image credit: wildlensinc.org
We have our house serviced by regular pest control, but every week when I mow the yard I come across another new anthill or two. I've spot-treated anthills over the years using liquid pesticide sprays and/or granular ant baits, but I've never been totally comfortable with the idea of leaving toxins around the yard in areas where the kids and dog roam.
Recently my brother-in-law offered a more natural solution - an ant bait consisting of baking soda and powdered sugar. The powdered sugar attracts the ants, and the baking soda kills them.
- Mix equal parts Baking Soda and Powdered Sugar into a container. I made a bigger batch than I needed, which I stored in a sealed container as ready made bait for the next time I need it.
- Spread it liberally around the ant-infected area. You don't have to put it right on the mound; they'll find the sweet taste of sugar and bring it back to the colony.
- Over the next day or two the colony will feast on this bountiful harvest, and the baking soda will kill the ants, including the queen.
- No Substitutes - powdered sugar and baking soda have a very similar texture; once they're mixed together you can't really tell which is which. I don't think this trick would work as well with granulated sugar, as the ants could pull the sugar granules and leave behind the baking soda.
- From my own personal experiences, this mixture has worked great on two different ant hills over two different weekends.
- Next time I come across a colony of mad ants (which shouldn't take too long), I'll take some before and after pictures and update this post.
In the meantime, give this a try at your house and let me know how it goes!
- Chris Butterworth