Keep ants away naturally with this simple ‘how to’ guide. With over 12,000 species of ants in the world, only a small handful of them insist on invading our homes in search of something tasty from either the sweet foods or flesh and greasy foods. Ants commonly found indoors include the Argentine ant, the pharaoh ant, the thief or grease ant, the pavement ant and the odorous house ant. And if you’re really unlucky, you might have the carpenter ant, an ant insistent on destroying the wood that holds up your house, so get professional help fast in that case!
However, it would be unbalanced to see ants as bad on the whole. Most of the things ants do are good for us and the environment, including eating the larvae of fleas, spiders, bed bugs, flies, silverfish and clothes moths. From that point of view, aiming to control them and prevent them from accessing your food is a better approach than seeking to completely eliminate them and natural approaches are best for this purpose. For the ants you need to control, there are some very easy, natural and effective natural methods to either ward off or remove ants from your home areas.
Load the soapy water. Soapy water will both kill the ants it hits and it will destroy their chemical trail, preventing more ants from following in their tracks. This cheap and easy method consists simply of putting one teaspoon of liquid dish soap into a spray bottle and filling it with water. When you see ants, spritz them and that will be it! Additions to the water for added potency include mint oil or citrus peels or citrus rind oil. Adding soap to water barriers can make them even more effective than simply using the water.
Create your own ant baits. You can buy ant baits but they're chemical preparations that don't fit well with natural attempts to control ants in the home. It's straightforward to make your own ant baits and a particularly successful one is made using boric acid. A natural derivative of the mineral boron, boric acid is used in borax and some saline solutions. Boric acid is a stomach poison – when ants walk in it and then clean their feet or antennae, they ingest it. Bearing in mind that removing too many ants from your local environment can harm the good they're doing in keeping down pests for you, here is how to make a boric acid bait: Buy boric acid at the local drug store (it's about USD$2 a bottle). Pour about a tablespoon of real maple syrup (or anything you know ants love) on a flat plate or saucer. Sprinkle the boric acid around the syrup so that the ants must walk through it to get to the syrup, you may even use a q-tip to ensure a good distribution of the powder around the the syrup. Place wherever the ants are frequenting. Keep out of the reach of children or pets. Be patient as this method can take a week to take effect.