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Nontraditional Tips for Ant Control

It’s normal to occasionally see ants in Pacific Northwest homes as they seek a warmer environment, but we can control their presence within our living space. Some recommendations involve basic sanitation advice, but there are some NON-traditional recommendations that people also swear by, and we hope they are helpful to you as well.

We encourage your best judgment regarding issues of health and safety for you, your family, and your pets when it comes to using any recommended measures.

NON-traditional, NON-pesticide tips from “Getting Rid of Ants,”, sponsored by (2011):

  • Sounds crazy, but try vinegar! Fill a squirt bottle with plain old cheap white vinegar, and squirt it anyplace you’ve seen ants (kitchen counters, windowsills, etc) and let it dry. It is non-toxic, won’t harm anything, and the smell will go away in just a couple of minutes. It worked for me!
  • Corn flour – works every time for us. Ants eat it but can’t digest it. The corn flour is fine enough to be walked back to the nest. We have a lot of ant problems, but corn flour saves the day!
  • I have a suggestion for the ant problem; plain old cinnamon. I put in or at the site of the ant invasion, and they back off quick! This works for exteriors too. I have a vegetable garden in my front yard and had ants all over. I sprinkled it around every raised bed and around the edges of my house – all ants were gone overnight. It’s wonderful!
  • I have a book with several tips for the use of apple cider vinegar. One of them is getting rid of ants.  Make a mixture of 50/50 water and vinegar and pour it into a spray bottle. Spray the surface with the solution several times a day. Ants guide themselves with their scent. Vinegar has a natural chemical scent that ants avoid.
  • My husband was in conversation recently with a gentleman in the pest control business. This man preferred to use environmentally safe methods to control pests. His recommendation for ants was: equal parts Windex and Ivory Soap. Simply mix, and spray problem areas.
  • I had a bad problem with them last year and tried everything. Then, I read in a book to place Bay Leaves on your counters, preferably along the trail where they are coming in (if you can find it). It worked. Now I make sure that I keep some behind my canisters, etc. and on my countertops.
  • I initially sprinkled baby powder around their entry site and as a barrier to my food and garbage. Eventually they stayed away completely and I do not need to put any more powder down at all. I read that they do not like to get any powder on their feet.
  • Black pepper is a nonlethal, poison free, cheap, and safe way to get rid of ants – sprinkle the black pepper where you see them congregating and watch ‘them scatter. Follow them to where they’re exiting – which is the same spot they’re entering in at – and sprinkle the pepper at that spot to keep them from coming back in. It’s safe to use in your cabinets, on windowsills, around food, etc. CAUTION: Pepper products can be harmful to pets.


 Angela Hayes

General Manager

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