While ants offer great benefits to the ecosystem, many people consider them pests. This is especially true when they lurk in your home, your garden, and the yard where the kids and pets play. Chemicals are bad for the earth as well as your family. My top concerns when repelling insects are safety for the kids and pets, safety for the planet, and being as humane as possible. Here are some effective natural ant repellents that have all or some of those qualities.
Distribute epsom salts in and around the nesting area. If you are into a more humane approach, like me, this will likely be your favorite option. This method even works on fire ants. It does not actually kill the ants but it does encourage them to move elsewhere. You may find that they simply move into another area of your yard. But if you are persistent, they will eventually leave, as ants do not enjoy being around epsom salts. Only use this solution indoors away from children, food areas, and pets.
Vinegar and water kills ants on contact, as well as deters them from entering certain areas. Ants do not like vinegar. It can also kill them if sprayed onto them. If you simply want to deter them from entering into an area, this natural repellent may be your answer. Simply spray 50/50 vinegar and water around entry areas and the outside of nesting areas. Use this solution both indoors and outdoors. The ants will eventually leave the nests and also stay away from the vinegar. If you must kill the ants on contact, a squirt of the vinegar and water solution will do the trick.
Before you cook that grits, use some as a natural ant repellent. When the ants find the dried grits, they see it as a treat. But when they ingest the grits, they expand in their stomachs, causing the ants to die. This is a natural and earth-friendly solution, though not the most humane. This works best in areas where there are a large number of ants. For smaller ant issues, try some of the other natural ant repellent solutions.
Unless you’re a dog parent, try shelled walnuts. Placing shelled walnuts around nesting areas can cause ants to leave the area. They don’t like the smell of the walnuts. But be careful with this method. Although it is natural and effective, walnuts can be poisonous to your dog. Since dogs are likely to use the yard, I recommend that dog parents use another method for the safety of their furry family member.
Shred cucumber peels around the barriers of your home. Cucumber peels do not kill ants. However it does lead them away from the area. Shred cucumber peels and disperse them around the areas where ants are entering your home or garden. A bonus to this one is that it also repels cockroaches. Since the peelings come from food, it is safe to use this repellent in the kitchen. Just be sure to switch out the peels when necessary. No one wants rotten peels stinking up their kitchen.
Filed in: Gardening