Venturing outdoors for a leisurely picnic or a brief repose on the patio? Protect children playing barefoot in the grass from ant bites. Try these two natural remedies will ward off invasive ants.
Fire ants recently set up camp just off our patio, beside the walkway, building more than one mound. Being so close to the house, we want to keep the area free of biting ants and toxic chemicals. Here’s our nontoxic way to rid ants from the yard and patio. If you have young children, you don’t want their playtime ruined by painful fire ant bites. If you discover a fire ant colony in your yard, here are two safe and natural ant remedies, that won’t harm you or the environment.
Fortunately the refreshing scent of peppermint is offensive to ants. This fragrant, natural spray is safe to use indoors or out, whether you spot ants on your kitchen counter or porch. Take a spray bottle on your next outing, to use on a picnic table or around your picnic blanket before dining, to discourage ants from invading your lunch.
This fragrant spray doubles as room freshener and ant deterrent.
4 oz. water
2 T. vodka
15 drops peppermint essential oil
5 drops cinnamon essential oil
Mix above ingredients in a spray bottle. Shake and spray as needed.
Wondering what Diatomaceous Earth is and how it works? It is powdered shell flour, a natural product composed of ground diatoms (a type of algae). The tiny, white crystals aren’t harmful to human touch or consumption, but will effectively eliminate soft bodied ants and other pests like fleas.
To use on a fire ant mound, cover the top of the mound thoroughly with the powder (be sure to purchase “food grade”). Stir the mound with a stick and apply more diatomaceous earth. Only the ants that come in contact with the powder will be destroyed, as it does not penetrate deep into the colony like chemical poisons. You may need to make more than one application to eliminate the entire colony. If ants are making a trail across your porch, deck or patio, lightly dust them with a coat of Diatomaceous Earth.
Diatomaceous Earth is also safe to use for insect control in the garden or greenhouse. Sprinkle it onto plants to deter harmful insects. Apply a ring of Diatomaceous Earth around the perimeter of a raised garden bed to keep ants at bay. You’ll need to reapply after a rain.
Be careful not to breathe in the powder.