Spring is just around the corner, and there are so many things that we are excited for – the flowers, the warm weather and spring cleaning can't come soon enough. One thing that we aren't excited for is the ant invasion that seems to happen at least once every spring. Ant colonies aren't just gross – if they get into your walls they can cause all sorts of damage to your home over time. Pest control solutions are the most effective, but no one wants to leave poison out around their home where it could potentially be found by a pet or little one. Instead, try a few of these natural solutions first.
Apparently, ants hate slices of cucumbers, according to LifeHacker. If you can find out where your ants are coming in, slice up a cucumber and leave them near their entrances to discourage them from ever entering your house. If you suspect that a colony of ants is already living inside your home, you may need to take more serious measures.
Chalk or baby powder
The reason that a chalk line or a circle of baby powder works to stop ants is debatable – some say that it interrupts their sense of smell, making it hard for them to navigate, while others say that they just don't like walking over powdery substances. Either way, this method may be just as efficient as the slice of cucumber trick.
Diatomaceous earth, or DE, is a naturally occurring, soft, siliceous sedimentary rock, but when you buy it at a home goods store it will likely be in powdered form. According to Vegetable Gardener, DE is one of the safest and easiest ways to get rid of an ant infestation. DE is non-toxic to humans and pets, but it will destroy all types of pests, including ants. Some people claim that the powder works like broken glass, sticking to ants' joints and exoskeletons before drying them out. Others say that the powder gets into their breathing tubes. Either way, it will potentially get rid of your pest problem in a few days to a few weeks.
This method is best to reserve for when all else fails. Borax, also known as sodium borate, is toxic to ants, but it is also toxic to pets and humans when ingested, according to LifeHacker. If you can find no other way to eliminate your ant problem, buy some borax – it doesn't cost very much – and mix it with sugar and enough water to make a syrupy paste. Apply the paste to a small square of paper or cardboard for easy removal when guests with children or pets come over and place it somewhere that your ants are sure to find it. The ants will taste the sugar and carry the borax back to their nest, where the queen will be poisoned.
Once you've gotten rid of your pest problem, consider investing in a home warranty. A TotalProtect® Home Warranty limits your liability by protecting your appliances from the costs of repairs and replacement.
The information in this article is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.