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Ants Ants and More Ants---Natural treatments

By
Real Estate Agent with Long and Foster 703-368-1146

You're a young married couple.  You're all excited you just purchased your first home and have moved in with very few problems.   What an exciting time!!!!

Then it begins to rain..(I forgot to mention it is April and the rainy season is upon you).

You wake up one morning to a parade of piss ants marching up your wall and across your counters!! OH NO!! what do you do?  If you prefer to not use chemical treatments, I have a short list of some treatments (I've used some and know they work and know have heard of people having success with others and some are new to me.)

1.  Natural Green Ant Repellant...1/2 tsp natural soap, 12 drops of peppermint oil, 8 oz water, combine in spray bottle and away you go

2.  Ant Bait recipe..1/4 c sugar, 1/4 c baking yeast, 1/2 molassses, mix and spread on index cards and place around house where you've seen ants

3.  Vinegar .. just spray away where you've seen them crawling (I've used this.. it works)  Also, stay tuned for my 100 uses for vinegar blog coming soon .  Well maybe not 100 exactly  :-D

4.  Baby powder, sprinkle on ants and around area where they are entering your house

5.  Cinnamon.. my daughter told me about this.  It is used a lot in southern California where housing developments and been built up in old orange groves.  Sprinkle around like baby powder.  I believe she said that people will also sprinkle a barrier all the way around their houses.  (must be replaced periodically when applied that way, washes away with rain etc., but it doesn't really rain in southern California does it??)

6.  Chalk.. I've not heard of this one before, but my sources believe they won't cross the "white" line.  Must be chicken ants!!

7,  Mint and other herbs.. plant around your house.  this one goes back to #1 using the peppermint oil

8.  Boric acid mixed with sugar....yummy this is carry out for tonight, take it home for din-dins!!

9.  Ant spikes.. not home made, my ants come in around my door to the garage.. not much dirt there to pound a stake in to

10.  Lighter Fluid...I can see all kinds of problems with this one.  I'll leave it to your imagination.

I have also found myself just spraying the area they are coming in with cleaning spray like lysol etc will stop them.  Leave it on wall, counter top area or wherever for a few days then wipe off.  No more ants.  At least for this rainy season.

I stay away from chemicals as much as possible.  We have pets and I don't like to take any chances.

If any of you have different natural treatments, please feel free to post them :-)

So our happy couple read my list, got rid of their ants and lived happily ever after!!! 

THE END

Juan Jimenez
A House on a Rock Home Inspections LLC - Richmond, VA
The Richmond Home Inspector

Mary, this is great stuff. What about yellow jackets. I get them every year in my yards.  I find them when I am mowing the yard and they take my mower ransom. I come back late at night wearing evervy sweater and glove I can find, find the hole, and spray two cans of wasp killer down the hole. Is there anything natural that I can put in the holes to rid me of these pests!

Sep 19, 2013 12:45 AM
Mary Ann Woolerton
Long and Foster 703-368-1146 - Manassas, VA
Agent, Long and Foster RE Gainesville VA

Let me do some research and get back with you.

Sep 20, 2013 03:59 AM
Juan Jimenez
A House on a Rock Home Inspections LLC - Richmond, VA
The Richmond Home Inspector

Thanks Mary Ann!

Sep 20, 2013 04:01 AM
Mary Ann Woolerton
Long and Foster 703-368-1146 - Manassas, VA
Agent, Long and Foster RE Gainesville VA

Ok, a quick and dirty research on Yellow Jackets

Never approach a nest during the day..but you already know this.

This non-toxic treatment seems the most likely to work:

1/2 qt peppermint castile soap mixed with 1/2 qt water.  Pour down the nest hole.  Follow this with 1 qt boiling water.  This was posted on a Mother Earth News Blog.  I do know that peppermint is a great preventive for insects of all kinds as is soap.  The poster was not sure if it was the peppermint or soap or a combination of the two, but they have used it a few times and it has worked every time.  The boiling water was mentioned in other articles also.

Some of the more fun suggestions were:

Mix grape jelly, cat food and boric Acid together as a bait trap.

1 oz alcohol down the hole top with dry ice and an inverted glass bowl over the top of the hole with a brick on top.  Pull up your lawn chair and cooler and watch the fun as the yellow jackets try to attack.  Poster said it took 2-3 cans of beer for the activity to slow down.

Bubble wrap covering the ground all around the hole for several feet.  Not sure how that works but someone uses it.

The most important thing, which you already know is that they are VERY aggressive and can cause serious injury, or even death with their stings.  Always work around the nests after all the bees have returned to their nest for the night.

Hope this helps

Sep 20, 2013 04:49 AM
Juan Jimenez
A House on a Rock Home Inspections LLC - Richmond, VA
The Richmond Home Inspector
Thanks Mary! I'll give that a try next year!
Sep 20, 2013 01:12 PM