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Keep the Ants from Marching In!

Keep the Ants from Marching In!

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.

Ant Spray
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.

Diatomaceous Earth
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.

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  • paul says:

    Nothing works for fire ants quite like a big pot of boiling water. Two applications and they are done. After the first application you will see hundreds of dead ants around the mound. Second application usually does the trick.

  • Suzy says:

    Our 160 year old family home has never been plagued with termites. Why? Because ants loathe termites & we respect & coexist with the tiny ant.

    We must have contented ants, as I don’t ever recall ants ever entering our home………except perhaps, for the stray ant who entered, having hitch hiked in on a picked flower.

  • Jeri says:

    I had several mounds around the walkway and in flower beds. I used boiling hot water to
    get rid of them. Hot water will kill grass but in places where there is no grass, it works great.

  • Kerwin Maude says:

    I found a 50/50 mixture of borax (environmentally friendly product used for laundry and storing frozen fishing roe) mixed with icing sugar works quite well. Ants are nuisance pests, and are resilient. Sprinkle the mixture along ant paths, and on top of hills, we even put a little in the pantry and within days the little buggers are gone. Please be careful when using this idea with young children or pets around. Do not clump it on the grass as it will burn as it suffocates the spot. The ants will be gone and not reappear for several weeks. The icing sugar is the attractant and the borax will be taken down to share with the nest to destroy them. Reapply after rain periods or watering the lawn, it works…..

  • Apryl says:

    A few years back I had a bad case of ants on my kitchen counter…….. I just mixed equal parts of water and vinegar and sprayed the counters window sills and threshold……… In a few days they were gone, never returned……………

  • Madelynn says:

    Boric acid power will kill sugar ant’s

  • If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1919, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.

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