Environmentally Friendly Solutions to Ant Problems

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Ants on Watermelon

Ants on Watermelon

As summer months roll on, a short stroll around the perimeter of your house may tell the not so surprising tale of the yearly ant infestation. I don’t know what it is about summer and ants in the yard, or worse, in the house, but it’s true. Maybe it’s the hot weather and the water from the hose. Maybe it’s summer fruit falling from the trees. Maybe we eat more ice cream and gelato and leave things like plates full of sugary coatings on the counter in the kitchen, over night. I’m no exterminator, nor am I an entymologist, but I have experienced the onslaught of ants. And they can be devastatingly annoying, because they show up in droves, often completely infiltrating your house or yard seemingly in just a quick moment.

If you suffer from an ant infestation, in summer or winter for that matter, you don’t have to settle for picking up the phone and calling your local exterminator. They’ll most likely come out to the house, and using toxic substances, spray around the perimeter, directly coating the soil with poisonous ant and insect killer and negatively affecting the environment. That same dirt in your yard might end up sustaining your vegetable garden. The run off from when you hose down your cement patio will go back into the ground or worse, into storm drains. None of this is good, and none of it is actually necessary, considering there are several environmentally friendly solutions to getting rid of an ant problem.

Several Eco-Friendly Solutions to Ant Problems Involve Household Products

Solutions of household vinegar in water can be excellent, eco-friendly solutions to getting rid of ants. It’s another great solution that can be found in a bottle of Bragg’s Apple Cider vinegar. That stuff never ceases to amaze! Likewise, sprinkling cinnamon from your spice rack in the kitchen, wherever you see a cluster of ants or the start of a trail, can also be a great solution without doing any harm to the environment. What about black pepper? You love it on your salad. Now, use it on your ants. Sprinkle it on a cluster of ants, then follow the trail back to its starting point as they scatter to run away. Sprinkle more black pepper there, and it should prevent them from returning via that route.

Another great solution is baby powder, which can be sprinkled directly on the ants, or used in a preventive manner, in which you sprinkle the powder around things like bags of sugar or jars of honey or jam in the pantry — the types of magnets for the ants, and often what brings them into the house in the first place. Peppermint oil has worked for some people, as has drawing a line in the cement in your backyard with simple white chalk. None of these solutions harm the environment.

There are some eco-friendly pest control agents, don’t worry. Doing a simple google search on that type of keyword phrase, plus your city or location, can be enough to draw a straight line between you and the right exterminator who will help you to eradicate the ants while still maintaining your stance on the environment.

Using Borax and Sugar to Get Rid of Ants in Your Home

Another possible solution is to mix up some simple dish detergent (you are probably using an eco-friendly soap already) with water and spray the problem areas with that. If you have the laundry detergent additive Borax, this can be quite useful as well. Mix a couple of tablespoons of Borax into a cup of water with a large quantity of sugar, about twice as much as the water in your mixture. Stir it up well and drop a bit of the mixture wherever you know the ants have created entry points in or around your home.

Use it regularly for a week or so — don’t think you can get away with just one or two drops on one day. The ants will eat the mixture containing the Borax and then head back to their next. Don’t smash them with your fingers or you will be ruining your own solution! You basically have to let this solution run its course, allowing the ants to bring plenty of the mix back to the nest, sometimes over the course of several days. The ants will clear out fast after that. And if the sugar isn’t enough, since not all ants respond to sweetness, consider adding mayo or butter. Some ants respond to grease rather than sugar, and that should do the same job.

(Image Via: Orange Juice Girl)

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