Have you accidentally left a half-eaten cookie on your kitchen counter overnight? Did the kids drop a few crumbs on the floor? If you live in a region where ants are prevalent, you may have just provided them with a feast. While mostly harmless, ants are a big nuisance and can be difficult to eradicate once they’ve invaded your kitchen.
Heavy duty pesticides will rid you of the problem, but then you must consider what exactly is IN those pesticides. Many are toxic and full of harmful chemicals that are unsafe for your family. According to a recent study, children who have been exposed to conventional pesticides in their homes may have an increased risk of certain cancers.
But that doesn’t mean you have to live with the pesky critters. Instead, there are natural remedies and deterrents to keep ants outside without compromising the health of your family. Start outdoors and work your way in with these tips.
1. Apply diatomaceous earth. If there are visible anthills within several feet of your home, you can generously sprinkle them with diatomaceous earth. It’s a naturally occurring, safe-for-mammals pesticide.
2. Caulk it. The best way to keep ants out of your kitchen is to never let them in. Seal any windows, doors or cracks ants might crawl through. (PS this also helps out with your energy bill).
3. Erase their trail. Ants leave behind a pheromone trail wherever they go, allowing their buddies to sniff the scent and follow their path. That’s why you usually see ants in multiples, and few lone wolves. Use a vinegar mixture of equal parts vinegar and water (or Aunt Fannie’s Cleaning Vinegar!) to wipe away the trails.
4. Implement preventative maintenance. To establish a protective barrier, regularly spray Aunt Fannie’s All Purpose Pest Remedy around windows, doors and baseboards. Spray on surfaces under sinks, in cabinet corners and behind appliances. If you spot ants while you’re spraying, you can spray directly on them as necessary. The natural oils, like clove and cottonseed, safely repel ants, as well as spiders and roaches!
5. Be consistent with your cleaning. If you are constantly fighting a trail of ants, there’s a possibility you’re not cleaning well or often enough. Wipe up crumbs and sticky messes as soon as they occur. Try to keep your fridge and pantry as tidy as possible as well.