Non-toxic and natural tips for getting rid of ants
1919 illustration of Aesop's Fables by Milo Winter
It's that time of year again. If there's ants parading through your home, it must be spring. In even the tightest homes ants will find a way to get food, water, or shelter.
Flip on the TV or do a Google search and you'll find dozens of ways to rid yourself of ants forever. But these products are almost always loaded with chemicals that are hazardous to you, your family, your pets, and the environment.
With a little patience and work you can get rid of ants at a fraction of the cost of commercial products and without all the nasty toxic side effects. Here are four natural ways to keep away the ants:
Eliminate the trail:
Wipe down with vinegar and water mixture or any type of natural citrus oil soap. Keep wiping until the ants don't come back. First, this disrupts the trail left by the ants and makes them lose direction. Second, by keeping the area clean it makes the ants less interested in the potential for a food source.
Try this recipe from the HappyHousewife:
1/2 cup of sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons Borax
1 1/2 cups warm water
Cotton balls or paper towel
Soak the cotton ball in the Borax mixture and set out by the ants. The ants will love it and take home some of the borax. The boron in the mixture makes for unhappy ants. The ants should disappear within a couple of days.
Diatomaceous earth is made up of fossilized plankton. You can get it at any organic gardening store. It's non-toxic to humans but is a safe way to kill all kinds of bugs.
Baking soda alone won't deter the ants. But you can make a baking soda and water paste to wipe away any food scent and throw the ants off their trail. You'll need repeated applications since the ants may be as persistent as the preverbial ants at a picnic.
Warning against ant chalk
Ant Chalk, also called Chinese Chalk, contains the pesticides deltamethrin and cypermethrin. Those ingredients are legal in the U.S. but no longer in the form of this chalk. Sadly, there are reports that the chalk is still available in some places. But it makes you wonder why anyone would want to use toxic ingredients that may be harmful to children, pets and wildlife when there are many safe alternatives available.
With these natural remedies on hand, your home should soon be ant-free for the season!