There are more than 10,000 species of ants in the world, and there are three types of jobs in an ant colony, the queen, soldiers, and scouts.
The ants that we get inside our home most often are what we call “sugar ants”. They are attracted to sweet things, and will happily pop into any open container in the kitchen, or just pick a spot and set up house.
For sugar ants, you can mix up a bait solution of sugar water and borax and it's safe for kids and pets.
- 1 Part Borax to 3 parts sugar, add enough water to make a syrup like consistency. Place the ant bait on a flat or shallow surface, such as a piece of cardboard, a used canning lid or a lid from sour cream container.
- Make a vinegar-based solution using 1/4 cup vinegar, 2 cups water and 10 to 15 drops of peppermint, clove, eucalyptus or melaleuca essential oil. The vapours from the vinegar and essential oils will confuse their senses.
- Peppermint essential oil is a fantastic oil for concealing ant trails and it smells great too. To use this, simply put a few drops on a cotton ball and wipe down areas that you believe ants could possibly get into – or places where you already have ants. Or leave the ant balls at strategical locations to keep them out. Bonus fact – this oil also keeps the spiders away – they hate peppermint!
- Tea Tree essential oil works the same way as the peppermint oil – just put some on a cotton ball and wipe down ant entrances/infested areas.
For Ants in Pet Food Bowls:
If your pet food bowls keep attracting ants, you can take a shallow dish or pan that is slightly wider than your pet’s food bowl, fill it with soapy water, and center the food bowl in the dish. This creates a moat around the food bowl that the ants will be unable to cross.