Did you know that ants leave a scented trail for each other so they can easily find their way back to the jackpot (which is most often the food source in your home)? Trails can be both visible and invisible to human eyes, but ants can follow the trails with ease.
Control ants in the home
The first line of defense is making your home unattractive to ants.
• Make sure to wipe up spills immediately and wipe off counters, tables and stovetops a few times a day.
• Also sweep and wash floors regularly.
• Don’t leave dirty dishes around the house or in the sink.
• Keep dry foods (like flour, cereal, sugar, oats, etc.) in air tight containers.
• Take out garbage every day
• Wash out all food packaging before putting in the bin.
Although a sloppy home will attract ants, having ants in your home doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a poor housekeeper - the ants could be after water. If it’s dry outside and there’s not a nearby water source, ants will be in your home on the hunt for water. They’ll find it in houseplants, sinks and drains, pet water dishes and cups left out containing liquids.
Making your own ant repellant will deter ants and force them to look elsewhere.
Homemade spray recipes
Clean countertops and surfaces well with one of the cleaners below. They can also be used to spray ants directly.
• Vinegar & Water (50/50 mix)
• Cider Vinegar & Water (50/50 mix)
• Essential oils: Peppermint, Lavender, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree Oil
Natural ant repellents
Look for cracks or holes in the house where the ants are coming from, spread any of these repellents around the holes (or combination of items on the list). Also spread around window sills, along baseboards, in corners and outside doors. The theory is that since ants are repelled by these items, they’ll turn back. Success of the repellents can depend on the species of ants in your home.
• Ground Black Pepper
• Bay Leaves
• Whole Cloves
• Red Chili Powder (sprinkle liberally or make a paste with water)
• Used Coffee Grounds
• Cucumber Peels
• Essential Oils: Peppermint, Lavender, Eucalyptus. Swab at entrance points.
Find out more about how to control and get rid of ants and other pests on homedzine.co.za