Tag Archive for insect control

Ant invasion

It’s summer. It’s hot. And I don’t know who is happier: me or the ants.

Though I am known for my love of heat and humidity, it is possible that the ants would take the prize – were it not for the new ant remedy that I am zealously employing. Together with a tube of caulking, it seems to be keeping the nasty little things under control. The cat’s bowl is no longer a feasting station and even my outside ants have moderated a bit.

So what is the secret? Sweetness and borax.

There are several recipes on various websites for home-made ant killer. The one I am using is quick, easy and cheap to make. It consists of:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons of borax

You just boil everything together for three minutes and then place in suitable containers (lids, pots with holes) in your trouble spots. I actually make half quantities as it goes a long way and lasts well in a jar. 

I am not quite sure I have the consistency right. Some websites suggest dipping cotton balls in the solution and leaving these out, but my gloop is too syrupy to do that. And I don’t see hoards of ants sucking it down as others claim to do, but it still seems to do the trick. So far my cat does not seem to have been tempted to chow down on it.

In case you are wondering what borax (sodium borate) really is, see here. It is a `salt of boric acid’ that comes from dried up lake beds. It is not generally very irritating to humans but, nonetheless, it is not something that should be treated casually. Within the last two years the European Commission categorized it as a substance of very high concern for its possible negative effects on fertility. And Health Canada warns against its use in cosmetics, as I mentioned in my posting on moisturizers.

It is typically sold for laundry and cleaning purposes and is marketed as an eco product, despite its toxicity. If you are still comfortable with using it (I have to admit that, in the battle against ants, I am), it is available in bulk in a number of eco stores or, in Canada, through the well.ca website for $10.79 for 2kg (that would kill a lot of ants).

FYI: most commercial ant traps use boric acid as their weapon too. They just charge you more to put very tiny amounts of it in dinky metal or plastic containers that will end up, sooner or later, in the land-fill.

 

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