How to Keep Ants Out of My Kitchen? All You Need to Know

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Every time I spot an ant leading its way out of my kitchen, I begin to wonder how to keep ants out of my kitchen. And what did I do to invite this tiny black insect into my kitchen? The thing I want the least is to take a spoonful of sugar for my morning coffee and see an ant floating around in it. But how to keep ants out of my kitchen? Because the fact is that even though ants aren’t the worst pests, you can have, they can be pretty annoying and invasive.

In this article, I have talked all about how you can keep these pesky pests out of your kitchen. Keep reading to understand why you get ants in the first place and everything you can do to keep them out for good!

Why Am I Getting Ants in My Kitchen and on the Countertop?

how to keep ants out of my kitchen

To understand how you can keep ants, whether black, red, or even fire species, out of your kitchen, you need to understand why you’re getting them into your kitchen time and again!

Where Did the Ants Come From?

Ants, Insect, Wood, Close Up, Macro

Let’s start with the obvious question first. Where exactly did the ants come from into your home? If you can figure this out, you will be much better equipped to deal with the issue effectively.

  1. Generally, ants find their way into your house and kitchen through cracks and open doors. Cracks present in your door or your walls are some examples of an ant’s entry points. Furthermore, areas like the rear ends of your cabinet drawers and cupboards are also points of interest for ants. They could find some food crumbs or access your goodies in a loosely shut box.
  2. Another place where ants could gain entry into your home is through any greenery invading your kitchen window. Since ants live on trees, they could easily be attracted to the safety of your kitchen if there’s a branch popping through your kitchen window.

Why Are Ants So Interested in Being Inside My Kitchen?

If you happen to find these tiny pests in your kitchen, there is certainly a reason for their presence. Ants seldom enter places where they can’t source some benefit.

ants on cupcake

Similarly, if you see a gradually increasing number of ants in your kitchen, it is because they have found some source of food in there.

It could be as tiny as a bread crumb or something as prominent as a dirty dish lying in the kitchen sink, with gravy in it. Ants could also infest your kitchen if they find a still source of water in your kitchen.

How to Keep Ants Out of My Kitchen?

Typically, the best advice I can give you is to simply try and prevent any situation that could invite ants into your kitchen.

However, the fact that you’re here means that your attempts at doing so have proved unfruitful. So, here are some tips to get rid of ants from your kitchen and keep them out for good.

Eliminate Their Food Source

Any crumb of food, whether that is your leftover dinner, spilled milk, or even chunks of dog food on your kitchen countertop, is bound to invite ants to feast on it. Therefore, the first step to eliminating ants from your kitchen is to eliminate any food source.

Melon, Watermelon, Meal, Fruit, Pulp

Cleaning up after cooking sessions or eating is an excellent way to ensure that stains and crumbs don’t get left behind.

Some examples of food that could be a source of attraction for ants are sugar-based products, coffee powder, grains, bread, snacks, biscuits, peanut butter, fruits and vegetables, and other edible items.

Block Their Entry Points

Blocking ant entry sites is another strategy to keep ants out of your kitchen. While it may be impractical to seal every nook and cranny, you should seal cracks, crevices, and holes in walls, radiators, and near flooring as much as possible.

The key is to track down their entry point by following their trail. Examine the area surrounding window frames, screens, and doors as well.

Use Ant Deterrent or Pest Control Services

Once you’ve blocked any possible entry points for ants, you should go ahead and seal the deal by using items like chalk, cayenne pepper, salt, and other easily available ingredients from your kitchen.

Bear in mind that if the ant infestation is too pervasive in your kitchen, you might need to talk to your pest control service provider.

While you can tackle small populations of ants with home remedies, larger infestations might need an extensive chemical treatment process to kill or repel ants from your kitchen.

Use Natural Anti-Ant Sprays

If you already have an ant problem, natural sprays are also a gentle way to get rid of them. Lemon, peppermint oil, vinegar, and other commonly available ingredients and essential oils can be used to prepare the sprays at home.

Fill a spray bottle halfway with vinegar or lemon juice and halfway with warm water. Make sure to give the bottle a good shake to thoroughly mix the solution.

Kitchen floors, counters, corners, and other surfaces should all be sprayed. Follow the ant trail and spray the solution in the areas where they’ve settled down.

Ant Traps

You could also choose to go a little hardcore by using ant traps. You can find many types of ant traps on the market – some are electrical, while some are dependent on bait and borax to kill ants.

Before you do buy one, be sure to explore your options and do your independent research. An ant trap will likely keep your kitchen ant-free for as long as a year.

Items from Your Kitchen That You Can Use to Keep Ants Out of Your Kitchen

Before you go searching for the pest control company’s number, you can try using some of these easy-to-implement DIYs to control and keep ants out of your kitchen. Most of the items that you can use to do so are very easily available and inexpensive to use.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is typically formed by the fossils of plankton. This silica is not poisonous to humans or even plants. However, diatomaceous earth does have the property of absorbing oil from an insect’s body.

When all the oil is drawn out of an ant’s body, it dies. You can find diatomaceous earth in many grocery stores.

Boiling Water

Pan, Water, Food, Boiling Water, Fire

If you can accurately locate an entry point or a small ant dwelling in your kitchen, you could also try using boiling water to kill groups of ants. This is quite effective in killing ants.

However, you can only use boiling water if you can identify localized areas in your kitchen where ants are either entering from or setting up their infestation.


Pepper, Scoop, Peppercorns, Spices

All types of pepper are extremely irritating for ants. Therefore, they work quite well as an ant repellant. You can sprinkle this spice in the corners of your kitchen and around your windows to keep ants at bay.

Hand Soap


The aroma of ant pheromones, which they use to trace trails, is eliminated by soapy water. They can’t communicate without the scent, so they disperse in different directions. Therefore, you just need to make soapy water with the soap and sprinkle it over your kitchen

Boric Acid

Boric acid is a poison that kills ants by dissolving their outer shells and stomachs. Keep boric acid entirely clear of children and pets, use gloves when handling it, and clean up and dispose of dead ants down the kitchen drain.


Borax, like boric acid, is also extremely poisonous for ants. Borax takes about 48 hours to kill them. Therefore, a popular way to use this powder is by creating a mixture that will seem like food to worker ants.

Once worker ants pick up some of this food to take it back to their settlement and queen, it will kill the entire group of ants.

Essential Oils

Essential Oils, Alternative, Aroma

Essential oils are extremely effective at repelling ants from your kitchen. The strong and overpowering scent of them forces ants to simply stay away altogether.

Peppermint essential oil, citrus essential oils, eucalyptus are all great options that you can spray in tight corners to drive ants out of your kitchen cabinet! A bonus of using essential oils is that your kitchen will smell extra fresh after spraying it with these essential oils!

About the author

A biotechnologist by profession and a passionate pest researcher. I have been one of those people who used to run away from cockroaches and rats due to their pesky features, but then we all get that turn in life when we have to face something.