I don't know about all of you, but I absolutely, positively, without a doubt, HATE ants! I know they are important to our environment and ecosystems and I do try to be "one with the world' even when it comes to spiders (shudder), but there is nothing there is nothing in this world that will send me into a crazier, absolutely insane frenzy as a line of ants in my house. I don't know why but they trigger something inside me that makes my skin crawl and my desire for little insect blood become uncontrollable. Before I started moving towards a more organic way of living I would grab the most toxic chemical I could find and spray those suckers all the way to their nests and then pour the bottle into the entrance with glee. However, this afternoon when I walked right into what looked like a herd of ants on my floor, which needless to say sent me into a jumping, screaming, leg hitting frenzy the likes of which I never thought my round little pregnant body could do, I wanted to find a natural way to kill the bastards. I proceeded to grab the all natural floor cleaner I made and sprayed them. The vinegar in my cleaning solution stopped them in their tracks! I was so excited with how quickly it worked. Not only that but the ants seemed genuinely terrified of the solution and RAN from it! MUAHAHAHA! After a little research I found out that vinegar basically disintegrates that ants (ouch). I then went on a hunt to find a natural way to get rid of the nest. The method I liked the most was boiling water, because it didn't have any chemicals in it whatsoever (I don't want to put anything into the soil that could kill plants and other animals). I also found a really great way to keep ants out:
- These will not kill the ants but will keep them away from your house.
- Lemon juice-spray around openings and cracks
- Cinnamon-sprinkle around openings and cracks or around common ant locations (i.e. the trash)
- Peppermint- sprinkle peppermint essential oil around all the doors and window (inside and/or outside)
- Coffee grounds- you can sprinkle this around any openings and entrances.
Ant & Nest Killer
- These will kill the ants and destroy the nest.
- Borax, water, and sugar-combine these into a paste and put it on a thin piece of cardboard. Place the cardboard next to where the ants appear to be entering your home. RESIST THE URGE TO KILL THEM! The ants take the mixture back to the nest and share with others, including the queen. The borax causes a chemical reaction in the ants and kills them. It may take a few days for the ants to all die so make sure you put more of the mixture on the cardboard as it gets eaten or dries up. Be aware that while borax is a natural item it should NOT be eaten so be careful if you have animals and children in your home (this is why I chose not to use this method.
- Boiling water & dish soap-this is a good mixture to kill individual ants, but you can also dump this into the entrance of the colony. Make sure to dump the water in slowly so it has time to get into all of the crevices. From my research, ants can live in water for a few days so the suggestions I have read say to pour the mixture into the colony three times the first day, and then once a day for three consecutive days to make sure you have killed all the ants and that the colony has completely caved in.
- Diatomaceous earth (DE)-make sure you use food grade DE. You can sprinkle this in your home, or sprinkle it around it. This does take a little time, about a week from what I've read. The ants take the DE back to the colony, like the borax, and a chemical reaction occurs inside them causing them to die. I have not found anything about the effects of DE upon human or domestic animal consumption so be aware that this is an unknown.
- Baking soda & powdered sugar-mix together and put on a flat lid or small piece of cardboard. put it where the ant are coming into the house, or if you can find the colony entrance, you can put it there. The powdered sugar will draw the ants in and they will take the mixture back to the colony. Apparently, ants are partially acidic so when they consume the baking soda a little volcano science experiment happens in their body (think what happens when you mixed baking soda and vinegar as your school science experiment).
- Cream of wheat-it expands in their stomachs once it has been consumed and they explode.
- Vinegar-as I mentioned earlier, vinegar destroys their little ant bodies and kills them immediately. Hypothetically, you can pour vinegar into the colony opening and see what happens, but I'm not sure if you will have enough vinegar for a large colony if you're pouring it in.
- Equal-not exactly "natural" but still interesting. Mix a few packets of equal with apple juice and pour it around the colony opening. It is a neurotoxin for ants so it destroys their nervous system and shuts down their bodies.
You can find these, and other ant killer recipes at the Mother Nature Network. Let me know in the comments if you guys have any other natural suggestions for repelling and killing ants!