Natural Ant Repellant
Ants are social insects, capable of sustaining their whole society on their own; discovering their own resources, farming aphids for the society, each individual plays a minute yet important role so the colony thrives as a whole.
Sometimes, the path of this society crosses with ours, and for us, they are mere pests that attack our food and wooden objects and spoil them. Ants need to be exterminated because just like ants, humans cannot accept any invader in their houses. And being humans; we would want to keep ants at bay, we can take measures to keep them out of our houses.
Ants have been infesting human houses, spoiling the food since the beginning of mankind and many natural ant repelling methods have been developed over the centuries which are still valid today.
Discombobulate the Ants with Vinegar
Ants communicate with each other; they use touch, sounds and pheromones to follow trails. When a scout ant finds a potential food source, she returns to the colony and on her way back, she leaves a trail of chemicals; pheromones for the other ants to detect and follow. Ants follow the trail to the food source and on their way back, release more pheromones to make the trail more intense. The bigger the food source is, the more will the trail be crowded and this will make it more and more intense.
The trail following ability of the ants can be disrupted by using 50% solution of vinegar in water. The acetic acid in vinegar reacts with the pheromones released by ants and renders the smelling power of ants obsolete making them unable to follow the pheromone trails. This means that even if scouts or foragers find food in the house, no other ant can follow the trail back to the food.
- Mix one part water and one part vinegar and use the mixture to spray or wipe all the places that you suspect of being entrances for ants, ants can cross this barrier normally but any trail that goes through this barrier cannot be followed.
- Soap mixed in water can be used for the same purpose plus it can also kill any ant that it comes directly in contact with.
Chalk Lines Are Boundaries Ants cannot Cross
Unlike humans, the skeleton of ants is on the outside of the body. Line drawn with calk cannot be crossed by ants, any ant that crosses the line gets covered by the chalk and the small granules of chalk file the skeleton at joints and can even dehydrate the ant if chalk is not moist and many times the ants covered with chalk die.
- Take a chalk and drive it multiple times on the entrances making a thick line, these lines are barriers that cannot be crossed by ants; you can consider such entrances secure.
- Turmeric, cinnamon, citrus oils, cayenne powder, silica gel or diatomaceous earth can also be applied. The modes of action of each varies but the effect is the same.
Plants Also Know How to Deal With Ants
Plants have evolved to counter insects, there are many plants that can defend entrances from invading ants. The idea is that the plants release scents with chemicals that impede with the tracking ability of the ants. This method has minimum upkeep, you just tend to the plant, and it will take care of the ants. You might have to try different plants to get the one that works for you.
- Basil, Chili pepper, Garlic, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Thyme, Rosemary and Peppermint have all been found to be effective.
Essential Oils can be Essential
It is the smell of the plant that does the trick; and the smell can also be directly applied; you can disperse the essential oils of plants near the entrance and it will work as good as the plant itself. You might need to try different essential oils depending on the ant species that has infested your house.
- Add around thirty drops of peppermint or eucalyptus essential oil in a glass of fresh water and use the mixture to spray the entrances.
- A small hard sponge can also be infused with essential oil. Hang this sponge near the entrances to keep ants away.
Setup Decoys So the Ants Don’t Invade In the First Place
The best fight is the one that never occurs, you can give something to the ants outside the house so they do not have to travel to the inside of the house. This method can ensure that the ants never enter the house; when scouts find the food right next to the colony, they will never travel any farther.
You can provide ample amount of solid food with big, hard granules near the colony, the food must be made of material liked by ants but the granules must be heavy so a single ant or a small group of ants could not carry it, the granules should be hard so the ants could not break them easily.
You can disperse the food once per week and rest assured that the ants cannot enter the house.
- Take dried grams and pulses or hard sugar cubes and disperse them around the entrance of the colony.
- Liquid solutions of sugar can be put near the colony as well, but they need to be refilled more often.