Nobody likes ants roaming around their home. They get into cupboards, they wander around kitchen counter tops looking for little tidbits, and after scavenging in the grime under the fridge they decide it’s time to walk all over your freshly made sandwiches.
Most people get rid of these pesky little visitors by spraying them with some sort of insecticide. Other people, perhaps due to environmental concerns, allergies, or sensitivities, prefer to do things without all the chemicals.
There are three ways to deal with ants. Kill them before they get into your home, kill them once they are in, or keep them from getting into the house in the first place.
Killing ants before they come into your home is virtually impossible without chemicals. The closest to an effective method is to pour boiling water into the nest, but first, you must find the nest and in most cases, this is not easy. Then you have to get the water deep enough into the nest to reach all the ants, especially the queen. Again, this is not easy.
Killing ants after they have invaded the home can be done without chemicals simply by squashing them or spraying them with vinegar. While these hands-on methods are effective, they are too much trouble when dealing with large or regular intrusions. Some recommend feeding the invading insects foods like corn grits and rice, the idea being that ants will eat these then explode when the consumed grain expands inside their stomachs. This, however, is simply an urban myth as ants don not eat solid foods. It may appear that an ant is doing so, but what it is actually doing is using digestive juices to liquefy the food before drinking it down.
This leaves us with the third method : keeping them from getting in, to begin with. Luckily, the average home is a treasure trove of ant repellents.
Ants seem to hate the smell of vinegar, and it also erases the scent tracks that they leave for other ants to follow. Make a solution that is half water, half vinegar and spray it around the affected areas. Alternatively, you can soak a sponge in the mixture and leave it at the ants point of entry into your home.
The calcium carbonate in chalk is a natural ant repellent, and the little nuisances will avoid it. Simply buy some chalk and draw a thick line around the entry point, making sure not to leave any gaps.
Various types of pepper, bay leaves, cloves, and garlic all produce scents disliked by ants. Some scientists think one of the reasons why so many plants have strong scents is to deter insects from eating them, so spices may literally be natures own insect repellent. As with the other methods, apply around the ants entry points.
Dealing with ants without the use of potentially harmful chemicals is not as hard as many people think, and with these methods, you will be able to enjoy your Sunday dinner without anyone asking why are there so many little black dots in the mashed potatoes.
Still dealing with an ant problem? Give us a call and we’ll come over and fix the problem right away!