When colonies of ants move into your house or garden, they can be hard to get rid of. Ants breed at astronomical rates and divide up to start new colonies if one becomes too large. Poison sprays and borax kill ants effectively, but they are not healthy to use indoors where they can be inhaled or ingested, and poisons make garden vegetables dangerous to eat. To get rid of ants, you must kill not only the ones you see, but the queen as well.
Things You'll Need
- Citrus solvent
- Spray bottle
- Cleaning rag
- Small bowls
- Uncooked wheat farina
- Uncooked instant oatmeal
- Diatomaceous earth
- Boiling water
Mix ¼ cup of citrus solvent (available in natural food stores) with 2 cups of water, and spray the solution directly onto ants. When the ants are dead, wipe them up and wipe along their trail with the citrus spray. This will erase the trail and force the ants to look elsewhere for food. Citrus solvents are harmful to people if ingested in large amounts, but traces of it on counter tops or in the air aren’t dangerous.
Place small bowls of uncooked wheat farina or instant oatmeal near anthills or in places you see ants appearing from. The ants will take the food back to the colony. When they eat these cereals, they expand in their abdomens and kill them.
Sprinkle diatomaceous earth on lines of ants and in anthills. This powder causes small cuts on the ants’ exoskeletons, which makes them dry up and die. Diatomaceous earth is not toxic to people and animals in small amounts, but it can cause respiratory irritation if inhaled.
Pour boiling water into anthills to kill whole colonies. If you manage to kill the queen, the colony will die. If the colony doesn’t disappear within a few days, pour more boiling water on it. Even if the queen doesn’t die, the colony will probably leave. Avoid using this method on your lawn or near plants, however, because the hot water will also kill grass and roots.