How To Get Rid Of Black Ants In The Kitchen

Ants are an unwelcome guest in the home--but especially in your kitchen. Unfortunately, they can easily invade your kitchen especially if you don't have a system that will keep them out. Although they are generally harmless, they can carry diseases with them and make your home unsafe. So, how do you get rid of them and keep them out? We have researched answers for you.

It can be frustrating seeing those little ants infesting your space. Here's how you can show them who's boss:

  • Identify and block entry points.
  • Find the nest and eliminate with insecticide.
  • Remove food sources.
  • Use a trap.
  • Try natural insect repellents.

If you see a trail of black ants parading in your space, chances are there are lots of them hiding in some part of your house. If you don't destroy the root cause immediately, the ants will keep coming back. So, if you want to learn more about how to completely eliminate them, keep reading below!

Woman spraying with insecticide over an ant on the kitchen floor, How To Get Rid Of Black Ants In The Kitchen

How To Get Rid Of Black Ants In The Kitchen

Black ants are harmless but frustrating critters that you don't want anywhere near where you eat. Getting rid of them when they appear is not enough, you need to find out the root cause so they can't bother you anymore.

Ants are eating onion on the kitchen tile floor

It can be difficult to track them. But with some effort, you'll be able to eliminate their colonies. Here's how you can kill those black ants and prevent an infestation.

Identify and Block Entry Points

Ants typically seep through the tiny cracks on walls and windows. Observe where their line begins and ends. However, it can be difficult to find every single entry point in the house especially if you have multiple floors with holes they can enter through.

Block the holes and cracks you notice by repairing them, but try to find their colony first.

When you see them coming in, follow their track and see where they are nested. Black ants typically thrive in moist areas outdoors or indoors, so it can be in a drawer with water damage, under a tree, or within a pile of dried leaves.

Find the Nest and Eliminate with Insecticide

A macro shot of black ants working together.

There's a reason various ant species have survived various natural calamities and human evolution: it's because they know how to hide. If you're lucky, you can find them hiding on shallow ground, or even inside your house.

However, some ant colonies can burrow deep into the ground, making it difficult to spot them. You can track them, but they can easily slip through the smallest cracks where you'd be unable to spy where they're going.

Fortunately, you can look for telltale signs that indicate that an ant nest might be hiding in a certain location.

Indoor Nest

Ants coming out through crack in the wall

If you see them trailing inside your home, look for wood shavings under the cabinets or the attic. You should also look for moist spots in your furniture since ants love damp spaces.

Outdoor Nest

Single round anthill on the footpath

If you suspect that they may be outdoors, look for an anthill or mound Their hill will look like an elevated patch of dirt and soil. It may also have leaves piled around, indicating that they are most likely thriving in that area.

Once you spot them, eliminate them with natural or chemical insecticides. If there are too many of them, call pest-control to address the issue.

Remove Food Sources

Common ant on the kitchen table

This is only a surface-level solution, since ants won't be able to find your scraps of food if they weren't already there in the first place!

However, you can minimize their infestation by quickly clearing away leftover food from the table, sweeping away specks of sugar and starch, and making sure everything is sealed and stored in a safe space.

Make sure you clean your kitchen surfaces thoroughly so ants won't target these spaces. Though it's not a permanent solution, it could lessen your frustration and keep your food safe from contamination.

Can you kill black ants with natural repellents?

If you're not a fan of chemical insecticides, you can kill those pesky ants using natural methods. You can call pest control, but you can control the infestation in your home once you locate their nest.

Since they like to infest your kitchen, why not utilize what you have readily available against pests? Here are home-made repellents you can easily find in your kitchen.

Boiling Water

Pouring boiling water directly on ants can kill them. Once you notice them seeping through the cracks, the boiling water will drown and drive them away. You can pour boiling water on their anthill too, although it may not be enough to submerge the colony.

Though the water can kill the ants on the surface, those underground will still survive. The soil will soak the water, giving other ants the chance to burrow deeper and survive.

Ground Pepper

Pepper is the antithesis to sugar, the ants' favorite meal. Ants hate the smell of potent spices like ground black or red pepper, so you can put these on places ants like to slip through to prevent them from entering your kitchen.

You can also mix pepper with water and put it on a spray bottle. Spray them on the black ants to instantly repel them.

However, this is only a temporary solution since the ants aren't killed, but only repelled. They can come back once you've swept the ground pepper away.


Ants are attracted to cornstarch, and you can use this to your advantage. Combine cornstarch with water to create a texture that can't be digested by ants--this can kill adult ants easily when they ingest the cornstarch, especially when fed to their queen.

However, this may not be a reliable method since ants in their larvae stage can still digest the particles. When they become adult ants, they can still come back and invade your kitchen.

White Vinegar

White vinegar can instantly kill black ants since the acidic quality of vinegar burns them. The pungent smell will also ward off other ants since it erases their scent trail, making them lose their way and be eliminated.

Combine two parts of white vinegar with one part of water and pour the solution into a spray bottle. Spray the solution on the trail of ants entering your home.

You can also spray the solution on their nest, or on their anthill. The ants will not be coming out to collect food because of the smell, and if you spray frequently, the colonies could starve to death.

Can you kill black ants with essential oils?

Some essential oils have been proven to have qualities that are toxic to ants. You can saturate a cotton ball with essential oil and put it in places where ants slip through. The ants will be repelled and possibly killed, preventing an infestation.

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a natural fungicide for plants that prevent ants from eating away at leaves, so you can put this into your home as well.

Create a solution using five drops of te tree essential oil with two cups of water. Put this mixture into a spray bottle and spray it on areas where the ants typically reside or make their trail.

Citrus oils

Citrus oils contain a chemical called d-limonene which can be a natural pesticide since it is toxic to ants. You can find this in lemon, grapefruit, or tangerine essential oils.

Combine four ounces of water with an equal part of witch hazel, two teaspoons of liquid soap, and 50 drops of citrus-based essential oils. For maximum effect, combine this mixture with another 30 drops of peppermint essential oils, and 20 drops of clove essential oil.

Pour this mixture into a spray bottle and generously spray on ant-infested surfaces.

Can borax kill ants?

Creating a trail of borax with a bit of sugar is an effective way to trap and kill ants. The smell of sugar will attract them, and the borax will eliminate them.

Mix a half cup of sugar with one-and-a-half tablespoons of borax. Pour this mixture into one and a half cups of warm water. Place them in a jar, and shake well to integrate sugar with borax.

Soak cotton balls into the solution and put them on the ant trail. This should effectively eliminate the critters.

Final Thoughts

Black ants sometimes make their way into our homes, and it's inevitable. It can be frustrating, but it's not impossible to get rid of them--it just takes a bit of effort.

If you enjoyed this article, check out "Does Vinegar Kill Springtails?"