Here at Homemade Recipes, we love talking about delicious food and how to make it. However, there’s another unwanted group that enjoys said delicious food and that’s ants. Ants can be a real pest and hard to get rid of, especially during the summer months. Instead of rushing out to buy expensive and toxic sprays or baits that can be harmful to kids and pets, why not make your own homemade ant killer?
Skip the Toxic Sprays and Go Natural
Solve Your Ant Problem
Okay, so you’ve got an ant problem, let’s find out how to deal with it using a homemade ant killer. Most likely the ants that you’re seeing in or around your house are worker ants.
One of the main tasks of these worker ants is going outside to find food for the rest of the colony. Two sources of food these worker ants are usually hunting for is either sugar or protein. This is the first way we can attack the problem.
To save yourself the trouble of looking for their colony yourself, let the worker ants do all the work for you. This is where the bait comes into play.
Firstly, you want to find out if the ants are looking for protein or sugar. To find out, leave out a sample of each bait type and check to see which one the ants are going for.
1. Sugar Bait
- 2 cups of sugar (can also be in the form of honey, syrup, jelly)
- 1 cup of water
- 2 tablespoons of borax
The first type of homemade ant killer is the sugar bait.
- Boil the water.
- Add the sugar and borax, and wait for it to cool down before using it.
- Place in small containers around high traffic areas and points of entry for the ants.
As hard as it may be, refrain from killing the ants during this time as you want them to be alive long enough to bring the bait back home.
2. Protein Bait
- 2 tablespoons of borax
- peanut butter
The second type of natural ant killer is the protein bait.
Mix both peanut butter and borax together and set on plates near high traffic areas and points of entry for the ants.
Things to Remember When Using Baits:
- Replenish your baits regularly. For best results, replace them every 1-2 days.
- Boric acid can be dangerous if consumed in large amounts. If you have small children or pets in your household, you can place the bait in sealable jars with holes poked in them.
- The initial bait you use may attract ants for a few days and diminish. This usually means the ants are looking for another food source. If this is the case, switch your bait from sugar to protein or vice versa.
- If your bait is not attracting ants, try reducing the amount of borax until the ants start taking the bait.
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Destroying The Nest
If you have visual confirmation of the nest you can directly pour one of the following solutions into the nest to kill off the colony and get rid of ants completely. We recommend you wear protective footwear (preferably rubber boots) and pants as the ants may start rushing out once you start pouring the solution in.
- Following a ratio of 1/4 cup of liquid dishwashing solution to 1 gallon of boiling water, pour this solution down the entry of the ant colony. Be sure to add dishwashing solution after the water has been removed from heat.
- You can also pour cider vinegar inside the entry of the anthill and to other nearby areas of the colony. Be careful as this can also destroy nearby plants and grass.
- Boil water and mix in salt and pour this solution down nest entry. Make sure to repeat this for 3-4 days to prevent the ants from rebuilding.
- You can also just flood the area with water but make sure to strike their residence regularly. Use a garden hose and flood the area with lots of water. Do this daily for about 1-2 weeks and eventually the ants will relocate.
Protecting Your Own Colony
Another way of getting rid of ants is not attracting them near your home in the first place. Keeping your house tidy will go a long way in reducing unwanted ant visitors.
Make sure to clean spills, don’t leave dirty dishes hanging around, store your dry foods in air-tight containers, and throw out the garbage regularly.
However, even with a spotless house, ants may still find a way into your home. Here’s a list of some natural repellents you can use to reduce those chances.
- used coffee grounds
- bay leaves
- red pepper flakes
- peppermint oil
Spread any of these repellents in areas where ants are most likely to enter your home: windows, corners, doors.
Take a look around the perimeter of your household. There may be natural thresholds these ants are using to access your home such as pipes, bushes, and tree branches.
If possible, do your best to trim and reduce the foliage that comes into contact with your home, especially if you notice ants crawling on them. You can also try the following to get the upper hand on ants looking to find a way in from the outside.
- Plant mint, tansy, lavender, or sage around the base of your house. These are known to be natural ant deterrents and great to have for your own personal as well.
- In areas with high ant population, spread a mixture of cloves, ground pepper, and flour. This should scatter the ants away from their intended path.
While we hate seeing ants in our homes, they do have their part in the world. They regulate termite populations, oxygenate the soil, and clean up dead organisms just to name a few.
Other creatures also rely on them as a food source such as birds and insects. However, if you’d like to keep them outside rather than inside your home, try using some of the homemade ant killer methods mentioned above.
What are some natural methods you use to keep ants at bay? Did these work for you? Tell us in the comment section below!
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