Ants may be pretty harmless, but these pests can be still be a nuisance in and around your home. Learn how to nix them for good with these tips.

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Ask any homeowner and they'll likely tell you that they've dealt with an ant infestation at one point or another. If you have ants roaming around the yard or inside the house, you know that these tiny pests can be one of the trickiest to get rid of, but you'll be happy to hear that there's a rather simple process you can use to remove them permanently. The trick is to keep your home clean and to regularly monitor the situation in order to prevent reinfestation. Here are a few tips on how to do it from "Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook."

When you spot a line of ants marching toward food, or spilling out of a crevice in the wall, identify what they are after before marking their point of entry. If they're after food, leave it there-ants are easier to kill if they're in a line. Dip a sponge in soapy water and wipe away the ants. Block the entry point with a smear of petroleum jelly or a square of duct tape until you can permanently close the hole or crack with silicone caulk.

When ant infestations persist, it may be necessary to attack the ant colony, including both the parent and the satellite colonies. Because ants share food, poisoned baits-usually made of boric acid with a sweet attractant-are an effective method of exterminating pests. Use a commercial boric acid bait, available at hardware stores, in the spring since they become less effective in hot and dry weather. Place bait near the end of the line, not near the nest; follow label directions. Be careful not to disturb trails between any nest and bait stations-otherwise, you may prevent ants from carrying the bait back to the colony. Keep bait out of the reach of children.

If you're looking for an eco-friendly, non-toxic solution, try shopping for products that incorporate essentials oils like peppermint, garlic, and citronella. You can also create your own DIY naturral pest repellant should you wish to do so.

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