Do you have a persistent colony of ants visiting your abode? Ant traps often don’t work…at least not right away. First, do a thorough cleaning of the areas where the tiny intruders usually show up and then try these inexpensive, on-hand ANTidotes…

Hit them with powder: Dump a mess of baby powder in the areas where ants swarm, such as near the kitchen garbage pail or bathroom. If you do this near where you feed your pets, move the food elsewhere temporarily until the ants disappear…and you can clean up the powder. (Talcum, which is often the main ingredient in baby powder, can be toxic to pets.)

Pepper the pests: If you need to leave pet food on the floor, surround the dishes with black pepper, which usually deters ants (and it’s not toxic to pets…but it might repel them too!).

Wedge in the spices: Take some whole cloves and wedge them individually into corners of cabinets, drawers or wherever you usually see the ants. Make sure the cloves are unobtainable by crawling infants and inquisitive pets. Whole cloves retain their strong, repellent smell longer than loose herbs or ground spices, keeping the pests away for months (and possibly longer, if they get the message).

Give a vinegar squirt: Fill a clean squirt bottle (recycled from a previous life is fine) with white vinegar and squirt all possible ant entries (cracks near doors and windows and near vents). Also spray countertops, floors and near the kitchen trash can. Let the vinegar dry. We usually do this in combination with the baby powder/spice repellants, and clean our kitchen floors and counters frequently with it during ant season. The smell will dissipate in minutes.

Thanks to for help with this tip.