Farming Advice and Folklore: How to Get Rid of Ants

How to get rid of ants: A compendium of farming advice for dealing with the ant invasion indoors and at outdoor summer activities.

| July/August 1988

  • 112-014-01
    To chase ants from inside the house, lots of folks employ vinegar.

  • 112-014-01

How to get rid of ants: A compendium of successful strategies to rid your home and outdoor areas of invasive ants without using chemicals. 

Farming Advice and Folklore: How to Get Rid of Ants

Have drugs, AIDS, the nuclear threat, crime and the troubled economy stopped jockeying for position as the primary threat to the American way of life? You might think so, judging from the content of much of MOTHER'S recent mail. And what's the major menace confronting our readers? Ants.

We must admit this flood of mail on a single subject was prompted by a "Dear Mother" letter published in MOTHER EARTH NEWS NO. 107, in which Sandy Hawley of Marshall, Texas, asked for help—suggestions on how to control an invasion of ants; a method that didn't involve the use of harmful chemicals. Readers rushed to Sandy's aid with an array of artillery on how to get rid of ants.

To chase ants from inside the house, lots of folks employ vinegar. Used full strength, it can be wiped on counter tops, shelves, base cabinet floors and thresholds—any surface the ants traverse that can't be harmed by the acidic liquid. Or put vinegar into a spray container and spritz wherever ants are likely to hide. If the soil outdoors is dry, you can spray the stuff around entrances to the interior.

Cinnamon sticks placed four feet apart around the perimeter of the house, both indoors and out, as well as sprinklings of ground cinnamon in cracks, have kept ants from a Canadian reader's house for 14 years. Cinnamon is a popular repellent, but so is pepper. There must be quite a turnover on grocery shelves of cayenne pepper, because our mail indicates that it's used extensively on ant invaders. Just dust it along their paths, and they'll soon opt for a detour. One reader grows an extra supply of Capsicum frutescens for this very purpose; she minces the dried peppers and challenges the ants to their own version of walking on hot coals. Then again, the proponents of ground black pepper feel it's every bit as powerful as the red.

Cucumber peelings are another favorite. They're thought to be toxic to ants, and one user said that by regularly replacing the slivers of peel as they dried up, her house was cleared of ants in a week.


Fermentation Frenzy!

September 12-13, 2019
Seven Springs, Pa

Fermentation Frenzy! is produced by Fermentation magazine in conjunction with the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR. This one-and-a-half day event is jam-packed with fun and informative hands-on sessions.


Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters

click me