Well, it’s that time of year again. Those pesky little tiny black ants start showing back up. I have never had a problem with ants until we moved 6 months ago. I’ve always heard other people talk about how irritating ants can be, I never thought twice about it. Well let me tell you I now know what they were talking about. I will be the first to admit that I’m not a super clean freak but my kitchen is always clean. I love to bake and try out new recipes, so you can see why I would freak out seeing these little pest in my kitchen. So, I have researched how to get rid of these little intruders without using any harsh chemicals in my kitchen. I’m sure I’m not alone in not wanting any chemicals were I prepare my food. So, I thought I would share what I have learned about getting rid of these intruders.
A colony of Sugar Ants (also known as Pharaoh Ants) can consist of up to 300,000 ants. Organic pest control is vital because Pharaoh Ants are capable of carrying pathogens such as salmonella, Staphylococcus and Streptococcus. These ants are very small in size and are a light yellow to reddish-brown. The antenna, terminate in a distinct club shape and have 3 longer segments. The female is capable of laying over 350 eggs during her lifetime and can lay about 12 eggs a day. The eggs hatch in 6-7 days. They only live about 45 days depending on climate conditions.
Sugar Ants like to feed on almost anything, even grease and shoe polish. Foraging ants have been found in almost everything including sealed packages of sterile dressings, IV bottles, water pitchers and car engines.
Pharaoh Ants Travel in Trails.
Trail Locations Outside the House
* Edges of the foundation or sidewalk
* Edge of the driveway
* Fence stringers
* Edge of the lawn or border of flowerbeds
* Separation grooves in the sidewalk
* Next to cement blocks or wood steps
Trial Locations Inside the House
* Next to wiring or plumbing that has been cut through studs
* Trails through insulation in the wall spaces
* Edges of cabinets and close to furniture
* Tree branches or bushes that touch the house
* Old stump roots that may go underneath the house
Ants work day and night. Sometimes you can trick sugar ants by leaving a light on at night in areas you’ve seen them frequent. Ants become frustrated when they notice a change in their light patterns.
Organic Pest Control for Sugar Ants
You can mix one quart of water and 1 tablespoon of Ivory Liquid in a spray bottle and make sure it’s mixed well. Once you spray them and their trail it will help get rid of them because you’ll wash away their scent pathway.
Scrub your kitchen counters with ½ white vinegar and ½ water mixture.
Ants won’t cross a line of chalk, cayenne pepper, baby powder or coffee grounds. This works great around pet food either outdoors or indoors, just make a line around their dishes with any of the above products.
A common window cleaner will kill ants. Just spray them with window cleaner and they are history.
For houseplants just soak orange or lemon peels in hot water< overnight then water your plants with it the next day, it will deter sugar ants away from your plants and out of the soil.
Herbs are great for Organic Pest Control
* Bay Leaves can deter Sugar Ants from kitchen drawers, cupboards and under refrigerator. Just make sure you use fresh whole Bay Leaves.
* Cinnamon powdered cinnamon will block Pharaoh Ants path back to their colony.
* Cloves you can place cloves anywhere you see ants.
* Garlic just place a few small pieces of garlic in cracks and crevices and ants will avoid that area.
* Mint Leaves mint leaves and oils will deter just about any critter but crushed mint leaves has been used for thousands of years to repel ants.
* Ants hate the herb Turmeric. If you can find a sugar ant tunnel entrance just sprinkle Turmeric down into the opening, the pharaoh ants will move far away and never return to that location.
Organic Ant Bait
Here is a good organic ant bait that will kill the ants, mix ½ cup of granulated sugar with 1 teaspoon of borax into 1 cup of water. Place this mixture in a bottle laying on its side with the cap off. Keep out of reach of children and pets!
To kill off the entire colony of ants, mix up a batch honey and boric acid, about ½ teaspoon of each. Place the mixture into a very small bottle with the lid off. The ants will carry the mixture back to the colony and give to the queen as a treat. Keep out of reach of children and pets.