Natural Ant Killers
If you own or rent a house, chances are you probably have had to deal with ants getting into your home. While ants serve a much needed role as nature’s vacuum cleaners, if they get into your house, they are annoying little buggers!
My first reaction when I used to see ants in my home was to grab a chemical ant spray and douse them. However, spraying ants with chemicals is very bad in two ways. The first is that you get toxic chemicals all over the place inside of your home for you, your kids and your pets to breathe in or absorb through the skin. The second is that, while the chemicals will kill the ants you see, it does not kill the ants you don’t see and actually causes the colony to produce more ants. When ants are attacked, they emit an odor that tells the other ants to flee. If a single ants escapes your spray attack, he will take that odor back to the colony and the queen will go into hyper drive producing more eggs, and therefore, more ants.
So, if you don’t want to use toxic sprays to deal with ants, how do you deal with them? The good news is that there are natural ant killers that can kill the entire colony, or at least deter them from entering your home.
The best natural ant killer that I have found is Terro. Terro is a sweet liquid that contains Borax. It is cheap and is super easy to work with. All you do is place several drops of the liquid onto leaves or some other holder where you see ants near the outside of your home. When the ants find the liquid, they swarm on it, eat some of it, and take most of it back to the colony. After it gets back to the colony, the rest of the ants eat it and they all die. Of course, at any given time 5-10% of the colony is out looking for food, so you will never kill the entire colony, but taking out 90% of them is usually good enough.
Now, although Borax is naturally-occurring in nature, it is still a poison if you consume enough of it. After all, that is how it kills ants. That being said, you do have to be careful that your children, pets and other animals do not consume the Terro. However, if you do not place it inside of your home, you usually do not have to worry about it.
Here are some more natural ant killers that I have read about or have been suggested to me:
- Place any of the following where you see ants coming into your home. They do not like the scent, which should deter them: baby powder, vinegar, bay leaves, cloves, pepper, cinnamon.
- Put a white chalk line where you see them entering the house. Apparently they will not cross it.
- Plant mint around your home. Ants do not like the scent so it will deter them from coming close to your home.
- Feed the ants uncooked instant grits or whole wheat cereal. They eat it and it swells in their stomachs and kills them (many mention this is unproven, but it is interesting).
- Put a product with aspartame, such as Nutrisweet or Sweet-n-Low, near the ant hill. The ants eat it and are poisoned.
What other natural ant killers have you used?
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