If you live anywhere outside of Antarctica, then you’ve probably had an ant problem at some point or another.
And while many people’s first option is to reach for a can of RAID to blast them with, there are plenty of organic, natural ways to get rid of ants.
Ants Are Good
Now before I jump into how to get rid of ants, let me first speak up in defense of these little guys. Ants, like all bugs, play an important role in our world.
First, ants help keep down pests. Also, their tunneling helps aerate the soil, which helps our plants grow better.
And you want to know something really cool? According to Wikepedia:
In some parts of the world (mainly Africa and South America), large ants, especially army ants, are used as surgical sutures. The wound is pressed together and ants are applied along it. The ant seizes the edges of the wound in its mandibles and locks in place. The body is then cut off and the head and mandibles remain in place to close the wound.
I love learning amazing stuff like that. And that Wikepedia article on ants is really, really cool.
For instance, did you know that foraging for food is the most “high risk” activity an ant can do? So, the colony only sends out its older, more experienced workers that are due to die soon anyway.
This means that all the ants scurrying through your house and across your picnic blanket are the senior citizens of the ant world.
Organic Ant Control
Now, you may pity the ants that are sent out on the kamikaze mission of foraging. But, this probably doesn’t mean you want these poor old ants in your house.
The good news is that there are plenty of natural ways to get rid of ants.
Remedy #1: Orange Oil Cleaner
According to 1GreenGeneration, the first thing you have to do is find the ant’s trail. Simply killing ants isn’t going to do much, because other ants are going to pick up the trail and find their way into your house in no time.
So, you have to find where the ants are getting in.
Once you find the crack or crevice, spray it liberally with orange oil cleaner (which you can find at most health food stores). Melinda at 1GreenGeneration says we shouldn’t wipe it up right away; just leave the orange oil there for a few minutes, and then wipe it up. Go outside and do the same thing where they’re coming in.
If you don’t have orange oil, you can also use vinegar. Melinda says the vinegar isn’t as effective, but it’ll do in a pinch. One of her readers also suggested putting a bit of tea tree oil in with the vinegar as well.
Remedy #2: Mint
Are you growing mint this year? Then start drying it! Ants don’t like mint, so sprinkling crushed, dried mint around the places they’re most active will keep them from coming in.
You can also use mint tea bags as well.
Remedy #3: Borax
If you’re already using borax to wash your clothes, then you can also use it to naturally get rid of ants.
Mix a bit of sugar in with a bit of borax, and leave it out so the ants can find it. The ants will take it back to the nest and feed it to the queen.
Supposedly, the borax is supposed to make the queen sterile, so she won’t lay any more eggs. Which means the end of the colony.
Remedy #4: Baby Powder
Apparently, ants don’t like baby powder. The Frugal Life recommends sprinkling the ant scouts with baby powder when they’re in your house. They’ll go back to the nest, and won’t be back.
Remedy #5: Black Pepper and Cinnamon
Ants don’t like black pepper or cinnamon, so sprinkling them where the ants are coming in is a great way to keep them out of your house
Have any of you used these remedies? If so, do they work?
Do any of you have more natural ant control remedies you’d like to share?
If so, send ’em in! I’d love to add them to the list there for other readers.
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