Summertime is a great time of year. It’s warm and sunny, the days are longer, and everyone can spend more time enjoying nature. However, the summer months do have their drawbacks. And one of the worst is the prevalence of ants, which seem to turn up wherever there is food. So, you’re likely to find them in your home.
If these annoying little pests have made your kitchen their home for the summer, you need to get rid of them. And just like other household pests, there are very humane ways to also get rid of ants.
All About Ants
Ants are less than 1” long and although they’re small, these little insects are very determined to find your food. Their bodies are divided into three sections: head, thorax and abdomen. There are several species, and usually black, brown or red. They have six legs plus antennas. Ants all live in colonies and each colony has one queen whose job it is to lay eggs. All the other ants in the colony, which could number in the millions, are supposed to either mate with the queen or bring home the food.
If your home is infested with ants, you will never be able to get rid of the whole colony unless you can get rid of the queen. The most effective non-lethal way of eradicating your ant problem is to remove any food they could get at. If the ants can’t find anything to eat, they will leave and go somewhere else to find food. If that isn’t possible because you leave pet food out during the day, you have a number of other options to remove them humanely:
You probably have a very effective non-lethal ant control solution sitting on a shelf in your cupboard right now. Ants, as well as some other pesky pests, hate the smell of cinnamon. First, find where the ants are entering your home, and then coat the area with powdered cinnamon. Find where they congregate in your home and sprinkle cinnamon there too. Look and you will likely find them on kitchen counters, inside and around your trash can as well as the pet food bowls.
Ants also hate the smell of citrus, especially lemons. So, just like you did with cinnamon, squirt or spray lemon juice around the places where they enter your home. If you’ve found their nest, spray lemon juice all around that area as well. The best way to do this is to take some fresh lemons and squeeze the juice into a spray bottle with some water and shake. You can also buy fresh lemon juice, which would save you the trouble of squeezing.
Once you determine where the ants are getting inside and have sealed up all their entry points, you now need to get rid of the ants that are already in the house. One way to avoid poisoning them would be to use a Shop-Vac wet/dry vacuum to suck them up. This is not entirely humane because some ants will die, but it’s better than using a poisonous chemical.
It’s also a lot safer for your children and pets. Once you’re finished vacuuming the ants up, empty the Shop-Vac outside. Since you’ve sealed up their entry points, they can’t get back inside.
No one said ants were easy to eradicate, whether you’re trying to do this humanely or using pesticides. The most important things you can do are to seal up their entry points and seal up or get rid of all possible food sources. The methods listed above are among the most effective ways to remove them humanely.