It’s all fun and games until the ants move in. Then it is a never ending chore of getting them OUT. Here are some tips on handling the season’s ant issue without harming our pets.
- Remove sources of attraction. Keep your kitchen clean. Wash countertops, floors, and cabinets with equal parts vinegar and water. Do not leave crumbs or garbage around, and keep all food, including pet food, and trash in tightly sealed containers. Don’t leave uneaten pet food in bowls; don’t feed pets outdoors, and never feed wildlife. Remove objects in the yard that might attract moisture (e.g., children’s pools, flowerpots, barbecue grills, sheet metal, boards, large pieces of debris, bricks, logs, etc.), trim back vegetation, and remove furniture and debris near the house.
- Locate the source of the ants. When you see ants in your home, try to follow them back to the point where they entered. Use caulk to seal all possible entrances into the house, remembering that ants are tiny and can fit through almost any small opening. Apply weather stripping under doors.
- Use natural ant repellents. If ants are coming in through the cracks of doors and windows, pour a line of cream of tartar where they enter the house, and they will not cross over it. A cinnamon stick, coffee grinds, chili pepper, paprika, cloves, or dried peppermint leaves near the openings will repel ants. You can also squeeze the juice of a lemon at the entry spot and leave the peel there. Planting mint around the foundation of the house will also keep ants away. Place cloves of garlic around indoor and outdoor ant pathways.