Thursday, December 17

Get Rid Of Ants

Springtime brings beautiful weather and the arrival of ant season. There are a large variety of ants that invade our homes and yards each year. However, taking care of this problem does not require a lot of harsh chemicals or an expensive pest control bill. For a few dollars, you can get rid of ants yourself.

It is important to understand that an effective ant bait must actually attract the ants. Many commercial preparations are toxic to ants, but the ants will avoid most of these making them a waste of money. Generally speaking, ants are attracted to sugar and/or protein. I have found the following solution to be very effective and only takes a few minutes during each Spring when the ants first appear.

1) Gather some small plastic containers with lids. I will use either Philadelphia Cream Cheese or margarine containers that I have saved. Poke 4-5 holes spaced evenly around the outside each container about an inch from the top. These holes should be about the size of a pencil to allow the ants to enter the container easily. It would look something like this:

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
...X...O....O....O....O..X
......X..................... X
........X.................X
..........X............X
...........XXXXXX

2) Buy a box of 20 Mule Team Borax. This can be found in the laundry detergent section of any large grocery store.

3) Mix the Borax with granulated sugar in a 1:3 ratio. I will prepare 1 cup of Borax with 3 cups of sugar for 6-8 traps.

4) Fill the plastic container about half full with the powder. You want the level to be about 1/2 an inch or so below the holes in the container.

5) Add enough water to make the mixture slightly soupy. The exact amount of water is not important. The mixture will become like syrup over time.

6) Add about 1 teaspoon of peanut butter to the mixture. Stir until well mixed. Place the lid on the container.

7) Set the traps in areas where you find ants. These can be used indoors, but I find it more effective outside the house. I put them near the kitchen window, near the doors, under the house, by trash cans, next to existing ant colonies, or even in the flower garden.

The bait works in two ways. First, it is toxic to ants that ingest it immediately. Second, most ants will naturally transport the bait back to the colony where other ants will ingest the bait and die. Most types of ants will respond to the bait. You will notice some dead ants in the vicinity of the bait within a couple of days. I find that within 2 weeks, it is difficult to find any ants around my home.

CAUTION: Borax is toxic. Do not place the traps in areas where animals (like the family pet) can accidentally open the lid and ingest the poison.

Try this simple but effective solution. It only takes a few minutes to get rid of ants and insure a season free of ant trouble.
Stumble
Delicious
Twitter

3 comments:

  1. Borax should not be consumed (though it is used as a food additive in some countries, not the USA,) but it is NOT toxic.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thats great advice. Ant control is a problem for most homes. In some cases ants get in to the walls and the roof void and build huge nests. Nothing except an experienced pest control technician can remove them successfully.
    So don't feel bad if you can't get rid of them yourself.
    http://maccotterpestcontrol.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Great post. Ants do really avoid toxic solutions as they are repulsed by the odor. This solution looks great as it would attract the ants and do what is expected of it.

    Pest Control Gold Coast

    ReplyDelete