Ants evolved from their wasp-like ancestors between 110 and 130 million years ago. Currently, over 12,500 ant species have been classified out of a total estimated 22,000 species. The only landmass without ants is Antarctica. Ants form colonies and have a distinct social structure comparable to ours.
As interesting and amazing as ants are, they also tend to be annoying pests capable of destroying crops, invading homes, and ruining many a picnic. Some species, like the red imported fire ant, are harmful and considered an invasive species, while others, such as the carpenter ant, can do some heavy damage to a home’s foundation. San Diego pest control has to deal with them frequently. If you’re plagued by ants, here are a few household remedies you should consider.
· Wipe down cupboards, countertops, and other places you’ve spotted ants with a mixture of vinegar and water. Continue wiping down surfaces throughout the day for maximum efficiency. This will remove the scent trails that the ants use to get around, and the vinegar will deter the ants (they hate the stuff).
· Mix borax powder with syrup or jelly. Place the mixture where the ants will find it. The ants will be attracted to the sweetness from the jelly/syrup, but the borax will damage their digestive systems and outer skeletons.
· Use chalk or baby powder to draw a line over the spot where the ants are getting into your home. Chalk and baby powder contain talcum powder, a natural ant repellent.
· Certain plants make the perfect, natural ant pest control. Ants aren’t fond of spearmint, tansy, and pennyroyal, which all look and smell great. Plant these close to the home, especially near potential entry points. Red ants particularly hate sweet fern.
· Use a tea bag filled with mint tea to control ants in their most active spots. The mint disrupts their sense of smell, disorienting and deterring them. You can also use crushed mint leaves as pest control.
· To keep ants from crawling all over your picnic table, put each leg of the table and benches in a small pan of water.
· Sprinkle coffee grounds around your garden and outside the home. The overwhelming scent repels ants.
· Leave cucumber and citrus peelings around areas where ants are active. The peels of cucumber and citrus are toxic to the fungi that ants feed on. As such, ants know to avoid them.
· The strong smell of cinnamon keeps ants at bay. Place a cinnamon stick in the ants’ path or sprinkle ground cinnamon in areas of known ant activity.