My wife and I recently returned from a relaxing trip to my hometown in Oregon. We finally made it back home after a 12 hour road trip only to find our home ravished by ants. Ugh. Not again. Whatever we try to do to stop them, they keep finding a way in.
Lucky for us, it looks like the YouTube channel HouseholdHacker has our backs. They've published a video with seven unique ways to either keep ants away or get rid of them for good once they've reared their ugly heads. Check out the video or continue reading below for descriptions on each method.
Most insects aren't very good at swimming. So, next time you're outside using a picnic table, make sure to bring a few cheap pie tins with you. Place a tin under each leg of your table and fill each one with water. The only way those ants will make it to your tabletop is via those legs. With those hazardous pools around each leg, you won't have to worry.
2. Rinse off your soda cans
As it turns out, sugar attracts ants. Your goal is to make that sugar inaccessible or undetectable to them. So, next time you finish off a crisp root beer, rinse off the opening of your soda can or anywhere else where there might be residual sugar exposed. It might not seem like much, but a quick rinse can go a long way.
Add three tablespoons of sugar to a small container. Add one tablespoon of borax. Throw in a few drops of water and mix it all up until it has a syrup-like texture. If you have children or pets, make sure to keep this mixture out of reach. This stuff should not be ingested.
One thing you can do to keep things safe is to hold your mixture in a sealed container, like a small tupperware. Poke holes in the lid and sides big enough for your ants to get in. Place it wherever you've got your ant problem and give it a few days to work its magic.
4. The vinegar spray trick
The best way to eradicate ants is to find out where they're coming from. Fill up a spray bottle with vinegar and spray any stray ants you find. According to the video, the vinegar spray will usually cause the ants to return to wherever they came from. Just follow the little guys back to home base and get ready to wipe them out.
OK, so, you've finally found their little base of operations in your backyard. Here's how to "relocate" them:
One method is to simply run your hose over their home for about ten minutes every day until there's no more antivity (see what I did there?). The second, but more effective, method will require you to mix some cayenne pepper into boiling water (however much you need). Take the mixture and pour it over the anthill. It'll kill ants on contact. The video mentions that if you don't have cayenne pepper, vinegar also does the trick.
Alright, once the meat of your ant problem is taken care of, it's important to clean up any pheromone trails that other ants might pick up on and follow. Grab a spray bottle. Fill it halfway up with water and halfway with vinegar. Throw in a few squirts of dish soap (apparently they don't like this) just to be sure. Then, spray wherever those pesky insects have stepped feet.