Home Remedy Central
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"Let food be your medicine" - Hippocrates
|Home Remedies - Natural Cure|
Getting Rid of Ants Naturally
Ants can be an annoyance when they invade your domain. They often get into food, which not only makes the food unappetizing, but costs you money, as you have to replace both pet and human foods.
Fortunately, ants live in colonies. This means that getting rid of them is as simple as setting out bait. Worker ants will take it back to the colony to share and, if you have the right kind of bait, the colony will be destroyed.
Home Remedies for Ants
There are many home remedies and natural insecticides that can get rid of ants.
You don’t have to hire an exterminator or subject your household to powerful chemicals. Here are just a few effective ant baits, as well as some deterrents.
Sweet Jam or Peanut Butter and Borax
Many ant species found in the United States love sugar, and using sugary foods such as jams or peanut butter can help attract them to a killing bait. The trick is to make sure the bait is not so strong that it will kill the ants before they can bring the bait back to share with their entire colony of friends.
To make sure the ants you have will like the bait, make a very small batch of the peanut butter or the sugar bait to see which ones the ants prefer. Once you know their preference, it's all over baby!
Each of the following recipes uses Borax or Boric Acid. Borax can be found in the laundry aisle of the grocery store and Boric Acid can be found at a store like Walmart.
Homemade Sugar Ant Bait
Mix the borax with the jam or jelly to make a spreadable paste. Slather it on a piece of paper or a plate or in a covered container with holes in the lid.
You may have to adjust the amount of boric acid if they seem to eat up the bait like crazy and are getting fatter from it instead of dying.
Homemade Protein Ant Bait
Mix and set out in mounds on pieces of paper or plates.
For either one of these recipes, you can also use a covered container with holes in the lid. Place the paste in the jar and screw the lid on tightly.
It seems that ants do not like baby powder. Watch for the ants’ trails, and sprinkle liberally in these areas. The ants will not return.
This may be more effective than baby powder, though less easy to find. This is a natural powder that kills ants by drying them out and causing them to dehydrate. I have used it to surround a peanut butter-Borax ant bait placed near the colony entrance. It kept them in that area and forced them to take from the bait.
Make sure to use food-grade diatomaceous earth, which is safe for people and pets. Even though the food-grade product is safe, I would not sprinkle this around your pets and kids and I would wear a dusk mask if you are spreading this over a large area.
Fabric Softener Sheets
Though it seems ants like everything, there are certain home remedies that ants don’t like, and using them can keep ants away!
I read there is something in Bounce brand dryer sheets that ants shy away from. I was skeptical, but I decided to try it. I do not like spraying pesticides, as I have an elderly dog and would hate to expose him to any type of poison.
My first step was to find where the ants were coming in, which I discovered was around a window and they were getting under the sink. Then I moistened a few dryer sheets and thoroughly cleaned my counter, under the sink, and around the window. After that, I went outside and pinned the dryer sheets to the bottom of the window screen.
This seems to have worked for me, but I have read that other people have had less success. It’s another option to try, though, and it may work for you, too.
White Vinegar Spray
Fill an inexpensive spray bottle with white vinegar and spray liberally any place you have seen ants. Common locations to spray might be under pet bowls and around sinks and windows. The vinegar will act as a repellent and keep them away.
I would not recommend using this on natural stone surfaces. Vinegar is acidic and can damage the stone permanently.
Shaklee’s Basic H Soap
This is a non-toxic soap made from soybeans. Fill a spray bottle with 1/3 cup Basic H and 2/3 cup water then shake to mix. Follow the trail of ants, spraying a thin stream where you see them coming in. You should also spray outside around doors and window frames.
This is not an immediate fix, you will need to repeat the process and remember that this is soap, so don’t spray on surfaces where someone could slip and get hurt.
Be careful and try not to soak any wood baseboards that are painted as this could possibly cause the paint to peel.
Using Miracle Grow Outside
Add 3 tablespoons of Miracle Grow to a sprayer and fill the rest of the way with water. Spray around your foundation and even in your yard to repel ants and fleas.
Placing bay leaves on counter tops, behind canisters, on window seals, behind the garbage can, baseboards, and anywhere else you see ants will repel them and send them packing.
You may need to repeat this method with fresh bay leaves for few consecutive days before they are gone for good.
Trying to Identify Ant Species
There are nearly one thousand ant species in North America. However, only about two dozen of these regularly invade the home.
If you'd like more information on specific ant pests, the following resources may be helpful to you: