Ants rely on a scent trail left by their scouts to guide the colony to food sources in your home. The trail may be invisible to us, but finding it and wiping it out is a key to keeping ants from invading your home again. The trail of ants is not normally a serious problem but can nevertheless be irritating, unsightly and/or unhygienic. Ants do not commonly infest houses throughout the year but they do forage into houses sometimes. |
The traditional cures involve killing the whole nest by pouring poison or boiling water into it or by using a slow acting poison (borax) mixed with food (sugar) that worker ants will carry back and distribute.
Most people are reluctant to use poisons to get rid of ants simply because of the fear of the poison being ingested by children and pets. There are natural ways in which you can kill ants without posing a danger to members of the household. You can use baby powder, soap, black pepper, bay leaves, cinnamon and diatomaceous earth to control ants in and around your home.
Ant Control Solutions:
Sprinkle red chili powder, paprika or dried peppermint (or its essential oil) where the ants are entering your home. If you're having a difficult time identifying the entry point, leave some syrup on a piece of cardboard overnight in the general vicinity. In the morning, there should be a clear line of ants to help you find where they're getting in. Sprinkle black pepper where you see ants. The ants will scatter and likely run for the first exit from your home they can find. Then you'll be able to treat the exit/entry area with pepper too. Place pet food bowls within a larger bowl of soapy water. This creates a moat that ants can't cross. (Just be sure your pet doesn't drink the soapy water.) Mix four ounces of a natural soap in one gallon of water and spray as needed. Or sprinkle powdered soap around your home's foundation. The soapy water will kill individual ants and it will also wash away the natural chemical trail that ants leave behind to help other ants find them. Outdoors, you can use this same solution to flood anthills Disrupt ant trails by placing pungent scents at key spots, such as entry points and around unavoidable enticements like houseplants. Just strategically sprinkle dried or fresh herbs, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, chili pepper, bay leaves, rosemary, spearmint, catnip, and sage. (Use whatever you have around.) Or make a spray by brewing any of these herbs into a tea; diluting their essential oils in water; or warming orange peels in water. (The latter has become my current favorite.)
Block their entry point. Follow the ants' trail back to where it enters the house, and plug those holes with caulk or toothpaste.
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