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How to prevent ants and spiders

Updated: Oct 28, 2022

Key Points:

  1. Insects are quite difficult to deal with, while ants and spiders are the most common insects in home. WikiHow has many articles talking about insects, but we have picked the best article available for your convenience. Also, we have rewritten and integrated several articles together to create a better version.

Insects in the home are annoying. It's common to have some issues with ants and spiders. Most of the issues are easy to deal with and can be fixed by DIY.

Here we quote the best way to prevent ants and spiders provided by wikiHow, a wiki that is building the world's largest and highest quality how-to manual. Please edit the articles and find author credits at the original wikiHow articles on How to Prevent Ants in the Kitchen, How to Keep Spiders Out of Your House. Content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons License.

Part 1: How to Prevent Ants in the Kitchen

Ant problems can be a pain. Whether you've experienced them first-hand or not, the biggest thing to remember is that ants are attracted to sugar and grease. This makes kitchens a prime location for an ant infestation. The most effective way to ward off an invasion in your kitchen is to keep it clean at all times and cover up any entry points, even if you've never seen an ant around. Not only does this keep you safe from bacteria and diseases, but it will also keep ants from becoming interested in your kitchen.

Method 1: Cleaning and Repairing Your Kitchen

1. Keep your kitchen free of garbage, spills, and food crumbs. Before doing any rigorous cleaning, take care to sweep up crumbs of food, take out the trash daily, and wipe up any spills with a microfiber cloth. You should also be sure to clean your dirty dishes as soon as possible, as they are a prime food source for ants.

2. Clean your kitchen surfaces with vinegar and water. Start by creating a 1:1 solution of white distilled vinegar and water in a bowl. Now, dip a clean rag into it, squeeze it out, and wipe down the surfaces of your kitchen. Not only do ants hate the smell of vinegar, but it's also a great substitute for standard detergents that contain the environmentally-damaging phosphorus.

3. Store ripe fruits in the refrigerator. Ants are attracted to sugar and fruits are a prime source. Although ripe fruits can look pretty in your kitchen, it's best to keep them in the fridge to ensure that they don't attract ants. Oranges and lemons can be kept out as they are ant deterrents.

4. Put non-fruit foods in airtight containers. Although sugars are the biggest ant attractors, any exposed food can attract them. Purchase Ziploc bags or airtight containers and put all of your other exposed foods in them.

5. Remove ant trails with vinegar and water. Watch your kitchen ants carefully and determine the trails that they commonly follow—these are likely the scented trails that lead the colony in and out of the home. Now, add 1 part vinegar and 3 parts water into a spray bottle and apply it to every trail you notice.

6. Fix any leaking pipes and leaky faucets. Water sources can attract ants, which is why it's important to keep your plumbing in check. Make it a habit to check your pipes every now and then, especially in areas you might not notice such as under the sink. Cover small leaks with rubber and remove larger leaks by replacing the affected portion of piping. To fix a leaky faucet, replace the seat washer, which is held in place on the stem—the long part underneath the faucet handle—with an upside down brass screw.

7. Seal gaps and cracks with a caulking gun. Apply caulk to any gaps around doors, baseboards, windows, and other openings that ants might find their way into your kitchen through. Even if they look small, don't take the chance! Start by washing the cracks with hot water, disinfectant, and rubbing alcohol. Afterward, load your caulking gun, cut the front nozzle at a 45-degree angle, pull the trigger, and draw the gun nozzle over the crack.

  • Keep the gun nozzle facing downward at a 45-degree angle to the crack.

  • Always press the trigger steadily and firmly and move slowly across the crack.

  • If your doors aren't fitting tight enough, add stripping to the bottom.

Method 2: Deterring Ants from Your Kitchen

1. Spread salt near your kitchen's doors, windows, and walls to dehydrate ants. Salt dries ants out and although it won't kill them, it does make them avoid it. Take note of areas where your ants travel, enter, and exit and line them with salt.

2. Apply a line of dish soap around ant gathering areas to stop ant entry. Windows, doors, and baseboards are common areas. Squeeze out a thin line or soap along these regions to deter ants from using these entrances. As an alternative, mix the soap with water in a 1:1 solution and spray the areas down.

3. Spray lemon juice around your kitchen's entry points to kill and deter ants. Lemon juice helps kill and deter ants with its acidic oil called d-limonene. Start by filling a spray bottle with ½ lemon juice and ½ purified water. Afterward, add 15 drops of an essential oil—such as tea tree, peppermint, lemon, or orange—per 1⁄4 cup (59 mL) of the solution and spray it around all ant entry points.

  • Use just 3 to 4 drops of clove oil as it's very strong.

  • Keep in mind that lemon juice could peel paint or damage your countertops.

4. Sprinkle diatomaceous earth around your kitchen kill ants. Purchase a bag of food-grade diatomaceous earth—it's a really fine powder that kills invertebrates, but it's not dangerous to humans or pets at all. Sprinkle a little of the powder wherever you've seen ants. If they walk across it, it will get into their exoskeleton, eventually killing them.

  • When you don't see ants anymore, sweep or vacuum up any remaining powder.

  • Place the DE anywhere ants enter and exit your kitchen.

5. Spray a 4 inch (10 cm) line of insecticide along ant entry points to kill them. Purchase an insecticide that contains permethrin, bifenthrin, or deltamethrin and spray bands along entry points in your kitchen. Take care to apply just enough to wet the surface.

Method 3: Stopping Ants from Getting Inside

1. Sprinkle used coffee grounds around the outside of your kitchen. Ants don't like the smell of coffee. Head to the outside of your home and find the wall directly behind your kitchen. Now, sprinkle your coffee grounds in a line parallel to the wall so that they avoid entering your home from this area.

2. Trim shrubs, trees, and bushes that brush against your home. This will prevent leafcutter ants from using them to enter your home. Always keep a 3 to 6 inches (7.6 to 15.2 cm) of space between the soil around your home's foundation and the bottom row of siding on the outer wall of your kitchen. Trim younger shrubs by removing long, unbranched stems from right above a bud. For older shrubs that have tangles of stems, remove as many old stems as possible while keeping new, growing stems.

3. Apply a 12 inch (30 cm) wide band of insecticide outside of your kitchen. Head outside your home and find the outer wall just outside your kitchen, Now, spray insecticide along this region to prevent ants from entering.

Part 2: How to Prevent Spiders Out of Your House

Finding 8-legged creatures in your house can be unsettling, especially if you aren’t a fan of living around spiders. You can keep spiders from burrowing and spinning webs in your home by applying natural remedies like vinegar and essential oils. Maintaining a clean, well sealed home can also prevent spiders from taking up residence in your space. With the right approach, you can keep spiders out of your home easily and effectively.

Method 1: Applying Natural Remedies

1. Use a vinegar and water spray on cracks or crevices in your home. Fill a spray bottle with half white vinegar and half water. Then, apply the spray to any cracks or crevices in the floors, walls, or windows of your home, as well as on the window sills. Do this once a day to repel spiders.

  • Vinegar may kill spiders if they come into direct contact with them, but even if you don't spray the spider directly, it can help ward them off.

  • Do not apply the spray to any varnished surfaces, as the vinegar may damage them.

2. Apply essential oils like peppermint, tea tree, and cinnamon. These essential oils are a great natural way to deter spiders from hanging out in your home. Put 15-20 drops of essential oil in a spray bottle with 3 to 5 cups (710 to 1,180 ml) of water and spray your home once a day for a natural spider repellent.

3. Rub citrus peels on the floorboards and window sills in your home. Lemon and orange peels are a natural deterrent for spiders. Rub floorboards and window sills with the peels once a day so the smell lingers. You can also have a bowl of citrus fruits in your kitchen to keep spiders out of this area.

  • Be aware that this could strip the paint off of your windowsill, so if you do try this, test it in an inconspicuous area first.

  • You could also try placing citrus peels near your window sills and doorways to discourage spiders.

4. Put horse chestnuts in the corners and window sills in rooms. Horse chestnuts have a smell and texture that deters spiders. You can buy horse chestnuts at your local natural food store or online. They tend to last a long time and require no upkeep. Spread 4-5 horse chestnuts in each room, especially near windows, to keep spiders away.

5. Spread cedar chips or blocks in your home to keep spiders away. The scent of cedar is a natural deterrent for spiders. Look for cedar chips or blocks at your local hardware store or online. Spread the chips or blocks in the corners and windowsills in your home to keep spiders out.

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