Bugs on kitchen and bathroom countertops are a fairly common issue for homeowners. A popular granite bug that winds its way over the slick stone surface is the ant. It enjoys the moist environment of the kitchen and all the opportunities for fresh water, but not the stone itself.
When n ants find their way onto the pristine, slick surface of your granite countertops, there are a few ways to remove them. There are also a few common household cleaning items to avoid when attempting to rid the space of ants and also clean up the affected area.
Spray on Granite Countertops
Granite is preferred as a kitchen and bathroom countertop because of its high-gloss sheen and durability. However, you should avoid using a few common cleaners, both commercial and organic, when killing ants on granite.
In fact, you don't want to use just any type of spray on granite countertops. Vinegar-based sprays can etch away at the glossy finish of treated granite. Lemon juice, or any citrus, mixed with water can also cause divots and pits in the surface of the granite countertop.
Windex can also be problematic when it comes in contact with granite. The commercial window cleaner contains ingredients that can cause permanent damage to the stone. It can bring down the shine and cause pitting when used regularly. Eventually, Windex will damage the protective finish and leave the granite susceptible to more serious damage.
What to Use to Kill Ants
A modest solution of a mild liquid dish soap and water can break up the trail of ants and erase the scent that they are following. Simply mix 1 cup of water and 1 teaspoon of dish soap in a spray bottle and spray the active line of ants.
Lysol to kill ants works well. Fill a 32-pounce spray bottle with a 1/4 cup of Lysol and water. Spray down the area and let it sit for a moment to kill the ants before wiping them away.
For more serious ant infestations, mix a 1/2 cup of sugar with 1 1/2 tablespoons of borax. Dissolve this dry mix in 1 1/2 cups of warm water in a jar with a few cotton balls. Place the cotton balls on the trail to kill the ants as they make their way back to the nest.
Tips for Taking out Ants
No matter what solution you use, there are a few tips to keep in mind.
For one, look for where they are originating from as well as the destination, and spray those areas well to make sure that the don't immediately return.
Also, sprinkle borax under kitchen and bathroom sinks and along walls where the ants have been seen. This will create a barrier and repel the ants from advancing into your home.
Cleaning Granite Countertops
After the ants are gone, find the source that drew them. Look for leaky faucets or other areas where water can collect. This will attract ants,
Keep the granite countertops clean of leftover food, bits of cut fruit or vegetables or other exposed sweet foods that can draw ants. Check houseplants for a buildup of water and keep the soil free from debris.
To keep the granite countertops sparkling, wipe them down daily with a soft white cloth and a basic household detergent, such as liquid dish soap.
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at www.vegaswriter.com.