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Weekly Tips | July 15, 2013

Who Says an Ant Can’t?

Able to lift twenty times their body weight, singularly focused on their queen (and earless!), these unwanted guests can make a persistent appearance in the house. But if you want to stop these trailblazers in their tracks, you can rid your nest of this particular pest without resorting to toxic means. Safe for your family, safe for the environment, but not so safe for the ants!

Sprinkle, spray, or pour the following in and around the ants’ entry points:

  • Pure lemon juice

  • Cinnamon

  • Peppermint oil

  • Baking soda mixed with powdered sugar

  • Cornmeal

  • Vinegar

  • “Equal” sweetener and apple juice

  • Coffee grounds


  1. Plug small holes from which ants are entering your house with modeling clay. 

  2. Use soapy water to wipe any existing ant trails to remove pheromones.

These simple homemade remedies may solve your ant problems!

To avoid ants in the future consider these few tips:

  1. Keep perishable food in sealed containers.

  2. Regularly empty and clean trash and recycling bins.

  3. Fix or replace any damage done to pipes or gutters that may allow water to enter your house.

Sources: Mother Nature Network | National Pesticide Information Center

The Big Picture

Cleaning products were responsible for nearly 10% of all toxic exposures reported to U.S. Poison Control Centers in 2000. Of these reports, about two-thirds involved children under six, who can swallow chemicals stored inside the home. 

Toxic ingredients found in many ant killers, such as bug bombs, can be absorbed by the skin causing serious reactions, like skin numbness. Sometimes these chemicals can even be inhaled and cause respiratory problems. Overall, harsh chemicals used to kill ants can cause burning of the skin, dizziness, vomiting and nausea. Reduce the use of harsh chemicals for pest control by making your own environmentally friendly products at home!

Sources: World Watch Institute – Cleaning Products Facts | Ant Killer Precautions | Washington State Department of Health



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