Non-toxic way of dealing with ant infestation - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-31-2005, 12:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My sister in southern California just called me and wanted my advice on how to deal with an ant infestation in her house. She is the mother of a darling 5-month old DS and a 2-year old DD. She has ants all over her kitchen and her stairwell up to the 2nd floor. She doesn't want to call a bug-doctor, as they will spray toxic chemicals in her house. Does anyone know of a natural way to get rid of the ants? Or does anyone in souther Cali know of a company that deals with natural pesticides? Please help!
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Old 08-31-2005, 01:06 AM
 
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We just went through this - they were sooooooo bad - everywhere!!!!! ugh! I was getting so disgusted! We got non-toxic products from Victor brand - they are ant traps that are basically sugary substance plus boric acid. Or, one could just mix mint jelly (I heard that's what is all the rage in ant cuisine these days!) with boric acid and place at the trouble areas. They will being it back to the queen to eat and both she and the colony will die. For a line/cluster of ants that just need to be dealt with right then and there, there is a spray that is basically just citrus oils. You spray it on, wait 3 mins and ants are dead. It is safe for humans, pets, and even around food.
We got these products at ACE hardware - they carry a fairly large line of non-toxic pest control, you just have to read the labels and/or look for the victor brand.
just fyi - it took about 7 days for the ants to go away, guess it takes that long to kill off the whole colony.
HTH!
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Old 08-31-2005, 01:29 AM
 
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We've used Borax to get rid of ants. BUT this was before we had DD so I don't know if it's ok to sprinkle Borax around the house w/little ones esp. if they are movers! Also if there are pets in the house,you may want to research it a bit more.
I do know that it does keep the pesky ants away. But look into it for further info. if she's got little ones or pets to be safe!

Good luck
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Old 08-31-2005, 01:56 AM
 
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I'm not sure if this would help with infestation or not but we use clove water to deal with ants. Of course keeping all food where they can't get it (in the fridge or freezer bags) and keeping the kitchen spotless will deter them.

You might get a lot more answers in the Natural Home and Body Care forum

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Old 08-31-2005, 10:07 AM
 
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i use peppermint oil to keep ants away. i just add a couple drops to all my cleaning solutions (all baking soda, dr bronners or vinegar or combinations of the three) i've heard planting mint around your house will keep them out even better but that might not be the most practical solution depending on your living situation
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Old 08-31-2005, 10:57 AM
 
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The best thing to do, I think, is to figure out what's attracting them and remove that, before you even try getting rid of them, because otherwise more will come right back again. Or to seal the hole they're coming in through, but that's a tough one since ants could come through such a small space.

I had ants almost chronically when I lived in Southern California; I think many people there do, although few will admit it. When winters don't freeze, there's nothing to kill them off. After awhile, I discovered that whoever lived there before me had somehow dropped a piece of what looked like extremely moldy and decomposed cookie into the heater (toddlers, maybe? :LOL ) and that's what was attracting them. Got rid of that, and it helped the problem a lot.

Could there be something attracting them?

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Old 08-31-2005, 11:20 AM
 
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Clean under the fridge.Seal all the cracks with caulk. Sprinkle diatomaceous earth around the house. Wipe counters with vinegar.
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Old 08-31-2005, 11:25 AM
 
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We used burts bees bug spray. APparantly, any citrus oil deters them. It got rid of 99% of our ants.
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Old 08-31-2005, 02:48 PM
 
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we mixed borax with honey and put the mixture in straws cut in 1 inch lengths and left them out side the front door, where the ants were coming from. the ants are gone two weeks later.
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Old 08-31-2005, 04:35 PM
 
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peppermint oil works great if you know where they are coming in at just put a few drops there and they will avoid it
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Old 08-31-2005, 09:51 PM
 
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Vinegar - I spray it where ever it seems that they are coming from, plus along the edges where the cabinets, etc meet the floor. It smells a bit, and you do need to reapply, but it works really well for us.

I have also heard that a chalk line works, but haven't tried it. Supposedly take regular white chalk and draw a line along your door frame, or where ever, and the ants can't or won't cross over the chalk.

Good luck!!
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Old 08-31-2005, 10:01 PM
 
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We can't get rid of them either. It doesn't help that my cats keep dumping food out of their ant proofed bowl onto the floor. Straight boric acid powder was the best thing we've used, but I can't find any locally, and can't afford to drive to San Francisco to get it right now. Victor makes a non-toxic bug spray that is mint based, or Orange Guard is the citrus one. They actually work faster than the poison ones, but are very stinky (still, I'd rather breathe the strong scent than poison anyday)
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Old 08-31-2005, 10:36 PM
 
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I like the products from Planet Natural.

They have a Poison-Free Ant & Roach Killer, though it says mint oil is the main ingredient, so as other poster mentioned just using the stright oil sounds like it would do the trick.
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Old 08-31-2005, 11:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the tips and tonics, Mamas! I'll pass along the info to my sister. Hopefully she'll be successful with all your advice!
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