The summer months can often bring about problems with insects in our homes, most notably, ant infestations. These fascinating and clever creatures can quickly become a nightmare once they choose our kitchens as their new scavenging ground.
It’s often tempting to reach straight for one of the many toxic insecticides on the market to rid your house of ants, but these contain a cocktail of chemicals which are damaging to the environment and not something that we should be introducing into our homes. Instead, do everything you can to naturally repel ants from your home before considering killing them. The following eco friendly advice should help you to get rid of ants and prevent them from entering your home.
Natural ant repellants
Certain ingredients from around the household have been found to stop ants in their tracks. Ants travel in their famous long lines thanks to a trail of pheromones which they leave behind, indicating that the trail leads to food that they can gather. Strong smelling household ingredients work particularly well in eradicating the pheromones, disrupting the ant’s trail and helping you to get rid of ants around your house.
Ingredients which can deter ants from your home include:
lemon juice- ants appear to dislike acidic ingredients, so sprinkle lemon juice around areas where ants can be seen
baking soda- powdery substances can be difficult for ants to travel through. Leave a line of baking soda on the ground and ants shouldn’t be able to cross it
vinegar- a strong smelling and acidic ingredient which can overpower ants pheromone trails
boiling water- pour over floors, patios and cracks where you have seen ants walking to eradicate their pheromone trails, disrupting their path into your house
cinnamon- a tried and tested natural ant repellant that repels the insects with its fiery scent
Remember that ants are intelligent insects and will enter your house in search of food and water. You can help reduce the risk of an ant infestation by keeping your kitchen and the rest of your house clean and clear up any leftover food. Also be aware of any leaky pipes or taps around or underneath sinks, which may provide ants with a water source. By being vigilant against ants, you can naturally deter them before they are able to pose a threat to your home.
Sadly, it isn’t always possible to simply deter ants from your home, and if an infestation reaches a large scale, killing the invading ants can be the only solution to keep your home ant-free. Instead of using toxic insecticide or ant traps which are both environmentally damaging, choose safer, natural alternatives.
1/8 of a teaspoon of borax mixed with honey makes a safer alternative to insecticide. The honey attracts ants to carry it back to the nest as a food source before the borax ultimately kills the colony. Borax is considered safe to humans and animals in small doses, but be cautious about where you place the mixture and how much to use, and keep it away from small children and pets. The mixture is best used by applying a few drops to a small square of cardboard and leaving it in areas where ants have been seen.
Image sourced: www.wikimedia.orgtagsantseco friendlyinsecticideinsectsnatural insect repellantsummer