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ant by Jeff Kubina on Flickr

By Bethany Sanders

Picking up my kids from my mom's this afternoon, I found them stooped in the driveway, laughing over an anthill. The pavement ants they were watching were so small we could hardly see them, yet the tiny insects were carrying large helicopter seeds, working diligently to bring them down into their holes with them. It was really a site to see, like if I tried to pick up my house and stuff it into a manhole.

Ants may be curious, industrious creatures and fun for kids to watch, but the minute they enter your house, they're bad news. I once had ants marching across my kitchen counter for days, and every trap I tried they ignored, until, many dollar signs later, I found the right one.

But according to some experts, a simple homemade solution will do the trick just as well. Not only is it cheaper than experimenting with traps, it's safer for pets and children as well. I'll tell you the secret after the break.

You'll need:
- water
- alcohol
- dish soap

Mix together in a 40:40:20 ratio water, alcohol, and dish soap, or in other words, equal parts water and alcohol, then half as much dish soap. You can spray this directly on the ants (kills them on contact... sorry ants, but you have to go), then wash along the trail line to eliminate their scent trail. Once you find where they are coming in, plug up the whole.

Another solution involves mixing 1 T. boric acid with 2 T. each of peanut butter and jelly and placing it as a trap where ants like to congregate. Keep in mind, however, that this won't take care of all species of ants and also must be kept out of reach of children and pets.

Here are a few more all-natural tips for getting rid of ants (though I've no idea if they really work), as well as tips for preventing an ant infestation in the first place. On the other hand, if your pest is of a bigger variety (like cockroaches), check out this post on how to brew your own cockroach killer.

  • BDaniel

    I used borax hand soap and sprinkled it right on the ant hills. I would keep animals and kids away but after a few rains or waterings it was gone and so were the ants. I did have to reapply in one area but still was a very easy fix. Trick is to find it. Discount stores didn't seem to handle it. Went to a grocery store. It is powdered hand soap that works similar to lava but you use your own amount of "grit" to clean with.

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