Ants. I hate those little buggers. This is the time of year that they like to come in from the heat and find refuge and water.
In the past, we've always resorted to high-priced, heavy duty chemical sprays to take care of them. But lately, I've been looking in to more environmentally (and wallet) friendly ways to fight back.
• If the ants are already in the house, vacuum them up along with some cornstarch (the cornstarch helps suffocate them.) Dispose of the bag.
• If they are in a trash can, take the can outside and wash it down with a citrus based cleaner (such as Citri-Solv)
• If they are on your counters, wash the counters down with a citrus based cleaner. Make sure you get all the little sticky glops and crumbs that may attract them back.
Make your own Ant Spray:
2-3 tsp non-toxic liquid detergent (I like 7th Generation or Method)
16 oz water
1-2 drops Oil of Citronella (optional- available in health food stores)
-Mix in a spray bottle, shake well. Spray on ants and watch them disappear!
Inside the house:
Keep food in sealed containers.
Clean counters regularly. Ants use a scent trail to find there way back to food. You can disrupt that trail by using citrus based cleaners.
Caulk! Ants are attracted to the cool temperatures and water inside houses. The best way to keep them out is to make sure you’ve got good caulking around your windows, baseboards and pipes. Weather strip doors. Buy special weather stripping for around the electrical outlets. Not only will the ants be looking for a new place to go, your heating and cooling bills should improve, too.
• Keep shrubs and plants trimmed back from the house.
• Lay down a line of boric acid, cayenne pepper, cinnamon or ground up chalk around the perimeter of your house.
• If the ants are in your lawn, sprinkle grits! Approximately 72 ounces of instant grits per acre will suffice. The ants eat the grits, and when it mixes with their digestive juices, it will cause the ants to swell and die. Spread on lawn on dry, sunny days or you will defeat the purpose! Warning- Do not use this if you have foraging birds such as ducks or chickens on the same property.
Those are my tips. What are yours?