Ant infestations are a common occurrence for many Maryland homeowners during the spring and summer, with the most common ants being Carpenter ants, Odorous ants, Pharaoh ants, and Pavement ants.

While most homeowners are quick to reach for store-bought products, baits don’t act as a panacea against all of these types of ants, especially if they are at different stages in their lifecycle.

For large colonies at advanced stages in their lifecycle, the best option to get rid of ants is to hire a professional ant exterminator to inspect and eradicate an ant colony the same day.

Before reaching this stage, there are some steps you can take to get rid of ants in your Baltimore or Towson home if you have a small or new colony in your home.

Step 1. Identify What Type of Ants You Have

Figuring out what kind of ants you’re dealing with is the important first step in getting rid of them. We have an entire list of all the different types of ants in Maryland, including their appearance, to help you identify a specific species.

One important sign to look out for is the presence of wood frass or shavings around your property. This usually indicates a carpenter ant infestation, which may be dangerous to your home’s framing and wooden components.

Step 2. Find Out Where Ant Colonies Are Hiding

Ants leave pheromone trails when they travel, which attract other ants to different places in your home. To spot where an ant colony is hidden, follow along an ant path as they travel from one place to another in your home. The most common indoor hiding spots for ants are typically behind walls, baseboards, countertops, and molding.

Step 3. Inspect Your Yard for Ant Hills and Destroy Them with Boiling Water

If you notice ants in your home, chances are you’ll find some in your yard, too. If you want to get rid of ant hills in your yard, simply boil a pot of water and pour it on top of them to wipe them out.

Step 4. Set Out Ant Traps Along Entry Points

Once you have located where you believe the ant colonies are hiding, your next step will be to set out ant traps. Ant traps should be placed near entry points that ants use to gain access to your home, including corners where walls meet and where a crack may be visible. Traps are designed to deliver a poison from a worker ant to the queen or colony at large, disrupting their digestive or reproductive systems.

Step 5. Use Bait Gels Where Ants Are Active

If traps don’t work, ant bait gel can deliver a lethal blow to ants that travel to and from your kitchen. Bait gel is most effective when used where ants are most active and should be applied where a large presence of ants can easily be spotted or in places near traps.

Step 6. Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth Along Ant Trails

Diatomaceous earth is an all-natural solution that has proven to be effective in killing ants. One of the best things about using diatomaceous earth is that it is safe for humans and pets, making this a trustworthy solution for homeowners with small children and pets. To use diatomaceous earth to get rid of ants, sprinkle the powder along ant trails and wherever ants are found in your home.

Step 7. Call an Exterminator

When dealing with an infestation of any kind, it is always in your best interest to call an exterminator. Even the smallest ant infestations can quickly get out of hand if not dealt with promptly and properly. A trusted pest control professional will be able to assess the severity of your ant infestation and create a customized plan to get rid of them.

Natural Ant Prevention Tips

While ants are fairly common for every homeowner, you can increase your chances of missing these pesky creatures this summer by practicing a few simple prevention tips.

Seal Up Entry Points

Seal up entry points that ants use to gain access to your home to keep them outside. You can apply a store-bought sealant to any cracks and crevices in your doors, walls, and windows and use an expandable spray foam for larger openings.

Maintain Your Home’s Cleanliness

Keeping a clean home is essential in keeping any kind of pest away, including ants. Some general maintenance tips we recommend include:

  • Keeping food stored in airtight containers.
  • Cleaning up spills and crumbs promptly.
  • Disposing of garbage regularly and keeping bins clean.
  • Washing dishes and removing any food residue.
  • Eliminating any standing water near sinks and bathroom fixtures.

Keeping a Clean Yard

A well-landscaped home is also less inviting to ants, who like to feed on organic materials. Some general yard maintenance tips include:

  • Mowing your yard.
  • Trimming overgrown bushes and plants.
  • Cleaning up loose tree limbs and branches.
  • Applying fertilizer to garden beds.

Of course, when prevention fails, we highly recommend discussing your options with a local exterminator. They can apply a treatment program that gets rid of ants quickly and coach you on tips to help keep ants away for good once they are removed from your property.


How can I tell if I have a carpenter ant infestation?

Hearing rustling sounds from inside your walls, seeing piles of wood shavings around your home, and physically seeing large black ants in your house are telltale signs that you may be dealing with a carpenter ant infestation.

What is the best way to get rid of ants in the kitchen?

Keeping your kitchen clean and free of any garbage or improperly stored food is imperative to preventing ants from invading your space. Regularly wiping down your countertops with a white vinegar and water spray can also effectively repel ants.

Are there any natural remedies for killing ant colonies?

As mentioned earlier, pouring boiling water on top of ant hills can effectively kill all of the ants inside. To target an entire colony, you can also make a DIY solution with equal parts borax and corn syrup and apply it to a small piece of cardboard. By leaving the piece of cardboard where ants frequently hang out, they will likely eat it and be killed shortly after.