Ah summer, the season of strawberries, backyard barbecues, and ants. If the ants stayed in the backyard I would not have such a problem with them , but my ants prefer the comfort of my home. In my home. And so it goes every summer, the ants come marching in.
A quick search of the internet turned up these home remedies for dealing with ants from Buzzle.com:
Borax: It is a laundry detergent which is mixed with sugar solution in water. This method is very effective. Ants carry the borax into their nests, which kills them. You can also spray the mixture.
Vinegar: Another very effective method to get rid of ants, is to spray vinegar on their entry paths. Strong scent of vinegar, repels ants. Hence, they will avoid vinegar because of its odor. The same can be accomplished with the use of apple cider, peppermint oil and black pepper.
Cucumber: Ants do not like the taste of cucumber. Hence, placing pieces of cucumber in ant-affected areas will make them abandon the place.
Mint: Used mint tea bags are very effective in driving away ants. Put mint tea bags at the points from where ants enter. Mint leaves can also be dried and crushed into a powder, which can be sprinkled at the entry points.
Soap: The ingredients of soap are harmful for ants. The soap breaks down the waxy layer of the insect's exoskeleton and dehydrates them. If you know the entry points of ants, just put some soap. One can also mix soap in water and spray the mixture on them. This home remedy is very effective.
Grits: Spread grits (coarsely ground grain like rice, corn or oats), wherever you see ants. Once the ants have ingested the grit, it expands and as a result, ants die. This method can be used to kill ants outdoors too.
Salt: Spreading salt at the corners and on ant nests is another effective way to repel ants. Mixing salt with hot water and then spraying on ants, is also a good way to get rid of them.
Grease: Grease acts as a toxic barrier. Ants may get attracted towards it at first, but are soon repelled.
Baby Powder: Sprinkle baby powder, wherever you see ants. They hate scented talcum and hence, stay away from it.
Chili Powder: Putting chili powder on the nests of ants is another very old home remedy that can help to get rid of them.
I use vinegar to erase the odor trail ants leave behind for others to find the way. Then find their entrance point and seal it. I have also found that a mixture of borax and honey works wonders. It does not take much. Just mix the two together on a small square of cardboard and set out where they will find it. Use some common sense here. I do not have small children to worry about, but I do have a dog. So the mixture is put out of reach for the dog, but where the ants will have access. Which is just about anywhere. They scale walls for heavens sake!
I recently came across a couple tips for dealing with ants outside the home. I have not tried either version so I cannot attest to their effectiveness. I prefer to deal directly with the ones who invade my personal space. You stay out of my home and I will stay out of yours.
From Great Green book of Garden Secrets by Jerry Baker:
Ant Control #14 to 5 tbsp. of cornmeal3 tbsp. of bacon grease3 tbsp. of baking powder3 packages of yeastMix the cornmeal and bacon grease into a paste, then add the baking powder and yeast. Dab the gooey mix on the insides of jar lids, and set them near the anthills.Ant Control #21 cup of sugar1 tbsp. of boric acid powder3 cups of waterAdd the sugar to 3 cups of water, and bring to a boil. Then add the boric acid. Place the mix in small jar lids, and set the lids in the middle of ant trails or near anthills. Store any unused portion in a secure container, and keep everything out of reach of children and pets.
How do you deal with unwanted house guests?