It is established that for every human being on the face of this planet, there are a million ants. This no doubt should warn us that should there be a proper ant attack in our kitchen or home, the results could be disastrous. Here’s how to protect you from these deadly crawlies and get rid of them before they wreak havoc on your home and life.
Kitchen ants are a most common site in practically all kitchens all over the world and no home kitchen user can ever claim to have a perfectly ant-free kitchen. In other words, kitchen ants are a type of pest that is almost omnipresent. They raid your kitchen – the epicenter of both raw and cooked food items – particularly during summer or the monsoons and that too, in swarms usually. Needless to say, that in order to get rid of them proves to be quite a task!
Published statistics about this pest are actually quite startling. A single ant colony may contain up to a few million crawlies, depending on their species. So you can well imagine that should such a colony form in your kitchen or home and set about their business, the results would be anything but welcome. Ants are of different types but the most common ones that infest homes and kitchens are pavement, acrobat, carpenter, odorous and pharaoh house ants. They attack your food, damage house foundations to the verge of making them collapse, kill house plants and even sting, causing severe skin infections.
Using strong pesticides is usually the most common remedy for eliminating ant colonies but these tend to harm humans and also adversely affect the environment. The good news is that there are also some non-toxic and natural methods to control and/or destroy these pests. These may be time consuming but provide some very fruitful results. Here is a run down on some of the most effective home remedies that actually help:
Boric Acid: Mix 1tsp of boric acid with a cupful of something sweet such as sugar, peanut butter, honey or jelly. The ideal mixture should be one part acid and eight parts of other substance. Place the bait on a saucer or in a jar and keep it in place where the maximum number of ants is. Usually windowsills or corners of countertops are ideal locations. The bait is best kept away from children and pets because the acid is known to be toxic. It is a time consuming process as the queen ant is one of the last to get a taste of it and subsequently destroy the colony. It usually takes 3-4 weeks for complete eradication and the bait needs to be changed every 2-3 days to maintain freshness.
Cinnamon, because of its strong smell and taste it effectively repels ants. It is also endowed with essential insect repelling oils that eliminate harmful insecticidal activity. Mix ¼ or ½ tsp of cinnamon oil to a cupful of water. Dip a medium sized cotton ball in it and wipe the ant infested areas. Keep repeating till the ants move on. Also ground cinnamon powder, whole cloves and cinnamon oil solution sprayed near all entry points strategically is a big help in keeping ants at bay.
This is yet another effective home remedy for driving out ants. Its acidic properties mask the scent trails of ants and throw them off track. Rubbing lemon on windowsills and frames, crevices and cracks, door thresholds and also other ant-prone areas work wonders. Cotton balls dipped in lemon oil may be left in cabinets as also lemon peel slices around entrances to get some good results. Keep repeating periodically till the ants are gone completely.
When you load a spray bottle with white vinegar and press the nozzle, you are actually sending a final eviction notice to your unwanted visitors. Its extremely pungent smell masks their scent trails and they inevitably lose direction. The process involves mixing equal amounts of water, white vinegar and some essential oil. The solution may then be sprayed generously on baseboards and entry points. Wait for an hour and wipe the ant carcasses with a paper towel. Keep repeating daily till your kitchen or home is absolutely ant free. You can even apply the vinegar solution for cleaning floors, countertops and windowsills to prevent further ant infiltration.
Peppermint repels ants because of its strong smell, which again disrupts their abilities to smell out food sources. Add 10 drops of peppermint oil to one cupful of water, shake well and spray it on all ant infested areas. Repeat daily twice till the results show. Even dried peppermint sprinkled near entryways, doors and garbage cans repel ants. Placing peppermint plants in the kitchen also keeps them at bay.
DE or Diatomaceous earth is an effective ant repellent. It is essentially the fossilized form of marine-based phytoplankton. DE has very sharp edges and cuts through the exoskeletons of ants which cause their bodies to eventually dry out. DE when gently sprinkled on windowsills, beneath fridges and under cabinets has proved effective in keeping out ants. Needs to be repeated once a day till your home is clear.
The sheer natural fieriness of Cayenne Pepper destroys all chemical signals for ants to navigate food sources and also their nests. Since ants are unable to survive without signals, they automatically seek fresh pastures. A sprinkled concoction of powdered turmeric and cayenne pepper creates the most unpleasant scenario for ants to survive. It is a proven remedy.
The bitterness of cucumber peel is something that effectively puts ants off. When placed in ant-infested areas on a daily basis, it shows very positive results. A time tested home remedy.
Despite these effective home remedies, you should still remember that a clean home will never attract ants. Remember, ants have very powerful antennae and can detect food sources from great distances. Cut off that much sought after food supply and you’ll get rid of ants once and for all.