This is a good, general article, applicable for the types of ants we experience in the Portland Oregon area.   It doesn’t go into any depth in terms of the strategical processes a professional pest control technician would use for best results, but is is helpful for a obtaining base  understanding of problem. – Tom

On any given day, you may see hordes of ants, marching into your home. They may be searching for food and water, shelter from outside elements.

Here are some steps you can take to get rid of these industrious creatures.

  1. Follow the ant to its source of entry, could be a window, molding crevice or floor crack.
  2. With Boric acid, form a barrier at the source, or use laundry detergent, must be in powder form.
  3. If they have attacked any food, remove it to a garbage container, outside your home.
  4. If they have invaded your kitchen garbage can, take it outside, hose it out and wash with dishwashing liquid.
  5. Put any food they have NOT found in zip lock bags, or in sealable plastic containers. or the refrigerator.
  6. Ants can penetrate metal-threaded lids on glass jars. Glass jars are immune from ants, only if sealed with rubber gasket.
  7. Once you have secured the food,vacuum up the ant line, along with some cornstarch( this helps to suffocate them inside the bag).
  8. Use dishwashing liquid and hot water to wash the area around the ant line to erase any scent of the trail.
  9. Seal the area where the ants entered; caulk windows and cracks and weather strip doors. Apply duct tape or petroleum jelly over holes as a temporary fix.
  10. Go outside and see if you can find out where the ants entered the house. They may have used an overhanging branch to enter, if so, trim it off.
  11. Check the area in an hour. If you see any single ants, or scouts searching the area, squash them( sorry!) but they are checking out the area for future invasions!
  12. If you wish to wipe out the ant population, use ant traps that contain” Boric Acid”. The returning ants poison the whole colony.

I would point out however, that in the garden, ants can play a beneficial role, so only use the above method if absolutely necessary
Here are some tips that may help;

Some natural ant deterrents include crumbled bay leaves, cinnamon, peppermint leaves and cayenne pepper. If an indoor plant is infested with ants, take it outside and flood it several times with a hose, to remove them.Insecticidal sprays kill only the ants that you spray, which will be a very small percentage of a colony, and won’t prevent future invasions. Please make sure, if you do use a spray, keep children and pets away.

In the house, I found that sprinkling the doorways with a powder cleaner ie, Ajax, kept the ants from crossing the line of powder and they did not enter the house.

One word of warning!! If you have Carpenter ants, which are a larger species, as they burrow into wood and cause terrible damage, do NOT keep any piles of decaying wood near your house, as this attracts them.

The methods I have outlined above, if used diligently, should go a long way to eliminate your pesky visitors.

Ena Clewes writer and garden expert, visit Ena at

The focus of this article is a little too heavy on the home remedy aspect of pest control.   While it is always great to be able to address minor issues yourself, some of the fundamental principles described are different than what we would recommend for more reliable, long term ant control and eradication.   Primarily, the focus in the article is on forming barriers – fine if you have already killed the ants and their colony.   However, until that has been done, barriers are often counter productive.   Our goal is always to encourage the ants to fully partake of baits and treatments that will eventually kill the colony, thus providing complete pest elimination.

If you have an ant problem, besure to call us today for the most effective pest control in Portland. – Tom