Are Ants Impacting How Buyers See Your Kitchen?

anti-ant signIt is that time of year when the ants come marching in….to your kitchen. If you are selling your home, the last thing you want is for potential buyers to see a steady stream of little black insects taking over your countertops or anywhere in your home.

But, maybe you are not thrilled about the idea of an exterminator and pesticides being used around the home. Many buyers may feel the same way. But, nobody wants to see bugs crawling everywhere either, especially around food.

So, how can you take control over the ant invasion and also keep it non-toxic? There are a few natural things you can try to combat the invasion of these pests and get your pest-free kitchen showing as clean and appealing as possible.

  • Squirt the ants with undiluted vinegar.
  • Lavender and mint sachets in closets, drawers, pantry, etc. repel ants (add bay leaves to take care of moths and other insects).

Try Essential Oils

Not only does this one really work, it smells great to boot!

  • Peppermint Oil: It’s often used to support alertness and mental clarity, so it has other benefits than just warding off insects.
  • Tea Tree Oil: Great all-purpose oil that can be used as a disinfectant in homemade cleaners.
  • Citrus oils contain d-limonene, which is toxic to ants. It also masks their scent trails. (Orange, lemon and grapefruit essential oils all contain d-limonene)

Place a few drops of the oil on a cotton ball and wipe on baseboards and other entry points. You can also leave an oil-infused cotton ball in cabinets and other areas as needed. Repeat every few days until ants are completely gone.

Or you can try using these oils in a spray application:

March Away Ant Spray


  • 1/4 cup purified water
  • 1/4 cup vodka (Used to help suspend the oil in the water. If you don’t have any available you can just use water and shake often)
  • 15 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 15 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 7 drops citrus essential oil (orange, lemon, grapefruit, etc.) OR 1-3 drops clove essential oil

Pour all ingredients into a spray bottle. Shake bottle, then spray around baseboards, entry points for ants and just about anywhere you’ve seen ants. If you’re spraying on a food surface, omit the tea tree oil and add 15 drops peppermint oil. Repeat every few days until ants are completely gone.

For years people have tried creating ant barriers; essentially laying down lines of salt (which reportedly does not work) and other natural powders (which is said to work for a few days). This is done where the ants seem to be entering. It is a non-toxic method, but the lines will be seen by potential buyers and you probably don’t want your pet licking up too much cinnamon or chili powder. If you are pet free, and think you can hide the barrier, ants can’t cross a line made with:

  • Cinnamon
  • Chili powder
  • Food grade diatomaceous earth, found on Amazon, sprinkled around the exterior of the house or even inside as a line ants can’t cross.

We all want our homes to show at their best potential, and ants in the kitchen squelches the beauty, whether we like it or not. But, by using a few non-toxic, creative deterrents, you can eliminate these invaders in time for your next showing.

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