Does The Internet's Viral Salt Trick Really Get Rid Of Ants?

Though ants are basically thought of as harmless bugs to have in the home, some types of ants do actually bite. Yet, even if they don't, ants can infest a home rather quickly so it's vital to remove them swiftly. However, one online hack that suggests sprinkling table salt around ant pathways may seem like a simple fix. However, while this may get rid of a few ants, it won't provide a long-term solution. Likely, they've taken up residence near the perimeter of your home, meaning you'll have to use another method to get rid of the entire colony.

Ants invade a home in search of food. Since ants can be more than happy to find just a crumb or two, the best way to prevent them from coming into your home is to guard against leaving food particles out. To that end, regular cleaning and other repelling methods are important. However, when they do find their way inside, it's important to eliminate the entire problem using more complete methods. These strategies can all be combined for lasting results.

Why salt won't work to get rid of ants

Finding an easy and natural way to kill pests in our homes is always welcome. Unfortunately, not everything you see on the internet tells you the whole story. The salt hack doesn't work permanently and completely for a few reasons. 

Salt can kill certain types of ants by dehydrating them since they breathe through spiracles, which are holes located throughout their body. So, depending on the species, you may only kill a couple of intruders. And, they have to actually come in direct contact with the salt for the hack to work.

However, the biggest reason that the salt method won't solve your ant problem is that when you have a few in your home, there's likely a whole colony nearby. To permanently rid your home of them, you need to kill off the nest where they live. If you kill the queen, you can prevent more worker ants from reproducing. Salt does not attract ants, so they won't bring it home to their colony to give to their queen. To kill off a colony, you need to use a more enticing option that they'll take back to their nest.

These methods can help prevent infestations

To handle this, purchase store-bought ant bait that attracts the insects and encourages them to take the toxins back to their home. Then, they'll share it with the colony so it can kill off large numbers. Make sure to put these bait traps in a safe place as they can be toxic to curious kiddos and pets. 

If you're able to locate the colony in your yard, you can use a chemical spray to eradicate the population. You can also sprinkle diatomaceous earth over the nest for a more natural solution. This non-toxic powder slices through the ants' exoskeletons and dries out their bodies. If you don't have either of these on hand, simply boiling water and carefully pouring it over the nest can work well too.

If you don't have an active ant problem, that is the best time to act to prevent them from infesting your home, There are several non-chemically based ant repellants that you can use. Essential oils including cinnamon leaf, lemon eucalyptus, tea tree, peppermint, and neem oil are known deterrents. And while salt may not work, ground black pepper is another kitchen staple that deters ants