Thursday, April 17, 2008

Earth Day 2008: Tip 2

There are a ton of little "ant traps" and such on the market, but did you know that you can rid your home of ants in a more natural way? My "secret" method (and I need to use it every year it seems)-- Borax and sugar water! The key is to keep the proportion right or the ants won't like the mixture. I use the following recipe:

2 cups of sugar
1 cup of water
2 tablespoons of borax

Place all ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil (while stirring). Boil for 3 minutes (the sugar and borax should be dissolved). Using the plastic lids from milk containers or those small glad ware style covers, etc-- put a dime size or so spread of the mixture. Place it in the effected room or outside where the ants are. They will find the sticky liquid no matter where it is placed. The ants eat this and then take it back to their nest. Before long there will be no more ants as this mixture will kill them.

If you have pets or small children, there are ways to make it work. I like to use the smallest glad ware containers and poke holes in the side-- three or four holes. I put the mixture in the bottom, and this way, my dog can't eat it, but the ants can find it just fine.

For the record-- you can find borax (for ants) or boric acid (also works on roaches) traps and liquid in stores, but it is more costly. Also--all year round, ants like liquid, but the solid traps only work during certain seasons (early spring primarily).

After the ants are gone, it is all about prevention... at least until the next ant mating season. LOL!

Some quick tips--

  • Wipe down spills immediately.
  • Clean counters and other food prep areas with soapy water.
  • Take the garbage out frequently.
  • If you make your own compost, use an airtight container or take it out as often as possible and scrub down the container.
  • Keep food debris out of the sink.
  • Rinse any dishes left in the sink well.
  • Sweep and mop regularly.
  • Keep food and pet food in airtight (with a rubber seal) containers. Ants can crawl in to containers by following the threads!
  • Seal entry points (doors, outlets, windowsills, etc).


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