path has been eliminated.

Step 3

Go over the path you just cleaned again with a cloth dipped in a bleach solution. The bleach will help eliminate the pheromones.

Step 4

The next step is to capture the colony using a commercial bait trap. Place bait traps in your home’s crawl spaces, underwater pipes, bathroom cupboards, and other places where ants are likely to hide. 

Ensure children or pets cannot access the traps (they’re poisonous), and always wash your hands after handling them. 

Step 5

Lastly, the basement may have many dead ants from the extermination. If so, use a vacuum to help with cleaning. If you can’t access one, a broom and a pan should suffice.

It’s wise to call a qualified exterminator if you have carpenter ants in your basement as they don’t respond well to traps. 

How do you keep ants away from your basement?

Although an insect extermination service remains the best way to end an infestation, below are a few you can use to get rid of ants and keep them away.

1. White glue

The best approach to get rid of insects in your home is with white craft glue. Spread some adhesive in the ant’s typical course of travel. Alternatively, you can squeeze a few drops right into the anthill.

2. Baking Soda

When it comes to preventing ants from entering your home, baking soda works wonders. For optimal effects, combine it with sugar in a basin and sprinkle it all over the locations where you’ve spotted the ants.

The mixture emits a chemical harmful to insects, causing them to run as soon as they become conscious.

3. Ant gel 

Ant gel is a particular kind of bait that works wonders against ants. The insects will be drawn to the sweetness of the gel, eat it, and bring it back to the anthill. The gel’s toxicity will quickly wipe off the entire colony.

Be careful to keep children and animals out of the reach of this product as it’s a poison.

4. White vinegar

Cleaning your home with vinegar is an excellent way to keep pests at bay. Drive away ants from your kitchen using a solution of equal parts of vinegar (preferably white) and hot water. 

Most insects respond well to white vinegar as they can’t stand the smell, and are harmful to their health due to its acidity. 

5. Lemon juice

Citrus fruits like lemons, limes, and oranges repel ants effectively because of their strong scent. Lemon or grapefruit peels can be saved and scattered about entranceways, or spraying some citrus juice on the ant trails and around windows and doors. 

These are organic deterrents without harming ants and are the methods I use for my backyard and basement.

6. Pyrethrin chemical repellent

Chemical repellents may be your greatest option yet if you want to eliminate common black ants. You can get these supplies from your neighborhood gardening store or online.

Choose aerosol products for broader coverage. You can spray the repellent outside your yard to get rid of ants in your yard.

7. Peppermint 

An organic approach to keep ants out of your home is peppermint. To keep them from getting in, apply a few drops of peppermint oil to the frames of your windows and doors.

Additionally, you can make tiny dried mint sachets and fix them to the corners of your windows.

8. Coffee grounds 

Coffee grounds were discovered to retain many of their qualities after being used for making coffee. They emit a stench so potent that it disturbs and repels insects. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that they can be used to get rid of ants in the home.

Spray the problematic sections of the house with a solution made by combining two tablespoons of coffee grinds with one liter of water three times per week.

9. Cinnamon

To eliminate ants in your kitchen, use cinnamon, either in oil or powder form.

You can dip cotton balls in cinnamon essential oil or sprinkle a little cinnamon on the locations where you’ve noticed ants. While you can put them wherever be sure to replace the cinnamon as the aroma quickly wears off.

10. Pepper

Other than cinnamon, other spices work well as natural ant repellents. Ants and many other insects will stay out of your house and basement if you sprinkle some pepper in locations they typically are. This is also the most effective way to repel carpenter ants.

If you still have an infestation, even after using both natural and chemical approaches, ants still multiply inside your house. The best and simplest method to get rid of them is to contact a professional exterminator.

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