Black ants, sugar ants, moisture ants and carpenter ants are quite common in many Oregon homes. In my over two decades of doing Portland organic ant pest control treatments, I’ve discovered what works and doesn’t work to eradicate, control and prevent ant infestations.
Nature’s Wonders in your Kitchen
Surprisingly, most of the ingredients I use in Portland organic pest control treatments are already sitting in your kitchen countertop, cupboard or pantry shelves. Otherwise, they’re quite easy to get at your nearby supermarket, home depot or garden supplies store.
Here are my top 10 picks for Portland organic ant exterminator treatments that are sure to keep your home ant-free all year long.
If you smoke tobacco, that can or bag of Tops sitting somewhere in your home can literally be put to good use. Just boil a bag of Tops tobacco in some water for about an hour and drain. Keep the stew and add more water to make about 64 ounces. That’s about half a gallon of nicotine solution which you can spray on ant trails around your home. Nicotine-infused water also works wonders when poured over anthills and take same pipe tobacco known to harm your health can literally kill an entire ant infantry!
2. Coffee Grounds
Coffee and a good smoke—a great way to start the day for so many people. But not for ants! Take your caffeine fix a step up and put those coffee grounds into good use. They make a great natural ant repellent when sprinkled on areas where ants thrive. You can create a barrier and prevent their entry into your home when placed near your door or along the perimeter of your house. It’s the strong smell of coffee that irritates ants so they’ll generally steer clear of those recycled coffee grounds.
3. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice apparently destroys ant pheromone trails the same way nicotine does. Simply prepare a solution of 1 part lemon juice and 3 parts water to use as a repellent spray around entryways and home perimeters. You can also spray the solution on any area where you find ants and it will erase all scent trails that lead them to food sources in the home. I’ve long used lemon juice in my Portland organic pest control program and customers find it great that their homes smell fresh as well!
4. Orange Peels
Another great way to keep your home ant-free and smelling fresh is to save those orange peels. While ants are opportunistic feeders that will gorge on anything from sweets to trash, citrus fruits are among a few food items they’ll literally avoid like the plague. Just spread those orange and other citrus fruit peels in ant infested areas and ants will literally run for their lives!
Ain’t it good to know that natural ant remedies used in Portland organic pest control treatments will keep your home smelling great unlike chemical insecticides? Peppermint is another great addition to your arsenal against common Oregon ants so planting mint along the perimeter of your home is a great way to repel these pesky insects. A few drops of peppermint essential oil on cotton balls placed in cabinets and pantries will also keep those ants away. You can also place a few drops on a piece of cloth to wipe on surfaces where ants thrive.
6. Cayenne or Black Pepper
Ever wondered why ants can literally be all over your kitchen but specifically evade your spice rack? Maybe it’s those peppers. Ants absolutely hate cayenne pepper but black pepper will do an equally great job at repelling ants. If you see ants roaming around the home, just sprinkle a bit of pepper along that area. Better yet, use pepper to create a barrier so they’ll stop infesting certain areas of your home. Another great alternative is to mix some cayenne pepper (fresh or powdered will do) with water and spray the solution along sections where ants thrive. It won’t kill them outright but it will prevent them from coming back.
There’s something about cinnamon that makes ants suffocate and die once they inhale it. Just sprinkle some ground cinnamon on ant pathways or around openings on anthills. If you’re a lover of essential oils and keep a buffet of these at home, a few drops of cinnamon oil dispersed thoroughly in water will make a great repellent solution. Just spray the solution around doors, windows, cracks, crevices and other known ant trails and you’ll see less of them in your home.
8. Boric Acid
Boring acid is a well-known weapon against ants among Portland pest exterminators. However, they must be used in the right amount. They’re best used in ant baits which foraging ants will feed on and bring back to the rest of their colony members including their queen. Too little boric acid in ant baits won’t give you any results while too much of it will kill the ants before they can share the bait with the rest of the colony hidden somewhere in your home. Also, ants can easily detect large amounts of boric acid in a bait and won’t feed on it.
My Portland organic pest control treatment uses 5% boric acid mixed with honey, protein and fat for a better-than-you-can-buy bait station. No bait station on the market has all three food sources necessary to attract and kill those ants, so a homemade ant bait station will give you the best results. (5% boric acid is approximately ¼ teaspoon borax or boric acid to 1 tablespoon peanut butter and honey.)
9. Incense Sticks
Using incense sticks to get rid of ants is a totally harmless Portland organic pest control approach. You can easily clear a trail of ants by blowing some incense smoke and literally see ants running for their lives. Sandalwood is your best option when selecting incense sticks to burn in the home. Did you know that the aroma produced when burning sandalwood incense can help you calm down when you’re stressed out? It can even lower your blood pressure and protect you from stroke or a heart attack. So go on and kill two birds with one stone—relax your mind and body while keeping those pesky ants at bay!
10. Diatomaceous Earth
Food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE) is another safe and inexpensive Portland organic pest control method to get rid of ants. It is made from fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton which contain microscopic, razor-sharp edges that cut through exoskeleton of ants and other insects, slowly causing their bodies to dehydrate and dry out. Just sprinkle a thin layer around trash cans, underneath your fridge and cabinets, on doorways and windowsills and any other area where ants thrive. Do this daily until all the ants are gone. You can also rest easy knowing DE is non-toxic to humans and pets.
Professional Portland Organic Pest Control
Use any of these natural remedies if you’re having a problem with ants at home. If you’re still experiencing issues after trying out my suggestions above, check out my other article on the different types of Oregon ants. You see, different ant species respond to different types of organic treatments so proper pest identification is the first step to successful eradication.
Better yet, give me a call at 503-713-9590 for a free ant consultation. As a seasoned organic ant exterminator for the past 20 years, it will be my pleasure to help you identify your particular ant species and come up with an affordable Portland organic pest control treatment plan if you need professional help.