Thursday, September 4, 2008

A green (and red) way to get rid of ants

If ants are around your home, then it must be late summer. But figuring out how to deter them without blasting a lot of ant killer is a challenge.

Water has no lasting impact. And vinegar, a solution I'd read about somewhere, didn't work for my mother, as she's often quick to point out.

In a moment of frustration recently, I asked my husband if he'd seen anything on ants in a green flyer we'd gotten in the mail. He had. The solution? Cayenne pepper. I thought he was nuts.

Good thing we have a large bottle. He grabbed the cayenne, went outside by our tomato plants and dumped the cayenne vigorously. "They spread like crazy," he reported.

According to
You can also apply scents and substances that ants simply don't like for various reasons: vinegar, peppermint oil, cinnamon, black pepper, cayenne pepper, whole cloves, and bay leaves. Some of these might be harmful to pets and irritating to curious children.

Yes, but still better than insecticide when little ones are around.


Anonymous said...

Great tip! I use cinnamon - it probably does the same thing as cayenne: it is so strong in smell, that they lose their trail.

If cinnamon doesn't work, I pull out the strong stuff. Natural orange cleaner. I spray a little in the cracks where they enter the house, and just leave it there for a few days. Works every time!

Joy said...

I'm so glad you've included this tip! We also have a post about ant prevention over at The Green Baby Guide, but many of the tips are the same. You can check it out here:

Thanks for joining us this week for Thrifty Green Thursday!

EnviRambo said...

We get ants in the house every summer. This year we tried a solution of borax mixed with honey. Spread some on a small piece of cardboard and set out of reach of little ones and pets, but where the ants are traveling. We do not have small children or pets so we put it on the floor and counter top.

So many ants congregated that we had to lay down extras. I had my doubts it was going to work, but the next morning the ants were all gone and did not return.

I used the left over box borax in the laundry.

Robbie said...

Thanks for sharing other ideas that have worked for you! Good to know there's more than one solution that doesn't involve chemicals.