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How to Get Rid of the Grease Ants in the Kitchen

Updated on: March 31, 2021

Grease ants are some of the most persistent ant species that invade houses. Finding a few grease ants in the kitchen might not seem like a big deal at first, but these ants become a nuisance once they decide to build nests nearby.

So how do you prevent the grease ants from invading the kitchen? Keep these tiny insects out of the kitchen by cleaning the surfaces, storing food and leftovers in tight containers, moving the appliances around, and fixing leaky pipes. If they manage to get inside, there are ant baits and pesticides available in the market.

4 Prevention Methods to Keep Grease Ants Out of the Kitchen

Ants are considered the number one nuisance pest in the country, according to the 2011 survey conducted by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA). Aside from the continuously growing number of ant infestation cases every year, many pest management professionals said that these pests became more difficult to eliminate. The best treatment for these pests is to keep them out in the first place using different IPM methods.

The first step to keep the ants out of the kitchen is to find out what species you’re dealing with. Grease ants and sugar ants are quite similar to each other, but they prefer different kinds of food. This small piece of information is crucial when deciding on the right pest control measure to implement.

Once you’re sure that the insects are grease or thief ants, here are a few methods to keep them away for some time:


1. Keep the Kitchen Surfaces Clean

Grease ants (Solenopsis molesta) prefer eating greasy and protein-rich food. They’re especially fond of meats and cheese. They’re also easily attracted by the spills and splatters of oil that are left unwiped on the stovetop.  They also eat the dead bodies of small insects when it’s available. 

When preparing food in the kitchen, always make sure to wipe and sweep the crumbs right after cooking. This prevents the grease ants from finding a potential food source in the kitchen. Make sure to clean up the food spill immediately and wipe the countertops. Mop the floors regularly and pay extra attention to hard-to-reach areas.

2. Store Food and Leftovers in Tight Containers

Never leave food or leftovers uncovered on the dinner table. This attracts all kinds of pests including the grease ants that are foraging the place for food they may take home to their nest. Put all food – especially the greasy ones – in tight containers and place them in cabinets. Another option is to refrigerate them to prevent attracting grease ants.

The crumbs left in the dirty dishes are also a feast for the grease ants. Wash the dishes immediately and avoid letting them sit in the sink overnight to prevent the ants from visiting the kitchen.

3. Move the Potential Nests Around

Grease ants create nests almost anywhere, including areas near and inside the house. Moving the appliances, dining table, and other pieces of furniture around helps prevent these pests from making nests underneath and in obscure places.

If the kitchen is near the backyard, make sure to check it for possible nesting sites. Grease ants create nests outside near firewood, mulch, vegetation, and landscape timbers.

4. Fix Leaky Drains and Pipes

Like other creatures, grease also needs water to survive. They usually find a stable source of water underneath the kitchen sink. Always check this area to see if there’s a leak in the pipes or pooling water that grease ants might use as a water source.

Recommended Ant Control for Grease Ants

2 species of ants , citronella and pavement ants fighting for territory

Even if the grease ants are found inside the kitchen, their nest might be located outside. Treatment of grease ants inside the house is different from eliminating their nest outside, but combining pest control methods for these areas helps ensure that the ants are completely eliminated.

Here are the recommended ant control measures for the grease ant nests inside and outside the house:


Spraying pesticides in the ant nests found indoors isn’t a good solution because it only forces the grease ants to divide into numerous sub-colonies. These insects live near other colonies and steal their food and larvae. They only get inside homes through the cracks and crevices in the walls.

It’s better to try baiting the grease ants with greasy food mixed with boric acid. Vegetable oil and peanut butter are extremely effective food baits that attract more grease ants. This chemical is minimally toxic for humans but extremely effective for killing grease ants. Boric acid is available in local pharmacies and hardware stores. However, mishandling boric acid might be harmful so always make sure to follow the instructions on the label.

Learning about the right bait placement is extremely important when it comes to eliminating the grease ants in the kitchen. Put the food bait mixed with boric acid on a small piece of wax paper and secure it with masking tape. Place the ant bait along the trail or pathway of the grease ants.


If the nests of the grease ants in the kitchen are found outside, then spraying pesticide is the better option than baiting. Direct treatment of the nest prevents the ant infestation from worsening. To find the nest, just follow the trail of the grease ants when they’re carrying the food back to the colony. 

Treating the ant nest alone might be a difficult task since grease ants usually build nests in hard-to-reach areas. They build nests in the soil or in rotting wood. If you fail to find the ant nest, the grease ant treatment should be done around the perimeter of the house instead. This prevents them from entering the kitchen to search for food or splitting up into sub-colonies.

Should You Use Store Bought Ant Baits and Pesticides?

Most ant baits and pesticides available in the market are useful for eliminating some grease ants in the kitchen. Always make sure to read the label before using them to maximize their effectiveness and prevent accidental poisonings.

While they’re effective in putting a dent in the ant population, they’re not enough to get rid of the infestation for good. Contacting a pest management professional to handle the problem is still the way to eliminate the grease ants for good.

PermaKill Exterminating: The Best Pest Control Service Provider in NJ

PermaKill Exterminating is a trusted local pest management professional in New Jersey. We’re a family-owned business that creates pest treatment plans tailored for each client’s needs. We always make sure to utilize the best tools and scientifically proven methods to eliminate the grease ants and keep them from returning to the property.

There’s no need to worry about the grease ants in the kitchen with the IPM-based extermination by our experts at PermaKill Exterminating. Call us now at (973) 584 – 6414 to schedule an appointment

Read more: How to Get Rid of Pharaoh Ants in the Apartment


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