“Fire Ant Remedy – sprinkle a packet of aspartame (Equal or Nutra Sweet) on the mound. Ants will be gone the next day. Anyone eating or drinking anything containing this stuff is nuts!
– 13 natural, easy ways to deal with ant infestations (Natural News, Sep 26, 2014):
Vibrantly colored leaves falling from the trees, blanketing the ground in deep red, orange and yellow hues, accompanied by cool breezy nights and porches laden with pumpkins, remind us that autumn is here. For many, it’s a season filled with heartfelt moments centered around holidays, family get-togethers and delicious, home-cooked meals.
However, while cooking your Thanksgiving pumpkin pies, you might notice some uninvited guests in your kitchen. Just because the weather’s changing doesn’t mean pesky insects have disappeared, in fact, ants often head inside homes before the winter hits, seeking shelter to forage during the cold months.
If you’re reading this article, then you’ve likely visited Natural News, which means you’re probably not a fan of toxins or other harmful chemicals in your food, water and cleaning products, or even your bug-killing remedies.
Keeping harmful chemicals in your home puts both children and pets at risk (as well as adults), especially if they accidentally get into them when you’re not looking. That’s why it’s best to use all-natural products that pose absolutely no risk except to your target.
Below are 10 ways to effectively kill or deter ants naturally, provided by Mother Nature Network.
Lemon Juice – Spraying pure lemon juice in or around openings near your home can prevent the pests from entering. They dislike the sour, acidic all-natural juice.
Cinnamon – Ground cinnamon, cinnamon oil or cinnamon combined with ground cloves, both fill your home with warm, seasonal scents and deter ants if sprinkled in their paths.
Peppermint – Similar to cinnamon, peppermint either by itself, or combined with equal parts water can be mixed and poured into a water bottle and sprayed directly at the ants or along their pathways.
Coffee grounds – Some people have had luck with placing used coffee grounds in the cracks near their entryway. The coffee doesn’t kill them, but deters the ants, forcing them to set up shop somewhere else.
Chalk – Drawing a line around windows or doorway entries has kept ants at bay for some. You can usually find chalk at home improvement stores, some of which come in a squeeze bottle, making application easy.
Baking soda and powdered sugar – Mixing baking soda and powdered sugar in jar lids and placing them in strategic corners can greatly reduce ant populations.
Boiling water and dish soap – Filling a spray bottle with soap and hot water can work very effectively against ants. Also, food items that attract ants, such as honey jars, can be placed on a small water-filled saucer to prevent the insects from reaching it. Pouring boiling water on ant colonies both kills the ants and is safe and nontoxic to humans.
Vinegar – Vinegar plus equal parts water isn’t just great for cleaning your kitchen countertops and floors but has been known to sufficiently kill unwanted insects. Pouring the solution where the ants have their nest is key. You can also mix vinegar with peppermint for an extra kick that gets rid of them faster.
Cream of wheat – Posts on Helpful Gardener say cream of wheat takes care of ant infestations. After eating the cream of wheat, rolled oats, dry cornmeal or grits, it swells up in their guts and their stomachs explode.
Diatomaceous earth (DE) – DE is a substance made up of fossilized remains from plankton, an off-white talc powder that effectively kills any bug with an exoskeleton; however it’s safe for mammals to eat. DE is completely nontoxic to humans but works well for killing ants. Remember not to let the DE get wet, or it becomes ineffective. While this method isn’t instant, you should be able to see results in about a week or so.
As you can see, there are so many effective ways to kill ants, or other insects, without using toxic chemicals. Keep this list handy next time you’re dealing with an infestation.