It’s been over a month since our second annual ant infestation began. Last year, we tried to live with it. This year, I couldn’t stand it.
Can I tell you why I hate having ants? It makes me feel dirty. No matter how clean my house is, there are germ-bearing vermin infesting my carpet. To make matters worse, this year we had three different points of entry and possibly three different colonies: the fireplace, the side door and the back door. And to top it all off, it was apparent that the largest colony wasn’t invading from outside they were coming . . . from . . . inside . . . our . . . house! Just like the phone call in that campfire story! (You know the one, right?) To be technical, they lived underneath the house, in a rather inaccessible place, so there wasn’t really a way to go to the source to poison them
So I searched all over the Internet for a baby-safe way to kill ants. I got suggestions from my friends and readers (thanks!) and family. I tried several before finding one that worked for me. Note: some methods don’t kill ants, they just try to keep them from coming into your house (here I’ve marked them as a “deterrent”).
- Windex (didn’t work for me this time around, but it worked for MommyZabs, who indicated it was a deterrent)
- Bay leaves. Didn’t work for me. (deterrent)
- Vinegar. Didn’t work for me, but it worked for my aunt. (Well, okay, if I drowned them in it, then it worked. I think it’s mostly a deterrent.)
- Raid (“RAID?!”), cordoning off the area from baby.
- Grits (oh, that’s what they’re for! Yeah, I’m Southern but . . . yuck.) or cornmeal
- Borax syrup, though I can’t imagine that’s good for your child.
- Talcum powder (including baby powder) or chalk (mentioned by Millennium Mommy; deterrent)
- Honey or water traps (scroll down on the page)
- Soapy water in a spray bottle (deterrent, unless you drown them)
- Cucumber peels (deterrent)
- Cloves or mint leaves/tea (deterrent)
- Cayenne pepper (deterrent)
- Citrus oil (deterrent)
- Lemon juice (deterrent)
- Cinnamon (deterrent)
- Coffee grounds (deterrent)
- Garlic (deterrent) (#9-17 source)
- Yeast, mixed with sugar to form pellets
- Mint (even in toothpaste; deterrent)
- I was once told that a big pile of sugar will kill ants for some reason, too. Definitely didn’t try that one. WikiHow says that you can kill them with a mixture of salt and sugar.
- Finally, our method: buy poisonous ant bait (the kind they carry back to the nest) and set it out at night. Put the ant bait out of reach during the day and keep baby, cat, etc. away from the area for a day or two afterwards. For us, this killed the ants after one night!
Suggestions I didn’t try:
What else have you tried that helped get rid of your ant problem?