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Kill Ants in the Garden – Naturally & Frugally

Having a garden can also mean having pests to deal with, once in awhile. This summer we’ve been dealing with ants around the house and garden. Those tiny little guys can quickly become a problem as they march from outdoors into the house.

Before you reach for some toxic ant spray, try these more natural remedies first.

1.  Sugar and Borax Combo

This combo has a dual purpose. The sugar will attract the ants in, while the borax acts as a killer. The ants will consume the mixture, and they will take it back to other members of the ant colony, including their queen. The borax will get in their stomach and dry them out.

Mix your borax and sugar in a simple 1:3 ratio. For example, mix up 1 cup of borax to 3 cups of sugar and place in saucers where ants are a problem.

One note of caution – because the borax is a drying agent, keep it away from your pets, backyard animals such as chickens, and small children. It could cause coughing and respiratory distress if ingested.

2. Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous Earth will dry out an insect, much like the borax and sugar combo described above. It is a natural way of taking care of all sorts of garden pests – from ants to fleas and everything in between.

You simply “dust” the problem areas with diatomaceous earth (using a paintbrush is a good way to do this) and wait for the pests to ingest or absorb it, when they will wither up and dry out and die.

As with the borax and sugar combo, you will need to keep the mixture away from pets, small children, and people with respiratory problems. The drying action can cause respiratory distress.

3.  Vinegar Water

Spray ants (and other pests) with a strong vinegar and water mixture. I mix my vinegar to water in a 3:1 ratio (3 cups of vinegar for every 1 cup of water). Place in a spray bottle and squirt as necessary when you see the little pests marching

4.  Cornmeal, Grits, Flour….

Try sprinkling cornmeal around the garden or in other problem areas where ants live. The ants will take it back to their nests and consume it. They cannot digest it, and it will kill them by expanding in their stomach and bursting. You can also try grits and flour, but I’ve found cornmeal works best.

Best of all, this solution is completely non-toxic and will not harm pets or children. However, it will wash away quickly with rain, so you’ll have to keep applying it to problem areas.

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