Organic Ant Control for Indoors & Outdoors

It’s a fact of life that pests will make themselves at home in your house or apartment.  There are a variety of insect pests you need to think of and no two are alike.  Rather than spraying toxic chemicals into your home environment, consider using organic, non-toxic pest control.  It’s safe for your home’s human occupants and for your pets as well.  Pests will show up in the air, your carpeting, your kitchen counter and other places.

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Let’s take a look specifically at ant control for your home or recreational areas outside. Remember that organic pest control varies somewhat with the pest you’re dealing with and that just like with inorganic chemical pest control, you don’t always use the same thing for ants as you do for fleas.  Here’s a look at your organic options for ant infestation in your home.

For the organic treatment of ants, you need to make sure your bench tops are free of crumbs and anything sticky or sweet.  Cover your food well and keep your honey wrapped in a plastic bag.  Leave water sources off during the night and don’t leave dirty dishes lying around.  The same holds true for your patio or verandah.  Clean all food up after an outdoor meal and teach your children not to throw food into the yard, such as melon pieces or other sweet foods.

Your organic pest control continues with a small spray bottle filled with soapy water that you can spray on ants.  Put cucumber peels or slices in your kitchen, especially where the ants come in.  You can also put mint tea bags or garlic cloves around the places where the ants are very active.  See if you can trace the column of ants back to their entry point and set out a line of cayenne pepper, flour, baby powder, coffee grounds, chili powder, cinnamon, peppermint, black pepper, citrus oil, baking soda, lemon juice or cinnamon.  Ants won’t cross these lines.

For serious organic pest control against ants, mix a small amount of honey with an equivalent amount of Borax and aspartame.  Put about a teaspoon and a half of the mixture in a bottle and set the bottle (without a lid) on its side where ants are active.  This acts as a kind of toxic bait that the ants bring back to their colony. Keep small animals and children away from this toxic bait, not recommended for outdoor use.

Image: Simon Howden / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

If ants are on your patio or verandah outside, you can use some of the same indoor tricks outdoors, especially those involving the use of cayenne pepper, flour, citrus oil, lemon juice, cinnamon, coffee grounds, garlic.  Also fill a spray bottle with 1 part vinegar and 1 part water and spray on plants. The acid in vinegar will kills ants. Other option is to mix one-third cup of molasses, six tablespoons of sugar, and six tablespoons of active dry yeast and make a smooth paste. Use the mixture to coat strips of cardboard and leave outside an ant opening. Keep out of reach of pets and small children.

Another two organic pest control methods worth mentioning are to leave a low-wattage light bulb or nightlight around where the ants are, which disrupts their day and night pattern and can confuse their patterns of food hunting; and the other is to use diatomaceous earth (DE) which is a form of silica that kills insects via dehydration by absorbing and destroying their waxy, oily and outer layer. DE can be purchased from various organic pest control suppliers.

There’s no reason to turn to dangerous and toxic chemicals, indoors or out, when perfectly acceptable organic pest control for ants will keep your home ant-free in a much safer way.  As long as you keep your kitchen and the rest of your home clean and follow the above methods to discourage or kill ants, your summertime experience will be more enjoyable and healthier for you and your family.

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