What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Dealing With Ants

Ants can be a problem regardless of where you live.  The most common area you will find ants in the home in the kitchen so that in itself is problematic.  Luckily I have not had to deal with ants a lot although at this house we do have the big black carpenter ants.  As with any pest I look to the root of the problem then deal with it from there.  Ants are looking for a great location close to a food source to build their colony.  If you remove their habitat and food source they will like any other pest move on.  The first step is identifying the ant.  The second step is keeping things in and around the home meticulously clean. 
  •  remove all food sources - All food should be put into ant proof containers.  Think heavy plastic or better yet glass jars.  
  • ant trails - Ants leave a scent trail for other ants to follow.  It is very important to wash away any signs of this trail.  Observation will show you where the trail is then wash where the trail is good with Pinesol or Simple Green.
  • vaccuum - A single crumb is enough to feed an ant colony for days so vacuum, vacuum, vacuum.  Use a hand held vacuum but get any food crumbs up and out of the house.  If you spot any ants they are fair game for the vacuum cleaner as well.
  • problem solve - Find the point of entry and correct the problem.  Use spray insulating foam to seal around outlets and put plastic caps in the outlets to prevent any entry.  Caulk and seal every possible source of entry.  If you have carpenter ants you need to find the source of the wood rot (moisture) that is attracting them.  Destroy the nest and correct the moisture problem.  Any remaining ants will move on.  
  • ant bait/sprays - You may need to set out a few ant baits but they should be out of the kitchen area and where children can play with them.  Seriously though ant bait is not an effective way of dealing with ants.  It is a temporary solution at best.  You need to correct the problem then destroy the nest.  Rather than use poisonous to humans bait use the sweetener packaged in the blue packets.  It is a neurotoxin that will kill off ants.  Another effective method is boiling water but only do this for ant hills very close to your house that are causing problems.  Ants are actually very beneficial critters so it is good to keep them outside while preventing them from coming indoors. 
  • natural treatments - Bayleaves, cinnamon and mint oil are all rumoured to be effective treatments for ants when placed along their trails.  Cornmeal is said to be effective by some but other report it just attracts ants.

Garden Gnome


Anonymous said...

Hi sweety ,

I have read your good blog about
ants ...

I would like to add one thing about the sprays and pesti....

Try putting fresh turkish coffee
or lemongrass essential oil aslo lavender , ants and insects hate such essential oils.

and keep writing , ur blogs are good ...