Things You'll Need
Use dish soap if a damp rag alone will not remove food residue. Be sure to rinse the area with clean water after the soap.
Ant traps are a great way to control the pests in your home but many contain poison and therefore you should not use them where food is prepared. Consider placing these traps around your baseboards, windowsills or doors, where the ants may be entering your home.
Ants overrunning a home is a nightmare situation, and it seems like even if you spot only one, it is inevitable that there are dozens or hundreds more ready to turn your home into their own private picnic. Amongst the strangest and creepiest places to find ants in your home are your appliances. They are attracted to toasters, microwaves and countertop ovens for the same reason you are: that's where the food is. As soon as you spot an ant in an appliance, it's time to take action before the whole colony moves in.
Unplug the appliance. Lift the appliance off its place on your counter or table and use a damp rag to wipe up any spills, crumbs or other food bits that are underneath.
Wipe down the exterior of your appliance with a damp rag to remove all food residue. If it is a microwave or a similar appliance, where you can get inside, wipe down the interior as well. If not, turn the appliance upside down over a trash can or empty the catch area of the appliance to remove all food particles.
Wipe the area around the location of the appliance. Do this at least once per week, as well as cleaning under the appliance, to prevent food buildup. This buildup is what attracts the ants.
Draw a line of chalk around the exterior of your appliance, either around the base of the appliance itself or on the counter or table around it. Ants will not cross a chalk line, since the chalk covers the pheromone scents they use to find their way back to the colony.
Samantha Volz has been involved in journalistic and informative writing for over eight years. She holds a bachelor's degree in English literature from Lycoming College, Williamsport, Pennsylvania, with a minor in European history. In college she was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and completed a professional internship with the "Williamsport Sun-Gazette," serving as a full-time reporter. She resides in Horsham, Pennsylvania.