12 May, 2024 @ 10:53
1 min read

How to avoid ants taking over your homes in Spain – as their numbers surge in the spring

An ant head close-up. Credit: Wikipedia

THE experience is near-ubiquitous in warm climates – with spring cleaning comes the inevitable discovery of armies of tiny black flecks, marching tirelessly from unidentifiable sources across your kitchen floor. 

Warmer temperatures means the ants move in, industriously expanding their empires in search of food after a long, hungry winter of hibernation. 

Part of what makes these little domestic colonisers so effective is that they leave a trail of pungent pheromones, which other ants from the colony can follow, helping them to quickly find food via traversing the paths already laid by their comrades. 

With this in mind, here are a few tips on how to keep your home ant-free this spring and summer. 

Keep it clean, sealed, and dry

READ MORE: Exotic and invasive ‘crazy ant’ spreads along Spain’s Costa del Sol

An ant head close-up. Credit: Wikipedia

As El Diario notes in its helpful guide, ants are attracted to anything tasty they can find, which is why it’s best to prevent them from finding it at all. 

Food in the house — especially fruits, nuts, ice cream, anything sugary really — should be sealed up tight, either in tupperware or an airtight plastic bag, and stored away in their proper locations at all times. 

This rule applies to all foodstuffs — human or otherwise — so dog and cat food should always be kept stored away as well. 

Locate the source

Once this is done, another surefire way to avoid discovering a line of marching ants is to ensure all points of possible entry are sealed off. 

This is where it gets a bit more complicated, as it might require searching the house for cracks and gaps under doors or windows. 

Once a possible point of entry is identified, seal it off as tightly as possible, and make sure there are no crumbs, spills, or remnants of food of any kind in the area. 

Sour, spicy stuff

A guide from Idealista suggests spraying either vinegar, lemon juice, or another highly acidic pantry staple around the house. 

This is meant to repel ants, not kill them, as the strong odour disturbs them and covers up their pheromone trails. 

Other possible remedies include hot chilis or black pepper, bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves, coffee grounds, peppermint, and essential oils. 

For best results, clean the house and floors thoroughly, then go around with your pungent substance of choice, sprinkling drops in cracks and crannies that might be appealing to ants. 


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