If Ants Are Invading Your Pantry, Flour Is The Perfect Line Of Defense

An ant home invasion is no fun — but it can be especially aggravating if these pests make their way into your pantry, where you keep all of your tasty dry goods. While there are a variety of sprays and baits you can buy to get rid of ants, these usually come laden with chemicals, which are less than desirable to use around your food. The solution? If you grab the bag of flour out of your pantry before the bugs get to it, it can provide the perfect way to stave them off for good.

Ants are naturally drawn to flour, but when they eat it, it possibly kills them by expanding in their stomachs too much — though the science proving this is still a bit lacking. But aside from feeding them the grain, there's an even better way to deploy flour to corral the bugs out of your pantry. 

Use it as bait to draw the ants away from your food and into a more open area where you can get rid of them, potentially by rinsing them down the drain. And, to prevent a home invasion the next time around, create a flour barrier along the back of your pantry to interrupt their scent trails and keep them from passing through to begin with.

Other tricks to keep ants at bay

If you're trying to stay away from chemicals, flour isn't the only food you likely have in your pantry that can get rid of ants. The bugs will also shy away from turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, peppermint oil, and repurposed coffee grounds, so you can deploy these in a similar fashion to create a barrier on your pantry shelves. 

If you're worried about them getting into specific containers (like ones with sugar), add a bay leaf to the jars to help keep them away. In the same vein, ants detest citrus (specifically the chemical the fruits contain called limonene), so feel free to disperse lemon and orange slices, zest, peels, and juice wherever you don't want the bugs to go.

Now, let's say you need something a little more heavy-duty to kill ants that have already invaded your pantry, but you're still not willing to buy a chemical spray. If this is the case, you'll want to turn to vinegar. Use a bottle filled with distilled white vinegar and water to spray the solution directly on any ants that missed your flour traps, or on the ant hives directly if you can find them. However, you'll have hopefully put up your flour barriers in time, so the bugs will be deterred from entering your pantry in the first place.