Posts tagged ‘natural housekeeping’

April 20th, 2010

Natural Ant Control

So, when B and I arrived home from our out-of-town family Easter weekend, it was like walking into a war that I didn’t know about!  It was a surprise attack!  Large black ants, EVERYWHERE in our kitchen!

There is nothing nastier, to me, than big, fat, black ants crawling all over my work zone.  When I was a kid, I just lived with the occasional un-welcomed guest.  My mom told me, “that’s just part of country living”.  Now, it’s like, “oh, it must be spring!”

Three hours later, I had gone through a whole roll of toilet paper, finished off my surface cleaner, took out all of our trash, cleaned every surface, nooks and crannies, appliances, everything!  I vacuumed up the stray ants and when I would turn it off, they would just crawl out.  Once I thought I had it under control, I went to bed.

I don’t like to use poisons.  I have a cat who is my child and I would never do anything to put her at risk.  The sprays can linger in the air, you can inhale this over time, and it can do damage to your brain – causing diseases from Alzheimers, Parkinsons and of course, cancer.  Ant killer is normally a “sweet” poison, so if you have kids or pets that like sugar, this poses a major problem if they ever get ahold of it.

The next day, they didn’t get the hint that they had out stayed their not-so-welcome.  Since I was out of my own ideas I went to my favorite weapon, Google!  I searched for natural ant control.  Most things just said to find where they are coming in, and close it off, find the trail, and clean.  I kept thinking that if I knew where they were coming in, duh, of course I wouldn’t have this problem.  I did find out that ants are social creatures, so they are looking to party.  However, they are “clean” in nature so you can rest easy that they aren’t bringing dirt and diseases in your home.  They’re just looking for food.

I went out to mow for the first time this season, for a break from all the ants.  B came out and picked up the stray twigs and what not and shortly after he went to the front yard, he had me stop mowing to check something out.  I walked up to what looked like a sand pile next to a tree in the front lawn.  I kicked it around an little and saw TONS of ants freak out and scurry in and out.  Ok!  So, this is where they are coming from!! I looked around the yard and saw three other large ant hills!  I saw this last year, but thought nothing of it since it was close to the road and they weren’t in the house!

After I finished mowing I went into attack mode!  I had a surprise attack of my own.  I fired up the stove and got my largest pots filled with water and set them to boil.   Once they boiled, B and I headed out to the front yard.  Quickly, without disturbing them, we carefully dumped the boiling water all over the ant hill.  We did this three times!  It was amazing to see no movement no matter how much I poked at the once lively home.  After the boiling water, I followed up with baby powder.  They hate baby powder.  It’s irritating to their exoskeleton and they do not want to touch it.  I put it around the doors where I thought they were coming in.

Now, the ant hills are still vacant.  We’ve only had maybe 3 or 4 ants in the house, but I took care of those already.  I have done some maintenance “boil-outs” on little ant hills, so they don’t become huge.  I have visited the scene of the crime, and like an ant death ceremony, an ant or two goes into the dead home and pulls all the “victims” out in a pile!  It’s kind of crazy.  I can’t believe how easy it was and how well it worked!

Directions for Ant Hill Boil-out:

Things you need:

  • large pot
  • water
  • baby powder
  • oven mits
  1. Comb over your lawn, close to the house and even as far out as your property line.  Look for something that looks like a pile of sand (or dry yeast, if you know what that looks like) in the middle of your grass.

    Discovery

  2. Boil enough water so you know it will completely soak the area.
  3. Carefully, pour the hot water over the ant hill.

    Post boil-out

  4. Follow up with regular baby powder if you like, sprinkling it over the soaked mound.  If you know where they are entering your house, sprinkle a line around the opening or you can use chalk.

    Powdered

  5. Clean your kitchen thoroughly.  Ants love sugar especially and the ones that are in your house are “scouts”, searching for food so they can tell the rest of the colony where to find food.

    The dead

    Note: This may kill a little bit of your grass but the ants already did enough damage.  Nothing a little grass seed can’t fix!  Plus, they did free aeration for you!