Get Rid Of Ants. A Simple Home Remedy-This One WorksPosted by: ChetH Post date: March 13th, 2012
The only thing more aggravating this year than the constant political ads is the annual invasion of those pesky tiny black ants that seem determined to claim squatters rights around our kitchen and bathroom. Happens once or twice every year.
My wife is extremely cautious with food leftovers and waste. Rule number 1 for peace in the house. No food scraps are permitted in the kitchen trash can. No. They need to be taken directly to the outdoor trash containers. My wife is a dedicated recycler. Look in our our green topped recycle trash can and you’ll find empty tin cans, glass and plastic containers that are cleaner than they were when filled at the factory.
Labels removed. Properly rinsed and almost sanitized. This woman in no way would leave a scrap of food to encourage an ant. While we could never discover exactly what makes our home so attractive to those determined invaders we have tried all the normal methods to send them on their way or to condemn them to capital punishment.
We would often vacuum them up with a small hand held vacuum when we spotted them. (If you also vacuum up ants and other insects be sure to empty the vacuum outside immediately or they will just climb back out and resume their labors). Vacuuming removes the visible invaders but of course reproduction was continuing in some hidden ant nest and any new off spring followed their ancestor’s trail as enthusiastically as the early pioneers once followed well beaten wagon trails to western territories.
We tried all the fancy insect sprays. Those nasty aerosol sprays had absolutely no effect on the ants but they would drive the wife and me out of the house because of the horrible odor. So what to do? Just short of calling in the heavy artillery from the local professional exterminators I decided to do a little serious internet research.
It did not take long to discover that boric acid has been the chemical of choice for years for ant and other insect repellant. In fact you will find it in the contents of some of those high priced insect products. To use it in it’s simplest form, which is granules similar to salt or sugar, it is spread around potential entrance areas or ant trails where the little buggers are most active.
Of course you need to remember to use the same cautions you would with any chemical. If you have small children or pets you have to make sure they do not have access to the areas where the boric acid is used. We do not at the present have either small children or pets so our task would be easier.
Armed with this new found knowledge off we went in search of the magical potion, boric acid. How difficult could it be to find? A hardware store, a local WalMart, an organic garden center and even a local Walgreens drug store that listed it on it’s website as available in the store but not on line all turned us away empty handed.
We decided to make one more try and checked in at the local Home Depot. As usual the last place we chose should have been the first. There on the shelf were dozens of containers of the elusive stuff. A large 16 oz container was less than 5 bucks and as an extra incentive, if one was needed, it stated on the label that it was odorless. This particular product was named Hot Shot.
If you can not find a local source, Amazon has a large selection of boric acid on their website.
We rushed back to the battlefield and began what we hoped was the final assault. Using this stuff was a simple matter. The plastic container has a tube in the lid like a mustard dispenser. Simply cut off the end of the tube and squeeze the powder where needed.
For Extra Protection Make a Simple Trap
It has been a few days now and the little critters have not reappeared. Just to be on the safe side I made up a couple of traps based on information I found in several places on the internet.
The term “ant trap” is really a misnomer because I did not want to trap the ants. I wanted to feed them the boric acid and sugar water and allow them to carry it back to the nest. In order for this to work you must not mix in too much boric acid or it will kill them at the trap instead of allowing them to carry it back to the nest.
The traps are simply empty jars such as jelly or peanut butter jars. I wrapped masking tape around the outsides of the jars to make sure the ants would be able to crawl crawl up the sides and also the tape would hold some of the sugar water as I brushed it over the tape.
I placed cotton balls inside the jars to about the 3/4 level and made sure they were not tightly packed. I then mixed up the sugar water. 3 cups of water and one cup of sugar mixed with 3 tablespoons of boric acid. Remember not to make the boric acid too strong because you will want the ants to stay alive to make it back to the nest.
This little trap attracts the ants and makes it a simple chore for them to pickup and carry the boric acid back to the nest and infect their relatives. It took about 6 hours before we saw any action around the trap and shortly after most of the ants had disappeared and only a few stragglers are to be found. If you use a similar trap do not vacuum or kill the ants as they need to carry the boric acid back to the nest.
I think we have really achieved success at this point. An inexpensive chemical, boric acid, and very little effort seems to have accomplished what all those expensive repellants could not. If you decide to use this method please keep in mind as mentioned earlier that boric acid is a chemical and needs to be handled with care. It only takes a few minutes to read the instructions and cautions on the label and you would do your small children and pets a great service by following the advice written there.