March 18, 2013

DIY Ant Control

DIY Ant Control

Have you ever had an ant problem in your home? We have. In the end, a combination of things finally got rid of them.

While an ant infestation is no fun, the good thing (if there is a good thing) about ants is that they are not as destructive as, for example, termites. Nor are they notorious carriers of disease, like cockroaches. Still, they can get into your food and ruin an entire pantry! And if you have fire ants, they can inflict a painful and dangerous bite.

A frustrating thing about ants is that there are so many different kinds and sizes. Here we’ll take a look at lots of options so you can do several different things and try what works for the ants that are invading your home.

Here are some ideas and methods for DYI ant control:

1. Ant Baits

Store-bought baits or traps are pretty straightforward. You place the bait where you have seen ants traveling in lines, or where you see them often, and they will then take the bait back to the nest. The bait gets shared and the whole colony meets its demise…. hopefully. Sometimes it takes more than one go-round with bait.

You can make your own ant bait by mixing boric acid or borax powder with corn syrup to make a honey-like consistency. Place blobs of this on piece of stiff paper or cardboard (this is a great use for all those cards that fall out of magazines), and leave where the ants can feed on it. Make sure pets and kids can’t get at any of these baits, whether store-bought or homemade!

2. Essential Oils

A fresh-smelling option is either orange or peppermint essential oil. If you spray orange essential oil directly on ants, they will die almost immediately. The orange essential oil also repels them, so you can spray it at points of entrance to your home. However, unless you can find the nest and spray orange oil into it, this does not necessarily eradicate the whole colony. It can help keep them out of your home, however. Peppermint essential oil is also believed to repel ants.

3. Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth, or diatom earth for short, is a natural substance derived from fossil diatoms (extremely tiny sea life forms). It’s an extremely fine powder that will rapidly “dry up” an ant, so if you sprinkle it generously at points of entry where the ants are coming in, they will be unable to cross the line of diatom earth.

4. Seal Up Everything

While this is a method that isn’t about killing the ants, it’s still really important. Ants will keep coming into your home if there is food for them. Use tightly sealed containers for all food, but especially sweet foods like syrup, molasses, jelly, and so forth.

So it really isn’t too hard to control ants in your home; it just takes some ingenuity! Seal up your food and try one or more of these methods to rid your home of ant invaders.

It may take some trial and error to find something that will finally work, but keep at it. You will triumph in the end!

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Alexis Rodrigo