Monday, February 8, 2010

DIY: Trial and Error - How To Get Rid of Ants

Mike and I have new roommates:

[Image via Flikr]

Don't judge me. My house is spotless, so there are no crumbs to eat. At least not anymore.

The invasion started about a week ago, when I found a bunch of ants loitering in the kitchen. I annihilated them with pest spray, thinking that would be the end. (My apologies to those who feel strongly about the use of chemicals on pests!)

The next couple of days were quiet - and then they invaded the living room. HOWEVER, the ants were justified this time! We had left a few crumbs on the floor the other day. So, after another ant annihilation and a thorough vaccuuming, I assumed they would retreat.

I WAS SO WRONG. They invaded the kitchen, the front hall, the bathroom, and the TV stand almost daily. So I set up ant traps - NO USE.

On Thursday night, I was done. I was SOoooooOOO over the ants, so I went online (where all the answers lie) and searched for natural remedies, at home remedies, and essentially anything I could find. Well, I ended up learning a LOT about ants - specifically that they're probably in the house because it is winter, and that they are REALLY hard to actually get rid of and the best you can hope for is to CONTROL them.

Thankfully, every single article mentioned the use of a product called Terro. Which is essentially a 5% Borax solution, mixed with sweetner (or something) to attract ants. Borax apparently dehydrates the ants, and kills them. And with this product, they feast on its tasty sweetness and brings it back to the nest to share, so more die.
(Again, I'm really sorry to those who feel compassionate towards the ants, but I need my house back. I'm tired of feeling dirty because they've taken up residence!)

In my readings I found SO MANY OTHER "natural remedies" that didn't work. Like, a chalk line...many people posted that if you drew a line with chalk the ants wouldn't cross it because the fine dust would impair their breathing (or something), so in the name of science I tested this by drawing a circle around a lone ant. At first it was confused, then the walked right out.

Mustard powder would apparently repel them, however my ants were very curious about it, and decided to take some back to the nest.
Same with cinnamon, black pepper, cayenne pepper and cloves. They walked right through it, and in some instances took some back to the nest.

The only thing that has returned results Terro. They ants SWARMED it (and it took every OUNCE of self control for me to continue to make my breakfast while my kitchen was overrun with those buggers), and brought it back to the nest. Many died in the little traps (because it's a thick liquid, so they likely drowned?), but since I've put them out, I HAVEN'T SEEN ANTS.

And OMG, I am so thankful. Since then, I've vaccuummed repeatedly, bleached the floors and counters. Though, it's not like my kitchen wasn't clean to begin with (I'm super insane about the state of my kitchen). Hopefully those assholes won't be back. But I'll keep you posted.


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