Even in the dead of winter in Fort Dodge, Iowa, you can bet on seeing an ant or two inside your home. These tiny little pests are like sea pigeons of the insect world, always scavenging for food and eating whatever they can get their mouths on. Now that December is here and holiday parties and gatherings are in full effect, crumbs may get left behind attracting these fascinating creatures who communicate with one another through pheromones. Pheromones are scent trails ants leave behind to let other ants know food is around.
So how can you ensure these unwanted guests don’t find their way into your next gathering or social function? Smitty’s Lawn and Landscape have whipped up a few do-it-yourself ideas that can help keep these ants out of your home and away from your family.
Dish Soap and Glass Cleaner
Since ants use scented trails to communicate, let’s start with removing them. Mixing glass cleaner and liquid detergent or dish soap will help remove the scented trail ants leave behind. Simply mix the two in equal parts and spray on areas where ants have been found, and viola, the scents are gone.
Used Coffee Grinds
Now this one is one of my favorites. As a coffee drinker, I always have used coffee grinds on hand. Instead of throwing them away, spread them around to where ants are typically seen. Ants are highly susceptible to caffeine and will carry the grinds home and eat them, causing them to lose their scent trails and confusing them. This method can take some time to be productive, so you may want to combine this with a few other means.
Who knew? Cornstarch is deadly to ants because they are attracted to its taste but can’t digest it. Take one tablespoon of sugar, 15ml of water, and two tablespoons of cornstarch, and spread it along the ant’s trail.
Scents Ants Find Repulsive
If you’re looking for more humane efforts, there are several scents that ants find repulsive. One is black pepper. The scent will keep them away. Simply take your pepper shaker and sprinkle it around your baseboards and behind appliances, and ants will generally keep moving on.
Ants also despise the smell of cinnamon. You can sprinkle it around the baseboards and behind appliances like the black pepper, or if you don’t want to create such a mess, add 1/4 cinnamon to a 1/2 teaspoon of water and soak in a cotton ball. Wipe the cotton ball around the area in which you have spotted ants.
The third odor on our list is that of garlic. Either sprinkle garlic powder around areas where ants have been seen or place a few garlic cloves around your home such as along your window panes, baseboards, and other areas of interest.
Finally, the smell of peppermint is a natural insect repellant that can be used to deter ants and other critters including, mosquitoes. If you have a green thumb, you can plant several mint plants around your Fort Dodge area home. If not, you can purchase essential oil of peppermint online or at an herb store. Mix 10 to 20 drops of the peppermint oil with two cups of water. Spray the mixture around your baseboards, along your window panes, and kitchen appliances. But be cautious if using around pets as they can become sick if they eat peppermint.
The next time you see ants marching across your Fort Dodge area home, soak them up with a solution of 50% water and 50% vinegar. White vinegar kills and repels them. You can also use the white vinegar to clean hard surfaces that may have food crumbs left behind to help prevent these little buggers from annoying you again.
Lemon Eucalyptus Oil
Another insect repellent that doesn’t just repel ants is lemon eucalyptus oil. This is because it contains citronella, the ingredient used in candles to repel mosquitoes. To use, simply saturate a cotton ball with it and place it in areas where ants have been seen. Replace cotton balls weekly. Over time, you will see a reduction in the ant population where you placed the cotton balls. But like with peppermint, keep eucalyptus oil away from small children and pets as it can be poisonous.
Last on our list, if you would like to poison the ants and eradicate their colony, the best method is using Borax. Borax is not the same as boric acid. Mix the following together:
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoon of Borax
- 1 1/2 cups of water
Mix until it turns into a thick paste. Apply the paste near the area you discovered ants. The ants will be attracted by the smell of the sugar and will take the concoction back to the queen, poisoning the entire colony.
To Fully Control Ants, You Want Perimeter Pest Control from Smitty’s Lawn and Landscape
Do all of these sound like a lot of work? And none of them guarantee you will rid your home of ants. But Smitty’s Lawn and Landscape has a solution. Our effective perimeter pest control will keep annoying ants and other creepy-crawly pests away. We can help prevent ants, earwigs, flies, gnats, and various other pests from entering your home and keep them away from your family.