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Forums » Do it Yourself » Getting rid of ants without harsh chemicals

Getting rid of ants without harsh chemicals

25 posts by 22 users


BiggerPockets Founder · Denver, Colorado

Hey guys -
I've got a small ant problem and want to get rid of them without all the chemicals, sprays, etc. Does anyone have any effective techniques that work to get rid of them?

Small_bp-squareJoshua Dorkin, BiggerPockets
E-Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: 877-831-4704
Check us out on Twitter: @BiggerPockets

Residential Real Estate Agent · Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Seems like I heard over the years from my grandmother that rice will work. Not sure if it is true or not. It might be one of those old wives tales...

Real Estate Investor · St. Louis, Missouri

My aunt ..(.seriously no pun intended) was just telling my sister on Easter about using cinnamon. She said they won't cross it or somethinglike that .
You could probably google it I guess.

· OR

The only thing I've ever found that works is powdered sugar mixed with boric acid (not boraxo) about 2/3 sugar to 1/3 boric acid.

It's poison, so place where pets and kids can't get it.

The ants carry it away, so it isn't there very long. I place it on the ant hill and put an excercise pen around it so my dogs don't get it. The dogs aren't attracted to eat it, but can get it on their feet and lick their feet.

For the kitchen, you can place it under the sink and under the stove and fridge so kids can't get into it.

It takes a couple of weeks to kill all the ants, but it will wipe them out.

Spectracide Bug Stop is a long term control, so if you get desperate, spray it where the ants are getting in and it stops them long term. They claim up to 9 months control. The stuff works on ants and flour weevils, might work on spiders.

It does not stain paint, or any flooring that I've put it on so far. Just spray it where your kids aren't going to be touching.

Real Estate Investor · houston, Texas

I just throw a cup of sugar in my neighboors yard.

Wholesaler · Belleville, Illinois

peppermint essential oil - just rub it around where they are entering the house if you can find it.

its very strong and will burn your eyes if you don't wash them after handling it so be careful. its also a great digestive tonic and great for sore muscles.

BiggerPockets Founder · Denver, Colorado

Have you tried the peppermint oil, Dave? I'm assuming it is pretty effective . . . is it just a barrier that they won't cross?

Small_bp-squareJoshua Dorkin, BiggerPockets
E-Mail: [email protected]
Telephone: 877-831-4704
Check us out on Twitter: @BiggerPockets

Real Estate Investor · ten mile, Tennessee

cucumber peals or lemons.

check out this article

Property Manager · Zionsville, Indiana

My mom has used borax laundry detergent for years. It kills them. She will line the edges of the walls and counters with the powder and they walk through it and carry it back to their hills and it kills them out. It takes a week or so, but is effective.

Real Estate Investor · Springfield, Missouri

Hi, Amber my mom used that and it took awhile but worked! Now here is another issue, fire ants. If you have those critters, take a shovel and pick up some and put them on another pile of them. They are seperate nests and they will kill each other off! Bill

Financexaminer@real estate investor dot com


Originally posted by Financexaminer:
If you have those critters, take a shovel and pick up some and put them on another pile of them. They are seperate nests and they will kill each other off! Bill

That actually sounds like a lot of fun. Like applying Saul Alinsky tactics to pest control

Real Estate Investor · ten mile, Tennessee

Originally posted by Financexaminer:
Hi, Amber my mom used that and it took awhile but worked! Now here is another issue, fire ants. If you have those critters, take a shovel and pick up some and put them on another pile of them. They are seperate nests and they will kill each other off! Bill


Here's a really sneaky way to get rid of fire ants. (All's fair in love and the war against insect pests.) The only way to get rid of an infestation is to assassinate the queen. Wait until a dry spell is about to end. Sprinkle instant grits on the fire ant hill. The workers will carry the grits to the queen for her royal meal. She'll eat the grits and when it rains, she'll drink. And that's what will kill her. The grits will expand in her stomach and she'll "bloat" to death. Once she's out of the way, the leaderless ants will die off. (This suggestion came courtesy of the Tightwad Gazette II book.)

Private Money Lender · Pleasant Hill, California

Once when I had a bad ant problem I followed the track to the nest and put out one of those traps where the ants take bait back to the queen and in about a week the entire nest was destroyed. You can buy them for a buck or two at any hardware store.

· Loveland, CO

The easiest, most effective ant control I've ever found was one I heard on the former garden guy on the radio in Houston. Mix MINT JELLY (it really has to be mint jelly?) with BORIC ACID, cut some 1 inch by 1 inch squares of light cardboard, like shirt cardboard and make a thin SANDWICH out of the paste.

Put these around the kitchen and bath, inside of cabinets, very effective.

BTW, the "mix some from another pile" thing with fire ants actually doesn't work. I spent 30 years in TX where they were like the state pet. You've got to kill the QUEEN.


Real Estate Investor · Springfield, Missouri

LOL, getting rid of the fire ants is kinda fun! The step I left out is that you need two or more hills and you need to take enough from one hill and put on another, you also have to take some from that hill and put them on the others. It's mixing the all up and in alrge enough quanities. It's too bad the little armies don't wear uniforms so you know who is who in the battle, lol, but if there are enough say from two hills on one, they will get to the queen, as mentioned, that's the key to them dying off. I had these critters in my back yard in Louisianna, a couple days later they were all gone, maybe the survivors just moved on, don't know, but I didn't have a problem. Maybe the Texan ants didn't have sufficient numbers in the battle to be effective as history has shown us. Bill

Financexaminer@real estate investor dot com

Real Estate Investor · Charlotte NC & Fort Mill & Lake Wylie SC, South Carolina

The best thing that works for me (although I'll admit it isn't a non-poison option) is to use those little black ant bait stations. You can stick them all along their little trail (walls, counters, the underneath of cabinets, etc.). The ants take the bait back to the colony and it kills off the group. It's a really quick fix too--usually, the ants disappear in a few days.

Terri mentions a great solution - ant bait. Terro is the best product for that. What Terro uses, however, is simple borax and sugar water. You can buy borax at any hardware store, mix it with the most appropriate bait for your type of ant (sugar water, grease, or peanut butter), put it in tin foil cups - and you have a better product for a third of the price... A great website for this is Hope that helps :D

Rehabber · Atlanta, Georgia

Another vote for Terro. Ants eat it up and it kills the queen... I have knocked out some serious Argentine ant colonies (which can grow to be ENORMOUS) using Terro.

Havent seen the suggestion of dimaciuos earth (sp). It is the active ingredient of 20 mule team borax,,,also is a natural organic farmers friend since its approved for killing insects in organic grain.

Also known as silica sand. It is very lite and fluffy,,harmless to pets and humans,even rated as food grade edible.

It is abrasive to insects only, scratchs there endoskin and causes them to dehydrate. Great stuff for spreading around a home for insect control. Inside and out. It feels like talc powder.

Landlord · Seattle, Washington

I'm also looking at solutions for killing small black ants in my mothers home. I have no idea where they are coming from perhaps they have a nest inside the walls, but they are getting everywhere. My mother-in-law keeps a clean home but they still come out to play.

I will try the 20,000 mule train which I have had other recommend as well. Basically it is borax based.

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