Venturing outdoors for a leisurely picnic? Protect children playing barefoot in the grass from ant bites. These two natural remedies will ward off invasive ants, indoors and out!
Fire ants recently set up camp just off our patio, beside the walkway, building more than one mound. Being so close to the house, we want to keep the area free of biting ants and toxic chemicals. Here’s our nontoxic way to rid ants from the yard and patio. If you have young children, you don’t want their playtime ruined by painful fire ant bites. If you discover a fire ant colony in your yard, here are two safe and natural ant remedies, that won’t harm you or the environment.
Fortunately the refreshing scent of peppermint is offensive to ants. This fragrant, natural spray is safe to use indoors or out, whether you spot ants on your kitchen counter or on the porch. Take a spray bottle on your next outing, to use on the picnic table or around your picnic blanket before dining, to discourage ants from invading your lunch.
DIY Natural Ant Spray
Add the following ingredients to a spray bottle, and shake to mix.
4 oz. water
2 T. vodka
15 drops peppermint essential oil
5 drops cinnamon essential oil
Wondering what Diatomaceous Earth is and how it works? It is powdered shell flour, a natural product composed of ground diatomaceous earth, primarily silicon dioxide. The tiny, white crystals aren’t harmful to human touch or consumption, but will effectively eliminate soft bodied ants.
To use on a fire ant mound, cover the top of the mound thoroughly with the powder. Stir the mound with a stick and apply more diatomaceous earth. Only the ants that come in contact with the powder will be destroyed, as it does not penetrate deep into the colony like chemical poisons. You may need to make more than one application to eliminate the entire colony. If ants are making a trail across your porch, deck or patio, lightly dust them with a coat of Diatomaceous Earth.
Diatomaceous Earth is also safe to use for insect control in the garden or greenhouse. Sprinkle it onto plants to deter harmful insects. Apply a ring of diatomaceous earth around the perimeter of a raised garden bed to keep ants at bay. You’ll need to reapply after a rain.
About the Author:
Deborah Tukua is a nonfiction author, and editor of Journey to Natural Living. She is author of seven books including, Naturally Sweet Blender Treats: 55 Fresh from the Blender Recipes, and Marketing Strategies for Chiropractic Success. Deborah has been a regular lifestyle feature writer for the Farmers' Almanac since 2004.
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