Homestead Hints — Control Ants
Lesson #5: How to Safely Control Ants Around the Home
By Lil Roberts, California
This is the time of year when the ants decide it might be great to come in the building to see what they can find to take to their nests for winter storage. And they wind up everywhere.
With little children and pets, the chemical sprays are not a good idea, and even for adults those sprays can be bad news. Breathing in the fumes can make you wind up in E.R. if you have breathing problems.
For a safe ant control, go buy a container of baby powder. You can get it at the Dollar Tree for a dollar, so you can get two or three and have them on hand. Find where the ants are coming in and sprinkle some of the talc around where they are entering. They cannot walk through the talc; it kills them. Check along the baseboards and under the kitchen sink. They come in where the pipes enter the home, in the bathroom, kitchen and laundry room. Sprinkle the powder around the pipe areas.
We have had them come in the wall outlets in the house, and I take some water and soak a ball of cotton, dab around the outside of the plastic cover, then put powder in my hand and toss it against the wet area. It will stick, dry, and do the trick. The best part is, once they are gone, you just take a vacuum, brush, paper towel, or whatever and clean up the baby powder. Nothing is harmed but the ants. If one of your children happen to touch the area, it’s no big deal, they are safe from any chemicals (just don’t let them inhale it). Just sprinkle a little more baby powder where they removed it by accident. If it is not raining, you can sprinkle the baby powder outside at areas near the home where you see a trail of ants. If the ants are outside headed away from the home, I leave them alone. I just do not want them in my home, like they do not want me or my baby powder in theirs. Hope this helps all of you during the ant season, which in some areas can be all year long.
Lil and her husband, Rex, are retired. They have lived in the country all their lives, and now live out in the country surrounded by almond orchards. They have several animals, including dairy goats, chickens, geese, quail, dogs and barn cats, and raise their own beef for butchering.