Aside from sentimental objects, I don’t like to keep things around for long. The second I’m through with a magazine, receipt, or any other piece of miscellany, into the recycling or garbage bin it goes.
However, when I learned that my old coffee grounds could do something amazing — something I’ve been trying to do for years — I decided to hold off on throwing them out.
You see, every year, without fail, my home is visited by a troop of pesky, nibbling, invasive creatures: Ants. And since I hate to use chemicals, and organic retail sprays are too expensive, I’m often at a loss.
Who knew the answer to my problem was in my garbage can all along?
And after doing a little more digging, I found that there are a ton of other all-natural ways to treat and prevent ants. Now, the next time I spot one of those six-legged pests, I’ll just take a look in my very own pantry!
Do you have any special tricks for getting rid of ants? Let us know in the comments below — then please click SHARE!
White Vinegar Spray
Do you have a steadily marching army of ants trailing in and out of your home? Mix one part vinegar and one part water, then pour it into a spray bottle. Spray the trail of ants for immediate effect, then the interior and exterior of their entry point. The solution will agitate them and disrupt their scent trail. For added potency, you can also mix in some lemon juice or mint oil.
For an all-natural, chemical-free ant trap, this solution is perfect. All you’ll need is a small dish or cotton ball, and the following ingredients:
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 Tbsp Borax powder
Mix these ingredients, then boil them up for about 3 minutes. Once the mixture is cool, pour it into a small dish; alternately, you can soak a cotton ball in it, then set the cotton ball on a small sheet of aluminum foil. Soon, the ants will be drawn to the solution, drink it up, then return to their nests, where they will then die — leaving no ant bodies to clean up!
NOTE: Do not leave this solution where children or pets can reach. Borax is harmful when ingested. Leave your dish or cotton ball on a hard-to-reach surface, like a window sill or tall countertop.
Chalk or Chalk Powder
If you know where your ants are entering, take a piece of chalk — or some chalk powder — and draw a thick line around the spot. Ants won’t enjoy walking through the chalk line (which is made of the mineral talc), so if you maintain this line, they will not cross.
Old Coffee Grounds
Before you throw out those used coffee grounds, consider saving them for your garden or back steps. Ants do not enjoy the “smell” or texture of coffee grounds, so sprinkle them in any area plagued by the six-legged buggers. Surround their entry points or hills to do away with them.
Uncooked Cream of Wheat
Uncooked Cream of Wheat or (farina) is lethal to ants, as it expands within their stomaches after it’s consumed. Set out a dish of it, or sprinkle it around outside, and soon you’ll be rid of your pest problem.
Peppermint Plants or Oil
Ants rely on chemical scent trails — both to communicate with one another, and to direct them to and from food — so peppermint is a great way to deter them. Luckily, peppermint is wonderfully fragrant to us, but terrible for little ants, so keeping these refreshing leaves around is a win-win. You can also make a peppermint oil solution by adding 10 drops of oil to 1 cup of water; spray this around to keep the ants away.
Another pleasant ant deterrent is ground cinnamon. Block their access points to your home by leaving a thick line of this yummy spice around. They won’t be able to cross their threshold any longer.
Just like the vinegar solution above, soapy water is a safe, effective way to take care of ants on sight. Just spray their lines to wipe them — and their trails — away. (Coupling this method with other preventatives in this list will make it most effective.)
Like Cream of Wheat, cornmeal is a wonderful, non-toxic way to keep ants away. Safe to children and pets, this is perfect for blocking ants’ access to your home. The ants will attempt to eat the cornmeal, only to later discover they can’t digest it. Keep it around during the summer months and watch your ant problem disappear.
Have you pinpointed their hill or nest? Fix the problem at its source by boiling some water, heading outside, and dumping the water on their home. You might want to repeat this process a few times, as their tunnels go deep below.
Do you have any special tricks you use for treating ants? Let us know in the comments below!
Please SHARE if you know anyone with an ant problem!