A war has been waging between ants and me for some time now. It seems like, no matter where I live or how clean my home is, I always have ants – crawling in the trash, marching across my kitchen counters, trailing along the floor. It’s hard to keep your floors completely food-free when you have a toddler/preschooler running around with crackers in his fists. So the ants have found a utopia in my house.
Even worse, my son is obsessed with the ants. He likes to pick them up and let them crawl all over him. He really enjoys smashing them. I find them to be a nuisance, while he finds them an endless source of enjoyment. I started to worry that the ants were becoming his favorite playmates. And that’s when I became desperate.
Since I really do not want to use harsh poisons or chemicals inside or outside of my home, dealing with the ant problem has been a frustrating battle. Even back before I became “green,” those ant traps didn’t seem to work. I can’t possibly keep track of all of the endless hours I have spent online trying desperately to find a natural solution to ant infestation. I even called a local company that claimed to deal with your insect infestations in a chemical-free way – their response: “The only way to get rid of ants is with poison.”
I tried vinegar, cream of tartar, red pepper, kitchen cleaner, and sticky traps. I found where they were coming into the house and sealed up the holes – they just found new ones. I cleaned their trails away – they scattered for a while and then quickly regrouped. Then an idea came to me . . .
My husband left a plate of watermelon rinds sitting on the counter one night. Of course, the next morning there was an ant mob. I grabbed the whole plate and stuck it right outside the back door (where the ants were coming in). I vacuumed up every ant I could see, sprayed a new line of vinegar along the floorboard where they were coming in, and cleaned the kitchen from top to bottom. Later that day, there were no ants. I was confused and cautiously optimistic. I peeked out the back door and saw that they redirected their trail straight to the watermelon plate!
My husband came up with the idea to slowly move the plate closer and closer to the compost bin. So every day we moved the plate a little closer until we dumped the whole thing in the composter. Success! Now a month later, still no ants in the kitchen!
I highly recommend this method to anyone. If you don’t have a composter, use a trash can. If the ant trail isn’t near where you keep your trash can or composter, move it or start a new bin specifically for the ants. It’s worth it to get rid of the little suckers.