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No-Poison Ant Control

Posted: House & Home » Pest Control | November 1st, 2005



By Marilyn Pokorney

Ants are pests in the house. In the home, common ants aren’t harmful — but they are a nuisance. There are many natural repellants that can be used to discourage ants from kitchen counters, pantries and other areas where food lures them in.

Stop ants outside
As a first step, try to prevent the ants from entering the house. Use fewer chemical fertilizers and pesticides in the lawn and gardens. These cause an imbalance in the biological makeup of the soil. Stressed soil and plants attract ants.

Many species of ants like to drink honeydew from aphids. If good control of aphids in plants and gardens near houses is exercised, ants will be less numerous.

Ants seem to dislike spearmint, tansy and pennyroyal. Plant these near the house to keep ants away. Sweet fern is particularly disliked by red ants.

A simple recipe to repel ants can be made by adding to an 8-oz. bottle of mild liquid soap one ounce each of citronella, pennyroyal, peppermint, cinnamon, rose and tea oil. Mix together and add 3 tablespoons to two cups of water. Spray where ants are entering the house. This formula can be used to wash down counters in the kitchen, but only use one-half tablespoon to two cups of water.

Spray trash and recycling bins if ants are a problem there. For anthills near the house, pour boiling water into the nest.

Once ants have come inside
Once ants have entered the house, other measures have to be taken. Pennyroyal, tansy and mint leaves scattered on surfaces where ants are found can be used as a deterrent. Bay leaves broken in small pieces are also helpful.

Some people have found a mixture of the following ingredients helpful in repelling ants: 1 cup water, 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon hot sauce, 1/4 cut liquid soap, and 1 teaspoon spearmint or peppermint flavoring. Mix it in a spray bottle and spray where ants enter the house.

Washing down counters with an equal solution of vinegar and water is repulsive to ants.

Powdered cloves or red pepper sprinkled on surface where ants are found serves as an excellent repellant. Ants are extremely fastidious and will not return to where these hot spices can get on their feet and antennae.

If it not too inconvenient, sticky fly paper placed in strategic areas will capture crawling ants.

Perhaps one of the most unusual substances used that discourages ants from pantry shelves are broken egg shells.

Lastly, clean up all food after eating, for it is the crumbs that attracts the ants.

For more ways to control ants, visit this link.

© Marilyn Pokorney

Marilyn Pokorney is a freelance writer on science, nature, animals and the environment. She also loves crafts, gardening and reading. See her web site at APlusWriting.net.

3 Responses to “No-Poison Ant Control”

1 Joe says:

Well tried the vinegar thing and the ants are still around. Maybe they’re just tough city ants;
Time to try something else.

2 Jennifer says:

What are some good herbs/oils to ward off brown recluse spiders and spiders in general??

3 Becky Kotrous says:

Have you done any research on how any of the essential oils
like lemon eucalyptus,peppermint,or any other oil for that matter? I am doing a research paper on ant control. Wha ti have found to be is you need to devert ants and make them work for you and no upset the delicate balance of nature.
I found this site and am needing proof the oils can work for deverting ants and not killing them.

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