Follow these simple steps to get the ants out of your pantry, once and for all – without poisons!
Several years ago when we lived in the Farm House back in North Carolina, I found myself dealing with a pretty bad ant infestation. I was able to rid the house of them for good, but it did take a few things to make that happen. You can rid your kitchen of those little invaders as well, and there’s no need for toxic poisons to be brought into your home.
Locate the Source
Before you do anything, follow the trail of ants to their source, so that you know where they are coming from. You’ll need to know this later on.
The Pantry Purge
Purge every container from the pantry that ants could get into, and of course all of the food items they have invaded. Store all of your food in containers that pests can’t get into.
Back then was the point when I started using canning jars in my pantry for storage. To this day, they are still my storage container of choice. You can get them in every size from half pints to a half gallon! With options like that, there isn’t much that you can’t store in a canning jar. They are inexpensive, durable, water-tight, air-tight and bug proof! Now-a-days you can even get them in pretty colors to make your pantry look nice.
I simply label all of my jars with a label maker. That way I can tell everything apart. If something has cooking instructions, like rice, cut the instructions from the package and tape it to the side of the jar. Too easy. Pastas, I simply take a permanent marker and write on the side how many minutes for al dente. Permanent marker washes right off of glass with soapy water when the jar is emptied.
Transfer everything to those impervious canning jars (or other sealed container.) Everything. From flour and sugar to pasta and beans. Leave nothing available to them.
Next, wipe down all of the surfaces in your kitchen. Ants emit a scent as they travel that tells all of the other ants where to go to find the food. That’s how it is that you see ants all traveling back and forth in the same line. So you need to remove the scent and disrupt the trail.
To do this, I find that vinegar works beautifully. You can use a vinegar and water solution to do this, or simply use the all-purpose cleaner spray that you have in your kitchen, since it already contains vinegar. Haven’t made any? Find out how to mix it up HERE. I use this for glass, surfaces and just about everything in the house.
You want to clean your counters, cabinets, shelves and any other surface where the ants may have been.
After all of the ants are out of the kitchen, you want to give them something else to go after, and that is where the homemade ant traps/bait come in to play.
- Plastic containers – reuse a sour cream, cottage cheese, or other plastic container with a lid. Any size will do.
- Disposable plastic spoon, popsicle stick, wood skewer or something similar
- Drill with a 1/4 inch drill bit
This isn’t exactly an ant trap, because it doesn’t keep the ants inside. Instead, this baits them, they eat it, they take it back home and they share it….and die. They all die.
To Make It:
- Take your recycled plastic container and drill a few holes in the sides, about half way up.
- Mix equal parts of sugar and Borax together in the container, keeping it lower than the holes.
- Add a little bit of water, and stir it with the disposable implement. You need just enough water to make a soupy paste.
- Close the container with the lid.
Now you are ready to place the bait. Remember where the ants were coming from? Find a spot somewhere near there to hide the trap in the area. You can place these under your kitchen sink, in the cabinet, or outside behind the shrubs. Where ever your ants are getting in or coming from. That’s it!
Enjoy your ant-free home.