Non-Toxic Ant Control
Let me just put it out there that if there is such a thing as reincarnation ... I'm in deep sh*t.
Particularly after this latest vendetta against the ants.
To be honest, I'm an overly-compassionate kind of insect killer ... I can't kill cockroaches, and I actually feel pangs of guilt when I crush a mosquito. But ants. You know, I'm fine with them outside - I know they're important to ecosystems and stuff. But trains of ants and ants and ants across the walls, up the walls, down the walls, into the walls, across the house. That I cannot stand. ARGH!!!!!
So, in my attempts to get these things under control using non-toxic means, I had to resort to:
- chili powder
- borax + honey
- borax + peanut butter
- and chalk
It's been epic, let me tell you.
It's been a looooooong few weeks, with these ants. The painful thing is that they aren't particularly interested in food - just warm, happy nesting spots. Like my bamboo steamer. Or the bread maker. Or the space between the two sliding glass doors in the shower. Who can blame them? Winter's coming. It's getting snuggly cold out there at night, and I don't even have thousands of tiny eggs and a queen to tend.
I can't even in good conscience tell you I've 100% succeeded, because I'm still re-applying my ant control measures every couple of days ... and I still have a couple of ant trains. Just not in the dining room. (Out of sight, out of mind ... )
So, what's worked? I'll tell you what didn't work. Chamomile, cinnamon, chili powder, and peppermint did not work. Vodka did not work. White vinegar worked moderately. Borax in combination with tasty morsels of food did not work.
|The ants and I were initially excited about borax + honey. Till they gave up on it 5 minutes later.|
What worked? CHALK. I know, crazy. And I did look like a crazy lady colouring in my walls and door frames with good old fashioned white chalk. But you know what? Ants HATE the stuff. They won't walk across it, so it's a great way to
- stop ant trails in their tracks, and
- block entry points (if you can find them - this is one of my sticking points)
I know, it's a bit of a fashion statement for the house - but if you have light coloured walls like we do, you'll hardly notice the chalked bits. I coloured in corners and edges and doorframes and windows and places where the ants were coming in or trekking through. Eventually when I have this thing under control I'll wipe off the chalk, yes. But till then? I look at it and fondly remember battles won.
|My chalked dining room walls. Bet you could even do it stylistically ...|
What else worked? EUCALYPTUS OIL. I love the stuff - it wins yet again. Pop it in a spray bottle in a 50:50 ratio with water, attack, and win back your walls (!). The spray technique works particularly well in combination with chalking, as the ant trails will bunch up at chalk-points and you can nail them with eucalyptus there. (Sorry, little fellas). Plus the house smells really nice, fresh, and sinus-clearing.