Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Works for me Wednesday...Fighting ants

One of my least favorite things about Spring is that it brings out the pests. Specifically ants. When we lived in California, the ants would come in the house in the Fall when it started raining to escape the rain and again in the late Spring looking for water & to escape the heat. We've been in Tennessee now for 4 1/2 yrs and I have yet to figure out exactly what the ants here are looking for. These ants are not looking for food, there is plenty of water outside, but not so much as to flood them out, so WHY do they insist on migrating across the carpet in my dining room towards the front door? Is my house simply a short cut on their migration route? I am using a couple of new strategies this year to both control & discourage them.

First, I have put down a line of 20 Mule Team Borax along the edge of the carpet next to the French doors that come in from our deck, next I have been vacuuming practically every hour in hopes of sucking up enough of them that they notice this is NOT a good migration route. A friend in a playgroup I belong to uses her vacuum to suck up flies (& possibly spiders), so I thought maybe it would work with ants too. They definitely don't seem to like the Borax, but it's potency only lasted about 48 hrs, I need to reapply. I'm seeing more ants again unfortunately. I received a notice from a local pest control company that they are spraying in our neighborhood at a discount, but I'm hoping to avoid the use of pesticides if at all possible. Any suggestions for additional natural remedies would be greatly appreciated.

For now, the vacuum, plus Borax method is working reasonably well. To see more Works for Me Wednesday visit We are THAT Family.

8 comments:

Kirsty said...

I remember Shannon from Rocks in my Dryer got a tip that finally worked from readers, you will have to go read her archives, sorry I can't be more helpful! Bleh! Ants. They are so not my fav.

Mrs. Querido said...

Cinnamon is supposed to deter them as well. Smells good too!

I have also read that citrus fruit peels deter them too.

Wish I could help more...we have that same problem.

I am going to try the Borax!

Multi-tasking Mommy said...

We have a terrible ant problem and what has worked for me at keeping them out of the kitchen is exactly what Mrs. Q said, Cinnamon!!! A good line of cinnamon sprinkled (and it's pet/kid friendly) works wonders. I just kept a line of it sprinkled along my sliding door where they come in and they disappeared....into a different place in the house, mind you, but it kept them away from my kitchen!

Diane said...

Hummmm, I'm sorry but I can be of help here. I haven't had that particular problem, thank the Lord! Around here, it's the darned spiders! I hate those creatures! I will use any means necessary to kill them! I hope you can find something that works.

Many hugs......

Diane

Melissa said...

Have you tried Terro ant products? We use the liquid baits, and they're remarkably effective against the ants we get. The product uses borax, but their formulation works better than anything else I've tried. It's supposed to be kid- and pet-friendly, as well. (I don't have pets or toddlers, so I haven't tested that.)

If nothing else, the terro.com website might give you some ideas. Hope it helps. Ants in the house are really icky. :)

Buffie said...

I've heard that spraying a vinegar water solution keeps them away. I haven't tried it yet as the ants haven't started their march into my house yet, but I expect them any day now. Sigh.

Kaye said...

Use corn starch. It takes several days to work, so if it rains you have to reapply. However, it is kid and pet safe as well as eco-friendly. Basically they take it home to eat, cannot digest it and therefore die off.

Stephanie said...

I just heard of using grits. They ingest it drink water and blow up. Tryed some on my ants but it was instant grits butter flavor (lol I think its suppose to be the real kind), then it rained, so still not sure the results. Best-a-luck to ya.