Ants are a nuisance for homeowners. Many ants establish pathways to kitchens or bathrooms where they eat food supplies and create health hazards. Other ants inside homes can be a sign of wood damage or foundation problems. Homeowners who do not want to buy pesticides can open their cupboards and look at common cooking or cleaning supplies for several homemade mixtures that have been shown to create effective barriers against ants.
Bone meal is a fertilizer rich in phosphorus that many homeowners use as a natural fertilizer. Ants do not care for bone meal and many species will avoid it if it is sprinkled on the ground. Homeowners can sprinkle bone meal lines right outside their doors and in the soil below windows to stop ant incursions.
Ants dislike any acidic substance, and one of the most common acidic substances in the house is vinegar. Homeowners can try spraying white vinegar on window sills and doorways. Ants can sense it even after it dries, but the smell will fade away after only a day or so. Homeowners can also mix a 50/50 solution of apple vinegar and water and spray it along any ant trails for a similar effect.
Many powder solutions are effective against ants, but boric acid and borax are the most common. Homeowners can mix these natural poisons with a sweetener like corn syrup or sugar to help make it appealing to ants, then set a dish on the floor to distract and kill ants. Chalk, baby powder, and talcum powder also work, but homeowners do not need to make the ants eat it. Many types of ants will avoid chalky or powdery areas if lines are drawn at doorways and windowsills. Pepper and chili powder also work.
Soap mixtures, like common bathtub soap or soap made soybeans, can also deter ants. Homeowners should make a soap mixture and then follow the lines of ants to see if they can find a source or entry point into the house. When homeowners locate cracks or holes that are being used by ants, they can coat these areas with the soap mixture to help prevent ants from using these areas again.
Certain types of plants create chemicals that ants try to avoid. If homeowners have any garlic, they can crush it up and line it on cracks to stop ants. Peppermint leaves or peppermint oil also work. If the homeowner has any cucumber or citrus oils available, these substances also make effective natural barriers against ants and other pests.
- Photo Credit ants image by berkay from Fotolia.com
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