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ANTS!! (And how to get rid of them without using a lot of chemicals)

Kay headshot

Kay: An ant just walked up my arm! It’s the start of the invasion!

You know why this is a cartoon? Because Kay haates ants and can't look at a photo of the real thing!

You know why this is a cartoon? Because Kay haates ants and can’t look at a photo of the real thing.

Bryan (Kay’s long-suffering husband): Uhhhh….

Kay: Now, I’ve ripped up the carpets and sprayed that spray foam stuff all along the crack between the wall and the slab. I just need to trim it because I put down a quarter-inch and it expanded to 3 inches. Wow, does that stuff get big!

Bryan: I’m just going to be in the back room with the dog. You’ve gone off the rails. You know that, right?

Kay: Yeah…

It’s that time of year again, when ant colonies move into your house looking for more territory and tasty snacks. If you don’t want to go crazy (like me), how do you get rid of them without spraying chemicals everywhere? I always direct people to the You Bet Your Garden Mike McGrath’s recipe: Mike’s Boric Acid Ant Repellant.

Basically, you make up this mixture, put it out in a shallow dish and wait. In about a week and a half, the ants will be gone and you will have a) saved yourself money on traps and exterminators and b) not poisoned yourself or your pets with insecticides.

At our house, we’ve gotten rid of two colonies of carpenter ants and a colony of sugar ants (the teeny-tiny ones) using this method. The only problem with it is that you can’t kill the ants that are coming to feed, since you need them to take the boric acid back to the queen.  Unfortunately, they will swarm all over the bait, too, which makes it look worse in the short term. My advice? Close the door to that room and don’t go in for a while. If you are feeling vindictive, on the other hand, you can chortle evilly over them.

Or you could go off the rails…your choice.