I’ve lived on three different islands in Indonesia and one place in Canada and one of the persistent problems is that there are always a lot of ants everywhere. In Canada it was different than here because there was an ant hill outside a window of the house so we knew where they were all coming from at least.
Here they just come from everywhere and the bug spray most used here (in my experience), Baygon, is really harmful. It even says on the spray can “Toxic symptoms: dizzy, lots of sweats, breathing hard and stomach cramps.” and half of the label is filled with precautions. I’m thinking it’s not the safest thing to be using around a household, especially indoors.
Here are a few alternatives for inside the house using harmless natural ingredients:
1. Get whole nutmeg and break it open with a hammer and leave it in areas that tend to have ants. I’m sure powder would work too.
2. Leave citrus or cucumber peels in areas that tend to have ants because they are poisonous to the fungi that ants eat.
3. Sprinkle cinnamon, chilli pepper, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cloves, mint or garlic in areas where ants are known to be. Ants avoid these strong scented things.
4. Make a barrier of chalk, charcoal powder, citrus oil, pepper (black, cayenne or chilli), cinnamon or turmeric arranged in an unbroken line near entrances to the room.
5. Put bay leaves (laurel) in individual foods such as sugar, paprika and flour containers to keep ants out of it. (I might see if this works with cereal)
6. Gaps where ants enter (i.e. corners and holes) can be filled in with a mixture of baking soda and toothpaste and left to dry.
7. A solution of vinegar, water and tea tree oil (about 10 drops) can be sprayed around, which will make the ants lose their scent trail and they might get lost and die.
8. Wiping down counters, cupboards or wherever you’ve seen ants with 50-50 water and vinegar will prevent them from finding their way back.
9. Sprinkling diatomaceous earth near entrance points or common areas where ants are. It dehydrates them and they die.
10. Sprinkle cornmeal and the ants will walk through it; it’ll get stuck to their legs and then they will bring it back to the colony; a bunch of ants will try and eat it. Since they cannot digest cornmeal properly, it will cause them to die.
11. Leave out a little puddle of syrup and the ants that are attracted to it will get stuck and then the ants and syrup can be removed with a warm, wet cloth.
12. Leave out cream of wheat. Ants will try and eat this and it will expand inside of them and make them explode.
And for outside the house:
1. Sprinkle used coffee grounds around outside because ants seem to hate it and also it’s a good way to recycle the used coffee.
2. Put 5-10 drops of eucalyptus oil in a spray bottle with the rest filled with water and spray mixture over yard.
3. Dig a hole in anthill and pour about three gallons of boiling water into it. The intention is to kill the queen and it will kill others in the process. (note: boiling water will likely kill grass)
4. Make a repellent by blending citrus peels and water and pour onto the anthills.
Some people use baby powder, borax which are both harmful to people so I don’t recommend it very much