Ants. I guess they have a place in the natural order of things, but that natural order does NOT include my pantry! I hate those pesky little buggers, all 4.329 million of them that invaded my space last week. Maybe they knew I had a brand new recipe for ant repellent and were taunting me to prove that it actually works. Well, I tried it and it does. Actually work, that is.
This is what I woke up to last Saturday morning.
There were so many more, but this gives you a good idea of what I was dealing with. Apparently they love crackers. Who knew?
After doing my research the previous week I knew that it was important to allow at least some of the ants to live in order to carry the poison back to their nest. So no going into the pantry with eco-friendly ant spray and killing every ant in sight Rambo-style. Pity. Instead, I took everything out. Everything. I used eco-friendly spray made with wintergreen oil (I found mine at Home Depot) on half of the pantry to clear out as many of the stragglers as possible, then set my ant bait traps. They swarmed around the traps. Ugh. Want to know the recipe? Of course you do. Here is one of 123,000 natural ant repellent recipes using borax I found on a Google search.
Natural Ant Repellent
Karo Syrup (or honey, syrup, or other sweet sticky substance)
Borax Detergent Booster (found at Walmart)
Simply spoon equal amounts of Karo syrup and Borax on small pieces of an index card. Mix. Set traps down along the ant trail for ants to ingest. So easy, right? Are you slapping yourself in the forehead for buying those expensive Terro Ant Bait traps? I love DIY stuff! Smart and frugal.
If you’d like to apply some ant bait up in the corners, then replace the Karo syrup with ready made frosting. I had a leftover container in my refrigerator, but you could mix powdered sugar with water and a little oil for the same effect. Anyway, after mixing the Borax into the frosting smear small lumps along the ant trail. I put a couple of good sized hunks where it seemed the ants were entering from the ceiling. They like frosting, too.
The hardest part is leaving everything alone. Just knowing I had ants still alive and crawling around in my pantry made my OCD tendency rear its ugly head. I had to force myself to let them eat and return home.
It took me a grand total of 6.5 hours to clear out the pantry and get everything clean and organized. Taking everything out meant I had an opportunity to throw away expired and stale food and get rid of some of the clutter and odds and ends that seem to end up in pantries and other large closets. My sister is now the proud and happy owner of eight cast iron fajita platters with wooden plates that I used a grand total of three times in 18 years. Yeah, stuff like that.
The following morning I gingerly opened the pantry door to an ant free zone. I picked up and threw away the bait traps on the floor and shelves and wiped the hardened frosting out of the corners with warm water.
Using natural ant repellent bait traps isn’t instant gratification. No blasting and wiping. Rather, it takes time to allow the ants to do what ants do, then go home and feed the poison to their friends. Sounds heartless, but I don’t care. I’m not killing them outside, just inside. They are not allowed inside.
There you have it! Another cool and super frugal tip to keep the nasty poisons in commercial ant spray out of your house along with the nasty ants.