We’ve lived in our home for almost six years, and in that time, lucky for us, we’ve had no need for pest control inside. And then, one day this summer, the scene in my kitchen was like something out of Arachnophobia – except with ants, not spiders. And I don’t know the word for that, so you get the idea. I think. Anyway, knowing that my food allergic kids are sensitive to the chemicals in foods, logic tells me they would be sensitive to the buggy neurotoxins in pest control chemicals. (Because if it’s neurotoxic to a bug’s brain, it’s probably neurotoxic to all brains.) Plus, the pest control guy wanted me to sign a $499 annual contract. Um, no.
I set out to discover natural ant deterrents or killers that actually work. The big ol’ Internet is full of thousands of ideas. To make things easier for you, I’m sharing what, after some trial and error, worked for us.
Ok. Ok. So, it’s still a cleaning chemical. But it’s not a pesticide. Turns out, if you shoot the original blue cleaning spray along your baseboards and at ant entry points, the ants go away. They don’t like it. Go figure. I wasn’t sure what the Windex would do to my paint, so I admittedly only used this method on the baseboards in my garage. I did it a couple days in a row and haven’t seen any ants out there since. Plus the paint – and even the drywall that got sprayed accidently – looks fine. Buh-bye, biting devil ants!
Booby Trap with Borax
So, this is probably the closest I’ll ever get to a Pinterest project. It’s not pretty, but, man, it’s awesome. Buy this Borax stuff in your laundry aisle (I’d never heard of it, if that gives you any indication of what kind of domestic goddess I am not). You’ll also need a jar lid (or a few if you have a lot of ants; I used baby food jar tops), cotton balls, sugar, water.
Combine 2 cups sugar, 2 Tbsp Borax and 1 cup water in a mixing bowl. Stir it up.
Pack your jar lid full of cotton balls. Soak cotton balls by spooning soupy mixture over them until they are, well, soaked. (You might want to place the jar lid where you want it FIRST, otherwise, you’re probably going to make a mess.) Ta-da. You have a Borax Booby Trap.
The ants will soon be covering your cotton balls, drinking up the sweet nectar of poison. It might take them a little while to figure it out. Or it might not. My ants were smart. They started drinking from those cotton balls within minutes. To give you fair warning, I would say, there were thousands of ants on my traps. It was pretty scary even though they were just ants. I put one trap inside my house, in the laundry room, where I figured out they were coming in. And I put three others outside where I saw tons of ants – one by the entrance to my garage from the driveway and two others by my dumpster. After about a day and a half, the ants were gone.
There you have it, dear readers. Don’t say I never told you how to kill anything.
Writer/editor Brooke Bernard is a mother of 2 who doesn’t appreciate insects making her house home.