Ants, ants and more ants

They are everywhere. In cupboards, making homes under paving, in every crack, hole and nook these little nuisances have taken over and driving homeowners up the wall.

You can try every repellent, use as much insect killers you can get your hands on, they keep on returning, unannounced.

WITBANK NEWS asked around and some interesting advice came from readers.

Send the ants an eviction notice by using white vinegar. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water and pour the solution into a spray bottle. Add a few drops of any essential oil and shake the bottle thoroughly. Spray this solution around baseboards and other entry points. You can repeat this daily until all the ants are completely gone.

Cinnamon is also an effective household ant repellent. Its smell discourages ants from entering your house and scrounging in your kitchen. This mixture is also very easy to follow.
Add half a teaspoon of cinnamon and essential oil in a cup of water. Wipe down the areas where ants may enter and settle. Again if you repeat this once a day, your unwanted guests will be gone in a jiffy.

Then there is the borax advice.
Borax is toxic to ants, they are attracted to it and, when ingested, it ultimately kills them. Mix equal amounts of borax and food jelly. Put it on a flat plate in the areas where you have ants. Alternatively, mix borax with granulated sugar in a one to three ratio. Add enough water to get a syrup-like consistency. Put this paste in the areas where you see ants. Another option is to make a paste with equal amounts of borax, cornmeal and a few drops of water. Spread the paste in areas where you tend to see ants. They will love this meal you prepared especially for them and take it home to their nests. Soon you won’t have an ant left. But be careful, borax is toxic; keep it away from pets and small children.

You can also try lemon or peppermint. Rub some lemon juice on door thresholds, windowsills and other possible areas where ants are getting in. The smell deters ants and its acidic property masks their scent trails.
Peppermint is a natural insect repellent that can effectively keep ants away. Ants hate its strong smell, which also disrupts their smelling capabilities so they cannot detect food sources. Add a few drops of peppermint essential oil to a cup of water. Spray the solution on all areas where ants are present. If you repeat this twice daily, the ants will leave without even saying goodbye.

There are more than 10 000 different species of ants. Some ants build their nest above ground where others build them underground in the field. Some build their nest in trees or wood and there are also many species that will build their nest in your homes underneath carpets, or even in the foundation of your house.
A reliable source at Hinterland explained that ants are after water and they come into houses and buildings looking for this life commodity.

“The dry season we encountered last year also had an affect on our insects. They came into our homes looking for water. It is all about survival and insects instinctively started storing food. The ant colony is a very complex organisation and they have to keep their queen well fed to produce eggs. Once the colony has established itself, the queen ant will lay eggs continuously. But because of the drought and the weather conditions not up to par, these eggs did not hatch. Therefore they moved closer to our homes, where we ‘feed’ them.”

Hinterland suggested two products they believe will help in the fight against this pest.
Ants have the ability to communicate with each other chemically through pheromones which they leave behind when they find food or water. That’s why they suddenly appear in hordes when you drop a crumb of food. In one colony there can be up to 500 000 ants .To get rid of an ant colony completely and to prevent that the ants return to your garden or sugar bowl, the nest needs to be eradicated.

Protek’s Nip-it can be sprinkled outdoors. The granule attractant contains a sugar as well as a protein base and therefore it’s appetising to all ants. Nip-it is carried into the nest by the ants. Once they start eating the Nip-it, it suppresses their appetite. The whole colony dies of starvation. Nip-it is 99% organic and virtually harmless to humans and animals.

They also recommend Protek’s Alphathrin. Not only will it control ants but also cockroaches and mosquitoes. This is also odourless and safe for indoor and outdoor use, even if you have pets and small children.

  AUTHOR
Zita Goldswain
Assistant Editor

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