Ants are relatively harmless creatures to have in your home. But just because they’re harmless, it doesn’t mean you want them there. There are a number of places ants can enter your home from, but if you notice ants coming out of your baseboards, then here are a few different ways to ensure they don’t get any further than that and start an ant infestation.
How to get rid of ants coming out of the baseboards
Solution 1: Vinegar
If you’ve ever handled vinegar before, you know how strong and acidic it smells. What you may not know is that ants rely on their sense of smell to get around and find food for their colony.
Therefore, if something strong, like vinegar, were to be introduced to where the ants are frequently present, the ants would either look to get away from that area or be unable to find their way around and perish from the overwhelming smell of the vinegar.
Create a 1:1 mixture of vinegar with water and either spray the baseboards or wipe them down with a damp towel wet with the mixture.
This should be more than enough to deter the ants.
Solution 2: Lemon juice
Using the same logic as our previous solution, lemon juice serves as an excellent, more natural substitute that also smells better in the home.
Create a solution that is three parts water and one part lemon juice, and then apply it like the vinegar concoction (use a spray bottle or towel wet with the lemon-water spray. This will help you ward off the ants.
Solution 3: Ant traps
While the first two have the potential to kill the ants (but more likely will just send them away), ant traps are designed to remove the ants from the equation entirely.
Traps can be bought at most supermarkets or hardware stores and are as simple as opening and placing around the baseboards or wherever you see ants travel. Then, the trap will do the rest of the work for you.
I suggest using the TERRO Non-Toxic indoor ant trap, which you can place along baseboards or even behind your furniture.
Bonus solution (To kill the colony): Ant bait
Here’s how these Ant baits work:
Attractant: They contain a food source that’s really attractive to the ants. This food source is typically a sweet, carbohydrate-rich substance. Ants are lured to the bait and ingest it.
Poison: The attractant is mixed with a slow-acting poison. The slow-acting nature of the poison is crucial; if it killed the ants too quickly, they wouldn’t have time to carry it back beyond the baseboards, back to the colony. So, the slow-acting poison ensures the ants stay alive long enough to complete the next steps.
Transport: After ingesting the bait, worker ants carry some of it back to their colony. Ants have a behavior known as “trophallaxis,” where they share food with their nest mates, including the queen and the young ants (larvae).
Colony-wide effect: Once they start sharing it, the bait poison is distributed throughout the colony. Over time, the poison begins to take effect, killing the ants that have ingested it. Importantly, this includes the queen. If the queen dies, she can no longer reproduce, which leads to the eventual collapse of the entire colony.
This strategy can be highly effective. Depending on the size and number of colonies, it can take from a few days to a few weeks to see results.
I don’t recommend using ant sprays when trying to get rid of ants around your baseboard because these sprays are harmful to pets and won’t really eradicate the colony. It will kill ants that have already crawled out from behind your baseboards.
Are there any natural or homemade remedies to keep ants from coming in under the baseboards?
Your best bets would be your vinegar and water or lemon juice and water concoctions, as there are no harsh chemicals to damage your flooring or to be worried about breathing in while you’re in the area.
Is it possible to seal off the spaces under the baseboards to prevent ants from coming in, and if so, how do I do it?
If your baseboards are not already sealed off, then your baseboards were not installed correctly. There should not be space under them for ants to come in. But if they are coming in from there, simple caulking should get the job done.
Caulk can be purchased pretty much anywhere, so shopping around for them shouldn’t be too difficult.
Caulking forms a tight seal wherever it is applied, so once it’s set, ants won’t be able to get through.
Although ants are pretty harmless, it’s understandable not to want them in your home.
While natural remedies like vinegar or lemon juice solutions can be effective, using traps or sealing them out entirely may be necessary.
Regardless, if you have ants coming in under your baseboard, the above solutions should help you deal with it.
By the way, check out this article If you are having issues with ants coming out of your ceiling light.