When you see an ant (or any bug) it is natural to reach for a can of insect spray. While this will kill the ants on contact,they may come back in the next day or two. What if you don't have any insect spray? There are a lot of things you may have laying around the house that will kill them- and keep them away for good!
It is always good to try several different things to get rid of these pesty creatures. Ants can invade the cleanest of homes. If there is a fire in your home, where would you extinguish it? At its source. It is the same with ants. You can do everything in your power to kill these pests, but until you find the source they will keep coming back. If you see ants don't freak out and kill them right away. Stop and observe where they are coming from. In doing this, you can trace them back to their anthill. Also make note of where they are going in your home. There may be small traces of food you are not aware of.
Tips for preventing Ants from Coming into your Home
- Keep your home clean. Make sure your counters and stove are wiped down immediately after every meal. Do not leave dishes in the sink over night.
- Put your crackers, cereals, sugar and pastas in a zip lock baggie or sealed container.
- During the day, if you can see the sunlight shining from under your door, ants (and other unwanted pests) can get in. Take the necessary steps to seal this opening.
- Put your pet's food dish in a pan with water. Ants will not go through the water to enter your pet's food dish.
If you have taken all of these steps and still have an ant problem, it is not your fault. You can help elimiate your ant problem by following the steps below.
- Pipe Tobacco - Soak tobacco in warm water overnight. In the morning, throw the soggy tobacco away and pour the tobacco waterover the ant hill.
- Locate the anthill(s). Destroy it by using boiling water with a teaspoon of salt. The Boiling water will collapse the tunnels in the ant hill and the salt will make the ants lose their sense of direction.
- Boric Acid and Sugar water. This mixture lures the ants with the sugar water. They eat this and take it back to the nest and wipe out the rest of the colony. If you make it too strong, it will kill the ants on contact. If you make it too weak, it will not work. The best tested ratio is as follows; Mix 1 cup water, 2 cups sugar, and 2 tablespoons boric acid. You can make a larger amount than this, but keep the proportions the same. Place this mixture where you have seen the ants crawling around. It can either be placed directly on the spot or you can put this mixture in an opened jar and lay it on its side. Although this mixture is not as toxic as commercial pestisides, make sure you keep pets or children out of reach. After you put the boric acid mixture down, you will see them gathering around eating it. (It may take 24 to 48 hours for them to clear. While it may look like something out of a horror movie, resist the urge to kill them. If they come back in a few days, you may want to put a little more boric acid into the mix (making sure it does not kill them on contact)
- Sprinkle corn meal or grits on the ant hill. They will take it to the queen. Ants can not digest this and will die.
- Pour 1 liter of club soda on each ant hill you see. This will suffocate the whole colony, including the queen. In about two days, and you will notice their abscense.
If you have a lot of ants in your home, you may want to try a combination of these methods. It may take few weeks, even a month to see an improvement. Be patient and don't give up.