Although more prevalent in the summer months, ants can be an unwelcome guest any time of the year, both inside and outside your home. There are plenty of commercial sprays and poisons for killing ants, but not only are they expensive and sometimes unreliable, but also, in many cases, they are not safe for children, pets or the environment. Inexpensive, safe items in your pantry can work just as effectively.
Ant Killer Recipe
Several products that can be found in your cupboard or easily and inexpensively purchased will do away with ants without harming your pets. Instant grits, oats, cream of wheat or cornmeal sprinkled dry around an ant hill or where you see ants in the house works best in killing them, particularly the larger types of ants, like fire ants and carpenter ants. The instant grits, cornmeal, oats or cream of wheat must be kept dry to be effective. The ants eat the dry cereal which then swells from the fluids in the ants' stomachs and the ant dies. The ants will also carry the cereal back to their nest and share it, causing the rest of the ants to die.
This ant trap recipe is effective, tidy and controllable when trying to kill ants in your house. It works very well and quickly for small ants.
Mix together 1/4 cup sugar, 1/2 cup molasses, 1/4 cup baking yeast. Spread a thin layer of the mixture on index cards, using a spatula or flexible knife. Place the card traps where you have seen the ants. The cards will trap the ants and kill them because the yeast will absorb the fluids in the ants' bodies, killing them.
What Not to Use
Artificial sweeteners, like aspartame, are reported to be effective at killing ants. But a study conducted by Snopes.com resulted in the ants not dying, but thriving. It is also unresolved how safe aspartame is for children and pets.
Many ant killing recipes include boric acid or borax in the ingredients. There is no clear answer regarding the safety of boric acid and borax for pets and children. It is far better to avoid these recipes if you have pets or children.
At home in rural California, Kate Carpenter has been writing articles and Web content for several well-known marketers since 2007. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Kansas and a Master of Education equivalent from the University of Northern Colorado, Carpenter brings a wealth of diverse experience to her writing.