14 Ways to Get Rid of Small Black Kitchen Ants Fast & Permanently

You may appreciate certain animals in your kitchen, like your dog or your cat. There are others you don’t.

I know that I would not enjoy seeing an alligator there. However, that’s probably not very realistic.

Another type of animal is a little too prevalent in the kitchen.

And they’re nasty, too!

If you’ve got an infestation in your home, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll teach you various ways to get rid of small, black kitchen ants fast & permanently without breaking the bank. Chances are you won’t even need to call an exterminator!

The product below is what got rid of those little creatures in my kitchen. It’s great. Scroll down to see how I addressed the infestation.

Why are they in the kitchen?

Now and then, you may encounter ants in your homes. They’re rummaging through the garbage or the morsels left on the dining table. Not only are they common, but they are persistent pests. It makes them a significant inconvenience for any house owner.

Finding them on your bed or sofa may be unusual or a jab at your cleaning habits. But there are certain spots inside the house where they’re more commonly found, such as the kitchen.

ant trail

These pesky pests crowd the place, from dancing on the kitchen counter to circling the sink! But why exactly are they in your kitchen?

They’re foraging for food. One of the many reasons ants are in kitchens is where the food is! They are attracted to sugar and other sweets. But they will also eat meat and grains. They like cheese and even pet food if it’s left out.

When the scout finds a food source, it leaves a scent trail for others to follow. This way, the whole colony can benefit from the food discovery. You’re likely to come home to a few hundred uninvited guests where kitchen cupboards and cabinets are filled with food scraps. Never leave the kitchen floor covered in crumbs, or they’ll come running!

They’re escaping the cold. As the weather gets colder, worker ants run to kitchens. They are searching for food and warmth. The moist environment inside kitchens is hospitable to them. The specific heat you’re often creating when cooking is luring enough as it is!

They’re looking for water. Like all other living beings, they also require water to survive. So naturally, when they find a water source. Colonies will seek out food within 200 meters of it. In kitchens, it’s easy for those tiny insects to find food and water as we provide those elements constantly.

They can live up to a month without food but only 5 days without water. That means they will continuously look for pots or dishes with some drops of water in them or on the windowsills and counters.

They’re building a nest. Kitchens provide a warm and nurturing environment, ideal for nest-building. Plus, the counters offer plenty of nooks and crannies where they can hide their eggs. So if you’re seeing a lot of them in your kitchen, it’s not because they love the taste of your food. Instead, it’s simply an ideal location for a nest to them.

Types that will make it into the kitchen

Ants are tiny, but they can create a massive problem in your kitchen. They may be costly and time-consuming to eliminate from the home if you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s essential to identify the different types commonly found in kitchens.

Carpenter ants

They are the most common type in kitchens in terms of sheer numbers. They like to snug near sources of moisture and inside walls because it makes them almost undetectable to homeowners. They make small holes to travel and will often invade food storage areas.

Little black ants

Found throughout the United States, they are very small. They measure about 1/16th of an inch long. They shelter in the soil, and their colonies contain up to 10,000 workers. They scavenge for food, but they also eat other insects. They are especially attracted to sweet and sticky foods.

Pavement ants

Though less common, they can be found in kitchens that share similarities with their namesake—outdoor pavement. They nest near the soil and like to invade sweet foods. Homeowners need to be especially careful when leaving sugary residue on countertops or in crumbs on the floor.

Odorous ants

They are about 1/4th of an inch long and have a black body with a reddish head. They build their nests in the ground or on rotten wood. Their colonies can contain up to 10,000 workers.

They get their name from the pungent smell they produce when disturbed. This smell is like vinegar or rotting coconuts. Odorous ones eat various foods, but they prefer sweets and meat.

Fire ants

Infamous for their painful stings and aggressive behavior, these are your worst nightmare. They are typically found in warm climates and build their nests in open areas such as lawns and parks. They are not usually found in kitchen areas. They have been known to invade food storage containers that have been left outside.

Ghost ants

This is a small, translucent creature that can be found infesting kitchens. They are particularly attracted to sugary foods. They can often be found around the pantry or in open sugar containers or other sweeteners. They do not pose a significant health risk, but they can contaminate food and cause annoyance with their presence.

Pharaoh ants

This species is tiny, only about 1/16th of an inch long. It’s easy for them to hide in places they don’t often see. Pharaohs have a life cycle of only four to six weeks. The queen lays eggs continuously throughout her lifetime, lasting up to three years.

They build their nests near other insects that produce heat or carbon dioxide. This makes it considerably easier to look for the way back home after searching for food. Pharaoh colonies have millions of workers and multiple queens. It makes it incredibly difficult to exterminate them once they infest a building.

1. The absolute best ant killer for the kitchen

Before getting into its action, you need to identify the species present. Once you know which type you are dealing with, you can search for specific clues that will help you determine the nest’s location.

Carpenter ants leave a sawdust-like material called ‘frass’ around their nests. Pavement ants leave piles of small pebbles. Fire ants tend to build their mounds very close to the ground, so they are easy to spot.

Once the colony has been located, it is time to treat it with an appropriate pesticide or bait. It is essential to select the perfect pesticide to terminate the problem from the grass-root level. And while there may be many products in the market claiming to get the job done, only a few do!

One of the most popular and effective killers is the Terro liquid ant killer. It comes in a liquid or solid form. You just put it where they are coming in. Terro is the deal killer for small infestations because they will take the pesticide back to the colony. It will kill the queen and completely get rid of the entire colony. It’s different from other pesticides because it doesn’t just kill the ones you see. It kills the ones you don’t see too!

After moving into a new house and discovering it was full of ants, I tried various solutions before I tried the Terro. Most containers weren’t easy enough for the little creatures to get into, or they simply straight up didn’t work.

Terro was different. In a matter of one or two days, my infestation was gone. Looking at the reviews, you’ll also see that this is the stuff exterminators use. They claim they have a “special product.”

If you’re not set on using natural means, this is by far the easiest way to deal with your infestation. And it’s a heck of a lot cheaper than getting an exterminator out who will put this exact product out.

Either way, check it out and read the reviews if you’re still unsure.

300 Reviews
Put a couple of pieces of aluminum foil out with some drops of this stuff on it along baseboards, or wherever the trail is. With so many positive reviews, this really is your solution when dealing with an infestation.

Time needed: 3 days.

How do I get rid of ants on my kitchen counter?

  1. Buy Terro Liquid Ant Killer

    It’s great, hands down.MT Elizabeth sinking

  2. Put a couple of drops of it on five or so pieces of aluminum foil.

    You won’t need it much. The amount needed will depend on the size of the infestation.Ant killer on aluminum foil

  3. Place it along the trail.

    There’s often a trail near the side of a kitchen, for instance. Put it where they’re likely to get to it.ant killer near trail

  4. Wait for the magic to happen.

  5. Replenish the solution as needed.

    They’ll eat away at it as the days go by. Make sure to keep them well-fed with this solution.Ant killer along trail

  6. Wait for a few days.

    The problem was gone in a matter of days.

I know if you press the link above, it will say that it takes two to four weeks before you’ve dealt with it.

I’ll say this much. It was not the case for me. The Problem was GONE in a matter of days, and that was even after I had tried a competing product.

It looked like this as they got to it, and it was all brought back to their colony!

ants swarming around Terro

It’s some incredibly sticky stuff, so you don’t want to put it directly on your kitchen or garage floor immediately. Put it on something that ensures you can easily clean it up.

Perhaps you have a curious dog, and you don’t want the dog near it. There’s another solution. These bait stations contain the same formula but come in packaging. It helps ensure people or animals that aren’t supposed to get to it don’t.

Bait stations
85,438 Reviews
Bait stations
Great solution when you don't want to use aluminum foil.

On the other hand, pesticides can be sprayed directly onto the pests or put into bait stations. They will then take it back to the colony. Baiting is generally more effective because it allows you to target the entire colony rather than just a few individual ones. When using bait stations, always place them near their trail.

Whichever method you choose, it is crucial to be persistent. It may take a few days or even a week to get rid of all the ants, but it is well worth it in the end. Having an ant-free kitchen is definitely worth the effort!

Dealing with an infestation

Home remedies

If you’re looking for a quick way out, here are a few home remedies that may be of help:

2. Use baking soda and water to make a killer combo

One of the most effective solutions that don’t require any harsh chemicals is a mixture of baking soda and water. Make a paste of the baking soda and spread it around the areas where you’ve seen them. Otherwise, put it into a spray bottle and apply it that way. The baking soda will kill them, while the water will help to flush them out.

3. Use vinegar as a repellent

Vinegar is an excellent repellent because it’s acidic, so any vinegar-based products are off-limits to ants. You can use balsamic or white vinegar for this purpose. It’s advised that you mix them 50-50 with water. Spray the solution on your kitchen counters and doorways where you see them gather.

4. Use essential oils to shoo them away

Several essential oils have a powerful smell that will repel ants. Peppermint oil and lemongrass essential oil work perfectly if appropriately mixed with water. Add some drops of one of those oils into a spray bottle full of water and apply it where needed.

5. Put bay leaves or cinnamon sticks near entry points to repel them

Bay leaves and cinnamon sticks are another excellent option for repelling ants. You can either put them in a bowl near their entry points or place them around the edges of your kitchen. The earthy scent of the cinnamon stick and bay leaves will keep them from entering.

6. Make Boric acid into an infestation killing machine

When mixed with sugar, boric acid becomes a deadly poison. Suppose you see a trail but some of this mixture down the path. They will carry it to the nest and kill the queen and the rest of the colony.

7. Use diatomaceous earth to unearth colonies

This is a natural substance that is made up of fossilized algae. It’s sharp and jagged, so when ants walk across it. It scratches their exoskeleton, and they die of dehydration. You can sprinkle it around your doors and windowsills or anywhere else you have an infestation problem.

8. Juice lemon to prevent an infestation

Squeeze some lemon juice into soda pop bottles. Screw off the top and leave them for the night near any holes or cracks that are entry points for these little pests. In the morning, you’ll find that most of them have gone into the bottle but won’t be able to get out.

How to get rid of them naturally

Ants can be pesky when they invade your kitchens. The good news is that you don’t need to call an exterminator to get rid of them. There are several natural steps you can take to keep them away. So here are a few practices you can adopt to keep your house an ant-free territory:

9. Take special care of your kitchen etiquette

It is essential never to leave food unpackaged or exposed to keep them away. This will prevent the insects from accessing the food and contaminating it. Ensure that all trash cans are tightly sealed and that any spills are cleaned up immediately.

If there are any pet food bowls left out, wash them regularly and refill them with food when they are empty. Finally, keep clutter to a minimum. Otherwise, it provides the ideal hiding spot.

This is just a magnet for those little creatures. We swear, this was staged for the photo.

Pet food on the floor

10. Wipe down surfaces with water and baking soda

Don’t use harsh chemicals because they can strip off the protective coating of surfaces. It leaves them exposed for the next set of insects to walk across your countertop or floors.

Instead, use a mix of warm water and baking soda on flat surfaces to wipe everything clean before preparing food again. The mixture will help kill any germs off while making it possible for you to wipe away crumbs easily. You will do so without too much effort on your part.

11. Keep your kitchen clean

While this is a no-brainer, most of us forget to take it into account. Ants are attracted to food, so keeping the kitchen clean will help keep them out. Cleaning up spills and regularly wiping down countertops and cabinets will help deter them from entering the home.

12. Check for cracks in the floor and walls

If there are any gaps more significant than half an inch wide, they might make their way into your house through them. Fill up these gaps with caulk or other filler while the weather is cold. When spring comes around again, these holes will no longer offer access to your home!

13. Install screens on your windows and doors

Using harsh chemicals to get rid of ants may provide a quick solution. When you’re looking for a lifestyle change, it’s encouraged to keep them out altogether! Installing screens is ideal. After all, prevention is better than cure.

In addition to ants, screens also help keep other pests like bees and wasps out of your home. If you already have screens installed, make sure they are in good condition and that the seams are tight so they can’t get through.

14. Clear any standing water

They may enter your home during the summer months searching for water. Ensure there’s no standing water around your home to give them a reason to visit. Replace any standing water with rocks, which discourages colonies from forming. The rocks don’t provide access to food or shelter for insects.

With the help of all these tips, you should hopefully get rid of an ant infestation in your kitchen very fast and keep it so permanently. Taking preventive measures is the best way to go about it!

Lonely ant


What is the best ant killer for the kitchen?

Terro will absolutely solve your problem. It’s the best product on the market.

What causes ants in the kitchen?

Access to food. If your house is a bit messy, you’re sure to invite them inside.

What is the fastest way to get rid of ants?

Use Terro. You won’t regret it, I swear.

Why are there suddenly a lot of ants in my house?

They replicate extremely fast. If you give them access to food, you’ll see them multiply in as little as a matter of days.