Good, natural way to get rid of ants??? - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-20-2008, 11:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have just started seeing some of those pesky little, black ants in my kitchen...could have something to do with all the food my kids drop on the floor! Is there some good way to get rid of them without having to call an exterminator? I really don't want all those chemicals in my house.

Thanks!
Kim
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Old 05-20-2008, 12:21 PM
 
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We have good luck sweeping up the crumbs each night and washing the floor with a little vinegar and water---I think it cleans up the scent trails they use for each other. To kill them you may be able to use diatomaceous earth...carefully sprinkled around the corners of the room.
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Old 05-20-2008, 12:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've been sweeping a few times a day and I usually mop with vinegar, but maybe I should mop everyday now. Thanks!
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Old 05-20-2008, 12:45 PM
 
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I think keeping it as clean as possible is the best way to go. Sweap/vaccume each night before bed, and several times throughout the day, and wash floors and counter tops with vinegar at least once daily.
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Old 05-20-2008, 02:20 PM
 
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We get that problem on and off. I agree that keeping as clean as possible. I forgo sweeping and get down on all fours and wipe the entire floor acouple of times a day with a wet cloth. That way I can see if there are any crumbs left or small drops of juice, etc. You can't possibly get all that just sweeping or mopping.
In addition to that, you can put some mint leaves around the area. Ants do not like it at all!

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Old 05-20-2008, 02:32 PM
 
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Here's a great link with some good easy and natural ways to battle those ants. (some not so great ways too, but weed 'em out)

http://www.thefrugallife.com/ants.html
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Old 05-20-2008, 02:49 PM
 
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We had this problem last year and now again this year. Must be the time of year.
Anyway, there are lots of good suggestions in the link PP listed. I"ve sprinkled cloves all around too and keep squirting the vinegar. They are pesky but I'm hoping they will just go away like they did last year.

Kim , mom to Amanda (16):, William (13), and Annie (5)
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Old 05-20-2008, 03:00 PM
 
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I totally hear ya. I have some messy kids. And we've had ants in the past. What works for me, is to run the Dust Buster after meals. Catch all the little crumbs. My dog gets the big ones That and getting any other little messes with a wash cloth and a squirt of dishsoap. And of course, frequent mopping of the whole kitchen/ eating area.

The DustBuster is really key for me. I just really loathe sweeping.
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Old 05-20-2008, 06:25 PM
 
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Being super vigilant about food is crucial. I also wipe everything down with peppermint oil as they really don't like it and it masks their trails. I put a paper towel with oil in in the bin to help conceal the smell of food.

I hate ants!
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Old 05-20-2008, 06:44 PM
 
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I also have a very helpful little spider living under my kitchen window. He's got a little pile of ant corps' on the counter right now. Gross, but effective.
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Old 05-20-2008, 06:58 PM
 
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I also have a very helpful little spider living under my kitchen window. He's got a little pile of ant corps' on the counter right now. Gross, but effective.
Yep, I let the Daddy Long-Leg spiders live inside our house simply because they keep the ant population OUT.

BTW, our ants usually are NOT after food. They are after dry shelter (when it rains in winter) and water (when they bake in the summer).

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Old 05-20-2008, 07:21 PM
 
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I had a problem with this a few weeks ago and I don't know how you feel about killing them but I sprayed them with cooking spray and they died instantly. The only downfall is wiping up greasy dead ants.
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Old 05-20-2008, 09:29 PM
 
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Another thing you can do is look for where they're coming in to the house on the outside and use caulk to seal it up. I actually went caulking crazy inside too and it cut down on the amount of the little buggers inside too...
If the home remedies don't work and they're driving you absolutely nuts find a local exterminator (ours is a mom & pop operation) who use synthetic geranium oil-totally safe and non-toxic for the kiddos and the pets. That's who we call when we get to our breaking point with the ants.

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Old 05-20-2008, 09:41 PM
 
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I don't know much about your everyday ants, but my sister in law got rid of a number of carpenter ant nests in her yard with a blow torch! Sounds cruel, but they were destroying her house.

Diane, SAHM to DD (June 05) and DS (April 07).
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Old 05-22-2008, 01:47 AM
 
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You can block them with strong smelling stuff like cinnamon if you know where they are coming in. I also pureed some orange peel with vinegar and smeared it on the doorsill where they were entering the house and they are GONE. Not just diverted the trail to somewhere else, I didn't see anymore heading up the outside either.
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Old 05-22-2008, 03:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by prescottchels View Post
Another thing you can do is look for where they're coming in to the house on the outside and use caulk to seal it up. I actually went caulking crazy inside too and it cut down on the amount of the little buggers inside too...
that is a good idea, so long as you have a newer house. In my house it'd take weeks of searching to find all the cracks and holes and gaps. Even then I'm certainly there'd be some I'd never find.
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Old 05-23-2008, 07:39 PM
 
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There is a spray called "orange guard" that kills ants but is safe around food, pets, kids, etc. It smothers them with oil.

http://www.planetnatural.com/cgi-bin...l/orange-guard
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Old 05-23-2008, 11:36 PM
 
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Side walk chalk, either ground up or lines drawn. The ants will not cross it. HTH
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Old 05-25-2008, 12:01 AM
 
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our ants came in for the water and we had a ton of them. i smeared some honey on a note card and sprinkled it with borax. then i taped the note card on the wall where their trail was. the next few days there were about a million ants eating away at the honey trap and by the fourth day they were gone forever. they take the borax back to their nest so it ends up getting rid of the entire colony. i've heard that it's a pretty green way to get rid of them. if anyone knows different, i'd love to know.
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Old 05-25-2008, 12:36 AM
 
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peppermint oil repels them. I added a few drops of essential oil to my vinager water that I use to clean the kitchen counters and after a while, they stopped coming.
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Old 05-25-2008, 01:40 AM
 
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Easy green and cheap-pour little piles of corn meal in their trails. They take it back to the nest, eat it and it kills them. I usually say live and let live but the ants here are nasty biters that leave welts. My daughter actually found a novel way of dealing with them. When we moved here she was a year old and loved bugs when the ants at grandma's house started biting her toes she started eating them! They left her alone after a while and I wonder if she started smelling like them?
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Old 05-27-2008, 11:58 AM
 
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Easy green and cheap-pour little piles of corn meal in their trails. They take it back to the nest, eat it and it kills them. I usually say live and let live but the ants here are nasty biters that leave welts. My daughter actually found a novel way of dealing with them. When we moved here she was a year old and loved bugs when the ants at grandma's house started biting her toes she started eating them! They left her alone after a while and I wonder if she started smelling like them?
omg that's funny! but
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Old 05-29-2008, 02:23 AM
 
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we have zillions of the teeny little black ants. i'm so sick of them. how/why does the cornmeal kill them? since my kids have food and skin sensitivities, i've been hesitant to do much besides vacuum the little buggers up when i see em.

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Old 06-15-2008, 12:22 PM
 
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I use orange essential oil added to vinegar to wipe counters and mop...
also sprinkling areas where they come in with ginger powder is helpful
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Old 06-15-2008, 07:20 PM
 
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We planted peppermint outside the house where they were coming in. It kinda took over over the year in one spot, so now I'm transplanting it to make it more evenly spread, but the point is...ants HATE peppermint and we havent gotten any this year for the first time ever! YAY!

I also heard they dont like Mrs Meyers cleaning products (probably the oils) and I use her stuff as well, but just cause I like it

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Old 06-17-2008, 01:31 AM
 
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We spread a line of salt across where they seem be coming in... they rarely cross it. Pretty safe toxic-wise, but I have to explain it to everyone who comes over... that's it just salt not poison, etc. Also it can get messed up and if the line is broken it doesn't work anymore. But otherwise works fairly well and cheap. Lot of other good ideas here!
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Old 06-17-2008, 04:53 PM
 
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Ditto on the peppermint oil. I add a few drops to a spray bottle full of vinegar and water and use that to wipe down everything in the kitchen as well as mop the floors. I highly recommend it.
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Old 06-17-2008, 05:45 PM
 
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A baking soda trail--same general idea as the salt, just line it along the cracks or wherever you see them. They don't like to cross it.
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Old 06-17-2008, 05:52 PM
 
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Ditto on the peppermint oil. I add a few drops to a spray bottle full of vinegar and water and use that to wipe down everything in the kitchen as well as mop the floors. I highly recommend it.
Does the EO really mask the vinegar scent? I would clean with vinegar more but DH complains about the smell whenever I do (personally I think the smell is WAY better than bleach, for instance, though! and the stuff he prefers that I use is all mainstream cleaners like lysol and such... eh, not my favorite.), so I can only use it when it has time to thoroughly air out before he gets home. I have to use it by stealth - if he realizes I've used it, he swears he smells it. But maybe if I used it with an EO? would it really make enough of a difference you think?
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Old 06-17-2008, 06:00 PM
 
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Sprinkling grits around their anthill can kill them.
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