Scientists have estimated that there are over a million ants per human being on earth–so, it’s not surprising that we have to deal with them consistently throughout our lives. Ants tend to pop up in the strangest of places, including mailboxes. Many people are left wondering why ants are attracted to mailboxes, and what can be done to keep them out.
Below are 10 methods for keeping ants out of a mailbox:
- Find and seal their entry point.
- Fill in any remaining gaps or holes.
- Don’t kill the ants you see.
- Clean your mailbox thoroughly.
- Invest in some ant traps.
- Use ant spray for a quick solution.
- Remove any sources of food.
- Use tea tree oil to kill and repel the ants.
- Line the mailbox pole with double-sided tape.
- Use chalk to keep them away.
Keeping ants away from your mailbox can be a challenge, but there are plenty of different ways to go about it. Keep reading for more detailed information on each method.
Find and Seal Their Entry Point
The first step in keeping ants out of your mailbox is to find out where they are getting in. You may need a flashlight to do this since the holes can be small.
Search your mailbox thoroughly for any holes or gaps that they could crawl through. Remember that ants are tiny and can fit into holes or gaps that we can barely see. So, make sure you are checking thoroughly.
Consider the lid or door of your mailbox as a possible entry point and try to seal it closed if it’s not secure. If your door doesn’t tightly fit when closing it, then there is a chance that there may be gaps big enough for ants to enter. Once you figure out where the ants are coming in, you can begin to plan your method of keeping them out.
Fill In Any Remaining Gaps or Holes
During your search for an entry point, you may have found several tiny gaps or holes. Now, it’s time to fill those in. Not only will this help keep ants away, but it can also help keep your mail dry if it rains.
To fill those tiny gaps and holes, you can use many different types of sealant products. Sprays are easier to use in smaller spaces where you don’t have much room to work with. You can also use tape to help block that entry point and keep the ants away.
Don’t Kill the Ants You See
The best way to ensure that you keep ants away is to choose a long-term solution. So, killing ants on sight is not going to be very effective in keeping them away.
When ants die, they release a pheromone that attracts other ants to their location. That said, killing ants as you find them isn’t a good idea because it will ensure that others follow the scent. Instead, plan for a long-term solution by trying one of the other methods listed here when you see an ant.
Clean Your Mailbox Thoroughly
Since ants rely on scent, thoroughly cleaning your mailbox will help keep them away. It is best to use products with a strong scent like bleach or vinegar. That’s because bleach or vinegar can wash away any trace that an ant has been there.
Wipe your mailbox thoroughly, leaving no room for scents to remain on it. This may not keep ants away forever, but it will ensure they don’t come back as quickly because they have no scent trail to follow.
Invest in Some Ant Traps
Ant traps are reliable in keeping ants away. The traps allow ants to find a food source, return to their colony, and spread the chemical to their entire group. Though they may not work as fast as simply squishing an ant, ant traps are a lot more effective.
Patience is key with ants. Traps allow ants to complete their journey before dying and take out their entire colony in the process. So, if you notice an ant in the mailbox, put an ant trap in there.
Use Ant Spray for a Quick Solution
Ant spray is convenient when faced with swarms of ants in unexpected places. It is a quick way to say goodbye to ants as soon as you see them. For a speedy solution, use ant spray to kill ants on sight.
As discussed above, killing ants on sight is not the most effective method of keeping them away for good because others will come along. But ant spray can be used when you are desperate for a quick fix. For a long-term solution, however, consider some of our other suggested options.
Remove Any Sources of Food
I know it can be hard to believe, but ants can find food sources in your mailbox–it’s more common than you would think.
Food and grocery delivery options are becoming more popular, and people are getting food delivered right to their homes. If you have done this, then there is a possibility that there is some residue left behind near the mailbox.
Make sure you clean your mailbox thoroughly to remove traces of food. Then, consider having your food packages placed on your doorstep instead.
Use Tea Tree Oil to Kill and Repel the Ants
Tea tree oil is an excellent method of getting rid of ants because it kills and repels them. Tea tree oil can be mixed with water and used as a spray to deter ants from returning. You can also spritz it on a cotton ball and place it in your mailbox.
Though it is an excellent repellant, you should not use tea tree oil around pets as it can be very toxic to them. So, if you are concerned about your pet’s safety, it may be best to skip this method.
Line the Mailbox Pole with Double-Sided Tape
A great way to ensure that ants don’t keep coming back to your mailbox is to line the post of your mailbox with double-sided tape. This is a quick method to ensure they can’t make it to your mailbox, but remember that this tape will catch everything that lands on it. So, be ready to dispose of some other bugs as well.
Double-sided tape will help stop the ants from reaching the mailbox because they will stick to it when they try to pass. This is a temporary solution, but an effective one to keep ants away. If you want to keep it long-term, remember to replace your tape as the weather and ants will cause it to wear down.
Use Chalk To Keep Them Away
Keeping a line of chalk around your mailbox is a very effective way to keep ants away from it. Ants won’t go anywhere their scent can’t follow because that is how they can track each other. Going somewhere that their scent can’t follow means getting lost on their journey back.
When ants send scouts, the scout’s job is to go out and find a food source and return with their findings. Ants know that they will get lost if they lose their scent, and ultimately fail in finding food for their colony. Since chalk will cover their scent, ants will not pass over it. So, draw or spray a line around your mailbox to keep them away.
Ants can be difficult to keep away from your mailbox. Once you see one, you might as well have seen a hundred. But these helpful methods, such as ant traps, tea tree oil spray, and chalk, will keep them away from your mailbox, so your mailman doesn’t have to deal with them.
- Ripleys: Ants vs. Humans: Who Would Win a Tug of War?
- InsectCop.net: Ants in My Mailbox: How To Keep Them Out.
- Healthline: How To Kill and Repel Ants Safely.