Little tiny ants have been spotted in our new home, and many people are suffering the same fate across the country. As much as I love spring, I don’t like bugs — especially bugs that can infest a house. Last week I asked for some advice in how to deal with ants naturally as I didn’t have time to research it myself since I just moved this weekend. I got such good advice, I had to share it with the readers here at MNN as well.
Some of these measures are deterrents. That is, they deter the ants from coming in your house. This seems to work well for those with a mild problem. Others found that they needed to use a method that kills the whole colony of ants. I’ve compiled the comments and suggestions by category, allowing you to compare the different methods a little more easily.
1. Lemon juice
Teresa: We just spray around the openings with pure lemon juice … and it always works for us … something about the acid messes up their sense of tracking…
Shayla: We use ground cinnamon around where there are coming it. It works really well.
Peggy: We spray cinnamon essential oil all around the doors, windowsills, floors, etc. keeps them from coming in. I put the sugar water and borax OUTSIDE!
Letia: Another vote for ground cinnamon. Easy to clean up afterwards and worked great for us!!!
Jean: Cinnamon and cloves. Makes your house smell nice and the ants just hate it sprinkled right in their path.
Patricia: We also use cinnamon oil. We draw borders around everything with a Q-tip dipped in it. They won’t cross it.
Heather: My mother-in-law has success with peppermint essential oil around windows and doors (any entries). Plus her house then smells awesome.
Julie: Dr. Bonner’s liquid soap in the mint aroma. Mix 1 to 1 with water in a spray bottle. Spray on the ant invasion and watch them suffer.
4. Borax, water and sugar
Kristi: We use borax, sugar, water and a touch of peanut butter. It takes a couple of weeks but really works. We used it last year in our old house and are implementing it again this spring in our new house. Pesky ants! Here is the site where I found the recipe:http://naturalantkiller.blogspot.com/
Christy: I second Diana’s comment about borax and sugar. I’ve made a thin paste before with water, sugar and borax, then spread it on little pieces of thin cardboard or stiff cardstock and placed them near where it seems they are coming into the house. They’ll eat it and take it back to their colony (just like the Terro liquid you can buy). The paste will dry up in a couple days, so you’ll have to make more. But I think I only had to do it twice before they were gone.
Chookie: What worked for us was a mixture of borax and sugar in water. Several years ago, we lived in a house where there was an ants nest in the walls. Removing it would have meant virtually demolishing the entire front wall of the house (not practical!), so instead, after a year or two of having flying ants swarm into our bedroom every year we decided to go on an ant killing spree. Conventional ant killers didn’t work. Borax and powdered sugar didn’t work. But adding water to the borax and sugar mix to make a thick sugary borax-y syrup DID work…. the worker ants took it back into the nest and it positioned the queen – result = no more flying ants. OK, so borax does need to be kept away from pets and small children, but it is relatively safe beyond that as it is only toxic if you eat it. my solution was to put it somewhere where the kids and the cats would not reach it but the ants could.
BeverlyC: We live in China and had a HORRIBLE ant problem in our house. Tried cinnamon, black pepper, vinegar, etc. etc. We were concerned about the borax because we have guests in and out regularly and the little children are often, well, naughty and undisciplined. When someone suggested Terro liquid ant bait and we found it was just Borax and sugar, we asked someone to bring us some. We could pick the traps up and put them away when company came and put them back out after they left. They worked wonders!!