Ant Routine Found?

May 20, 2015 § 1 Comment

We’ve had a pretty persistent ant problem these past few years. The ants seem to arrive in April or May, eventually find their way from the back door into the kitchen, and persist through eradication attempts. A few years ago I tried, with reasonably good success, cayenne pepper and vinegar as ant deterrent. That worked short term, but unfortunately either the colony bounced back, or a new colony stepped in the following year. I got so frustrated with the boomerang ants that last year I caved and bought some ant traps (even though we prefer not to have poisons in the house).

Cinnamon and Ant Bait

The traps helped quite a bit last summer, although the ants still managed their way into our recycling bin and the dishwasher. It was a pain to deal with, so this year I decided to try being extra, extra vigilant. We also switched from cayenne to cinnamon. It’s not an absolute block by any means, but the ants do seem to dislike cinnamon more than cayenne. Plus, as a bonus, the vacuum smells sooo nice after cleaning. 🙂

I started my ant watch in April. In May, I was able to catch the first scouts by the back door, before they found the kitchen. We moved the recycling temporarily into the living room (closer to the front door where no bugs seems to come in), planted the traps by the ant entry, killed the ants we saw, wiped any high-ant-traffic areas with vinegar and laid strategic cinnamon barriers to direct the ants towards the poison.

After the first two surges, the ants seemed to slow down. They did get into the kitchen one night, but it was still early enough that the trail wasn’t fully formed yet. Re-positioning the traps and another round of stomping, vinegar and cinnamon fortunately helped.

Three things really seem to have made a difference: starting early, being very vigilant, and applying a consistent regimen of cinnamon and vinegar to re-direct ants to the poison. Last week’s ant tally was three, total! (And one of them was a stray way off at the other end of the house, so not related.)

This week, we were able to clean up most of the cinnamon, but left a thin band running by the baseboard by the back door just in case. I even pushed doses of cinnamon down into the crack that seemed to be the ants’ favorite doorway. So far that seems to be enough to discourage them from entering again – fingers crossed!

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