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Blog: Living Cheap in Kansas

The Ants go Marching Two by Two...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sugar ants can be such pesky little buggers (pun intended).  It doesn't seem to matter how clean you keep the house, they always find their way in.  In fact, I used to get them in February in the upstairs bathroom!  I'm still not sure how they got there or where they came from.

By spring and summer they would be everywhere.  After picking up bug spray at the local recycling center (for free) and finding that it only worked temporarily, I actually (yikes!)purchased some and tried it.  Same results.  They went away for a few days and then returned.  Even spraying outside didn't help.  They always came back.  My neighbors had resorted to expensive exterminators, but since they had to come back every month or so, it probably wasn't working much better.

Then one day at work, I was complaining to my co-worker Tony about the ants.  "Well", he said, "You aren't using the right stuff.  There is an easy way to get rid of them cheap."

He proceeded to tell me about the Borax method.  One mixes borax with something sweet (jelly, syrup, honey) and put it outside where the ants are.  They take it back to all their friends (and the queen) and they have a really enjoyable last meal together.

I "googled" it and sure enough, it was all over the Internet.  That very day, I made a stop at the supermarket across the street and picked up a box of 20 Mule Team Borax.

I went home, mixed one part borax with two parts honey, mixed in a few drops of water and headed outside.  Everywhere I saw the ants marching along, I put a few drops.  I went around the whole yard but really didn't use more than a couple of tablespoons.

Then I waited.  By the next day, the ants were GONE.  There WERE a few left outside, stumbling rather than marching along.  So I gave them another treat.

By the weekend, my yard (and house) were completely clear of ants.  All last summer, they didn't come back.

Now Joe & Vanessa had a major ant problem in their front yard.  In fact, there were so many sugar ants that they had killed a small tree.  Their extermination methods (rather like mine) had not worked.  So I offered to come over and see if I could get rid of the ants.

I mixed up a new batch and we went over and I put it around the yard.  I didn't put any in the back yard since their dogs were out and I didn't want them getting into the borax.

A few days later we went back.  The ants were gone.  I gave Joe some borax so he could treat the back yard.  The ants haven't come back.

This is how I see it.  Commercial products and exterminators aren't going to actually get rid of the ants.  If they did, then they would be out of work...

For around $3 I got rid of the ants.  I still have plenty of borax left in case a new colony moves in this spring.  I guess I'll wait and see what happens in February...

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Author:
AnnieM (Contact)
Olathe, Kansas USA
About Me:

I've been a cheapskate just about all my life. In doing so I've learned to do just about everything. I can sew, paint, hang wallpaper, install tile and flooring, pull and replace toilets, sinks, garbage disposals and faucets. Remove and replace ceiling fixtures and fans, replace outlets and switches, I've installed windows (both on houses and on computers!), I can rehab almost anything from furniture (repair, reupholster and refinish) to computers (I built my husband a good laptop using three broken ones that I got for free)! I've taken cheap to a whole new level!

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