Organic ant killer is a healthier option than toxic pesticides. Not only is it safe for children and pets, but it is environmentally friendly as well. In fact, you may be able to solve your ant invasion with just a few items that you have around the house.
Types of Ant Killers
There are several types of ant killers available. Powders and granules are sprinkled around the mound. The worker ants take these back to feed the queen and the rest of the colony, effectively killing off the whole ant community in a few days.
Another option is an ant trap. Ant traps usually have bait inside of them and small entrance holes that allow the ants in but keep the bait away from pets and children. This is important because even organic ant killers can cause illness if ingested by a pet or child. Like granules and powders, you can buy traps or make a homemade version. Both will work in most cases.
Boric acid is often recommended for use in killing ants and roaches but it is important to note that it is not an organic option. Boric acid is a toxic chemical that can be harmful to the environment, and to humans and pets in large amounts.
If you have an infestation of fire ants, you may have trouble finding an organic option that works well. For some reason, fire ants seem to be impervious to anything but the harshest chemicals - and sometimes not even those work very well. Although you should always try organic options first, keep in mind that you may need to have a professional rid your home of these particular pests.
Options for Homemade Ant Killers
There are several household items that work well in killing many types of ants and are completely organic.
Instant grits, cream of wheat, or cornmeal work well when the dry particles are sprinkled around an anthill. The grains are ingested by the ants and then absorb the fluids in the ants' body and swell up, effectively killing the ant. The cereal is carried deep into the anthill to feed the other ants and the queen. This sometimes works on fire ant mounds as well.
Ant traps work better for inside the home where you don't want grains and other messy ant killers sprinkled around the floor or counter, even if they are organic. Just take one part sugar, one part yeast, and two parts molasses and mix together to form a paste. Spread the paste mixture on an index card or piece of poster board or even in the cover of a small pill container. Place these in out of the way spots where you have seen ants.
You can also put the traps in tiny boxes or margarine tubs with covers. Poke holes in the containers that are large enough for the ants to get through. These can be placed on countertops more easily than the plain traps.
This recipe works by encouraging the ants to eat the paste. The yeast absorbs the fluids and begins to swell, killing the ant. Generally this type of ant killer will not kill off the whole mound because it is not transported back to the queen.
Commercial Organic Ant Killers
You can also buy commercial types of organic ant killers. Some large garden centers will carry them, but your best chance of finding a wide variety is to purchase them from online sources.
Orange Guard is made from ingredients that the FDA recognizes as being safe. The active ingredient is extract of orange peel. It works by removing the wax coating from the insects' respiratory system and causing the pest to suffocate. The citrus fragrance also repels pests.
It kills ants as well as the following pests that may take up residence in your home.
- Fire ants
Orange Guard seems to be the most effective organic substance available for killing fire ants.
AntEater is completely organic, made from diatomaceous earth and clove oil. This ant killer does not lose potency for months and kills most common insects that infest homes, including ants. It is a powder and is completely safe to use in kitchens and around stored foods.
Eco Smart makes an effective spray ant and roach killer that is completely organic. It works best when sprayed directly on the insects. Eco Smart contains the following ingredients:
- Canola oil
- Carbon dioxide
- Cinnamon oil
- Mineral oil
- Oleic acid
- Rosemary oil
- Wintergreen oil
Ants Are Hard to Get Rid Of
Sometimes ants are really difficult to eradicate from your home. You may need to be very consistent in treating the areas that you see them in for a long period of time. For best results, always treat the inside as well as the outside of your home. Sprinkle ant killer around the foundation as well as on any ant colony that you find in your yard.
The secret to organic pest control is to keep at it until the insects are totally gone.