spiders. And the cats don't often suffer from fleas. But ants? Ants are a different story. They haven't hit us yet this year, but we know they're coming. It's just a matter of time until that creepy crawly black line of marching ants winds its way across the kitchen floor, up the cabinets, and onto some sweet puddle of juice we forgot to wipe up. Ants are inevitable in our house and they can be particularly hard to get rid of—especially once they're invading full-force. We've heard of all sorts of strange strategies to eradicate them. Mom even suggested drowning them once. Strange, yes. Effective, no. We like Plenty magazine's comprehensive look at Nontoxic Ant Antidotes:
- Black pepper, cayenne pepper, and regular chalkboard chalk are all good ant deterrents, as is Dr. Bronner's peppermint castile soap.
- Make an ant hotel with Borax, a solution of sugar dissolved in water, some Kleenex or toilet paper, and glass jars with screw tops. Mix equal amounts of Borax and sugar water and pour over a crumpled tissue in the bottom of the glass, cover container and poke holes (i.e., ant doors) in lid.
- For more serious infestations, use boric acid which, according to the National Pesticide Information Center, is non-carcinogenic and non-accumulative in soft tissues or the environment. (Like Borax, boric acid is made from naturally-occurring boron and has been shown to have low toxicity in human and animal trials. But it should still be kept away from pets and small children!) Sprinkle boric acid in a shallow container and place on a countertop near ant trails. Ants will bring the poison back to the colony.