Repelling Ants Naturally

Repelling Ants Naturally

Previously,  we did a post on naturally repelling pesky mosquitos.  I feel it’s only fair that I also share my tips on how to remove and repel ants from your house and yard. This year has not been nearly as bad for us with ants in the house.  Our yard, on the other hand, is a different story. They are EVERYWHERE; in our sidewalk cracks, all throughout our grass, I even found ant hills in my tire garden and in the tire stacks themselves. Wherever your ant problem is, these tips are sure to help!

VINEGAR
Mix 1 part White or apple cider vinegar and 1 part water in a spray bottle.  Spray it at any ant entry point in your house.  Make sure you spray the areas you suspect as the ants’ travel paths as well. Vinegar has such a strong scent that the ants strongly dislike it.  Therefore, it  repels them from the areas where it is sprayed.  Just spray and let dry.  To use vinegar to remove ants in your yard, pour 1 quart of white vinegar right into the ant nests.  Since their bodies cannot tolerate low-pH acidic conditions, the acid in the vinegar will kill the ants on contact.

FOOD GRADE DIATOMACEOUS EARTH
Boric acid can be dangerous, even fatal to children if ingested, so I don’t use it. Instead, I use Diatomaceous Earth.  It is an odorless, non-staining off-white talc-like powder that is made up of the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton.  When it comes in contact with a bug that has an exoskeleton like ants, it ruins their waxy coating and dries out there insides.  But it doesn’t hurt mammals at all.  In fact, we can actually eat it (it is rich in silica, which is great for your nails and hair.  It is also thought to help clean out heavy metals, bacteria and much more!).  To use indoors, just sprinkle a fine dusting on entry points and high traffic ant trails.  To use outdoors, sprinkle around high traffic areas and the nests.  You can even mix it into the soil in your yard and garden as a preventive option.

MINT
The smell of mint disrupts the ability to smell any food sources in the area.  As a result, the the ants will go in search of food elsewhere.  If you drink mint tea, save the used teabags, because they are perfect for deterring ants.  Just place them at any entry points in your home.  You can also use mint essential oil (place a couple drops on a cottonball) or dried mint leaves crushed into a powder.  To use these methods outside, again place along high traffic ant trails or by nests.  To defend your home or yard, you can also grow mint plants, such as peppermint or spearmint to keep ants out of the area.

CUCUMBER
This wonderfully cool salad vegetable is not just great to eat; it’s also great for repelling ants.  Cucumbers contain a compound called trans-2-nonenal that repels insects.  This particular compound has been used in some insecticides.  I have heard the more bitter the cucumber, the better it is at repelling, but I have never had a problem with any that I have used.  I prefer to just use the peels from cucumbers, that way we get to save the best part for us (plus going with the bitter cucumber theory, the peel is the most bitter part).  Just rub the inside of the peel down along ant trails in your home and leave a piece of peel by entryways.  You may need to replace them once they dry all the way out. Outside, you can do the same thing or, what I like to do, place a small slice of cucumber over the hole of each ant nest (I do this when I have a cucumber we didn’t eat fast enough and has started to turn bad).

BABY POWDER
Yes, you heard me correctly. the same stuff you sprinkle in your bundle of love’s diaper to keep their bottom nice and soft is also a great way to keep out those pesky invaders.  Here’s how it works…  Ants don’t breath like we do.  They take in air through their exoskeleton.  Baby powder sprinkled or blown at an ant blocks and clogs all their exoskeleton pores that they breath from, causing the ant to suffocate and die. To use, sprinkle some around ant entrances to your house.  They won’t cross the powder line and any that try will die.  I have also sprinkled some around ant hills, and it kills any that touch it.

OTHER THINGS THAT WORK GREAT:
*Pour a pot of boiling water over any ant hills you have in your yard.  This works great at getting rid of the whole nest.
*Ants won’t cross lines of chalk the same way as baby powder.  This also makes for a cool experiment for kids if there is a bunch of ants on the sidewalk – drawing lines around them to see the ants switch directions.
*Powdered sugar mixed with baking soda – They eat it for the sugar and explode inside just like your child’s science volcanoes.

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