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Pesticides, insecticides, and other killers of all things creepy and crawly are often made of ingredients that could be harmful to the health of your home, family, and pets. So when you first suspect that ants have come into your home as uninvited guests, consider what you might be able to use as a natural ant killer rather than heading down to the commercial ant trap or ant killer aisle.
Commercially available ant traps and killers often contain harsh chemicals and ingredients which might be harmful to your family or pets. This could happen simply from the use of a spray while children or pets are in the room, or if using a spray in the kitchen there could be a problem if any food or eating surface becomes contaminated. Harm could also come when the ant spray is not in use but is being stored in a place that children might have access to. If the spray is accidentally ingested or comes into contact with skin, it could cause dangerous problems to the health of your child. Avoiding this danger altogether will give you peace of mind about the safety of your children and home.
Homemade Ant Traps
One of the best ways to take care of your family and kill ants naturally is by using homemade ant traps. The ant traps are made with salt from boric acid, otherwise known as borax. This natural ingredient which is safe for humans and pets, is lethal when ingested by ants. After eating it, their digestive systems shut down and they die. But not before they share their food source (containing the “poison”) with the rest of their colony, including the reproductive queen, so that the source of the ants is eliminated.
Natural Ant Killer
Making homemade ant traps is easy. Just mix ⅓ cup borax with 1 cup of granulated sugar, being sure to get out all of the lumps. Then add ⅓ cup water and ⅓ cup of corn syrup or other sweet syrup. Prepare some small plastic containers (small disposable baby food containers work well) by poking holes around the top so that the ants may enter and exit, but the “goo” doesn’t leak. Place these traps around the house where ants have been spotted, particularly where you think they might be gaining access to your home. These can be used indoors or outdoors around doors, on countertops, near suspicious cracks or other places where ants might like to gather and forage for food. CLICK HERE to check out our step-by-step instructions for how to make these ant traps (with photos).
Other Natural Ant Killers and Repellants
Other types of natural ant killers or repellents include a variety of foods and other products which are safe for humans and pets but repel or kill ants. Cornmeal works in a way similar to borax in that ants are not able to digest it so they eventually die. Dried rice of any kind and wheat flour also works in a similar way. Many herbs and spices are used to repel insects such as ants.
These include rosemary, peppermint, cayenne pepper, black pepper, talc (found in chalk), citrus such as orange peel or lemon juice, and cucumber peels. Sprinkling or spraying these items around cracks, windowsills, doors, and other points of entry may keep ants from wanting to come into your home.
Petroleum jelly may also work in a similar way on windows and even on the outside edges of pet bowls. Be careful with where you place cayenne pepper, however, because dogs or cats who lick this will find themselves in a spicy mess!
Vinegar helps to hide the scent that is left by one ant to another so that their trail can be followed. Spraying white vinegar or apple cider vinegar on the places where you think ants are coming in will cause other ants to lose the trail of the foragers and keep them from following. If you can find the ant hills in your yard outside your home, try pouring boiling water on the to eliminate the source of the ant colony.
When thinking of using a natural ant killer, evaluate the usefulness and effectiveness of the ants by trying and sticking with what works for you and your home. Plus, when you are using an ant killer made from natural ingredients, there is no worry about the eco-friendliness of your product. Borax ant traps are extremely easy to make, very affordable, and there are no concerns about the storage of harsh chemicals which might be dangerous to your family or pets.
Screw It – I’ll Buy on Amazon Instead
- Kills the ants you see and the ones you don’t
- Ready to use set the bait, attract ants, and kill the colony
- Sealed station keeps liquid bait Fresh until opened
- Use bait stations along baseboard, under appliances, on windowsills and wherever ants are numerous
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Image from Wikimedia Commons by Thmazing