After taking a break from blogging for a while, I noticed when I came back that my blog had a distinctly old fashioned look, with a teeny banner that wedged in the middle of the page. I spent the morning sprucing it up. Now that it looks all pretty, I'm going to be uploading some disgusting pictures of Ants.
Every year ants invade our home in the spring, but this year we had a lot of rain in North Texas, and they have taken over. They were everywhere. The kitchen counters and cupboard were awash in ants. They even attacked at my computer desk. We dutifully went out and bought the evilest looking insecticide we could find, a black gallon jug of foul smelling chemicals that made the kitchen seem poisonous and, guess what, DIDN'T KILL THE ANTS. Really, the only way we could kill the ants with it was to drown them in it, along with our food and dishes.
After a well spent hour on Google, I put together the two pronged attack. You only need the things above to get rid of them. You probably already have vinegar, sugar, and on old spray bottle kicking around. You may not have Borax, but it's well worth buying for about a million cleaning and household applications.
You're going to make two solutions. One to make ant traps and the other to spray on your counters and surfaces. Rinse and old spray bottle and fill it with a moderately strong solution of vinegar and water. I used apple cider vinegar because that's what I had on hand. You're going to use this as a companion to your ant traps.
Now mix the Borax with sugar at a 1:3 ratio. One cup of Borax and three cups of sugar will make enough for many traps. Add enough water for a syrupy consistency. We used jar lids to make our traps. Set them in an area where ants are coming and going and wait for your customers to show up at the Diner of Death. The sugar attracts them and the Borax kills them. They don't die immediately, they just never come back. They also take it to their nest. In the first 10 minutes after deploying our traps, everybody was bellying up to the sugar bar:
During the evening I kept the vinegar sprayer at the ready. Ants who didn't notice the traps would be gunned down by vinegar. It kills better than the insecticide and you don't have to worry about getting it on your food. Also makes everything squeaky clean! After about two hours, this is what the trap looked like:
They couldn't get enough of it.
This morning, the ants were all but gone and this is what the trap looked like:
The solution had been eaten and had dried. There were still a few ants coming and going but the improvement was vast! Someone spilled some sugary baked beans on the counter last night and didn't bother to clean it up. Imagine that! There wasn't a single ant feasting on it. This brings up perhaps the most important aspect of ant control. Don't feed them. I continue to be vigilant with my spray vinegar, and we plan to reset the traps and make more for other rooms. This is a big old 1921 Bungalow and there are lots of places for them to get in. It should be kept away from pets and children, of course, but I think you'll agree that this is a far less toxic solution to the ant problem than a gallon of expensive pesticide.
According to the box, Borax is good for all of the following: Tile, grout, pots & pans,cleaning refrigerators, ovens, microwaves, stainless steel, fine china, garbage cans,mattress odors, and outdoor furniture. It's also a laundry booster. I intend to explore all of those uses, since modern commercial cleaning solutions tend to be about as lame, useless, and expensive as pesticides. It also makes pretty good play slime combined with Elmer's glue, but that's a post for another time.