Home Schooling Kids

i’ve declared war on ants

Did you know that ants are social insects? Yes, that’s right. Did you also know that when one finds food, it gets excited, making its body lay down a chemical trail to the food? That’s how the other ants find it and how you end up getting a line of ants going to the food. We learned all of this in 2nd grade home schooling last week.

When I read the Science study in Emma G’s book, I almost had to laugh. Put down syrup and see if it attracts ants? If so much as a crumb of bread falls on my floor and I don’t catch it, you can be sure by morning, there’s a trail of ants that found it.

checking out her experiment

I only do dishes once a day, 1. because I have to wash them by hand in my single basin sink, and 2. because I don’t have hot water running through the tap. Thus, I have to heat the water first, wash them all, and then rinse them. I don’t mind the extra step, but because it all takes time, I’ve vowed to only do them once a day, so I’m not washing dishes all the time. Why am I telling you all this? Oh, yes, the ants. As much as I rinse the dishes before putting them in the sink, the ants still mange to find some kind of food and leave a trail.

gathered around

It.drives.me.crazy, and I’ve literally declared war on these socialites. I’ve learned the hard way that peanut butter has to go on top of the fridge, and pretty much all food has to be in ziplocs (with no holes). But the occasional crumbs on the floor and the kitchen sink area? Well, no solution has been found. (Maybe washing my dishes more often would help, but I HATE washing dishes by hand, so I’m looking for alternatives.) Doom works great but honestly the chemical smell isn’t ideal. I read something about trying vinegar. Doesn’t work on African ants. Anyone know of any natural solutions??

drinking the honey

Back to the home schooling…with enough ants in the house, we decided to try our experiment outside. Emma G dipped a spoon in honey and went back and checked it every so often. I was crossing my fingers that it would draw them out of my house and outside. Our findings were quite humorous. No trail of ants. ALL of them were just gathered around drinking the honey. I hope wonder if they had bellyaches later.

So, any natural solutions to help me in declaring war on these ants would be most appreciated. My family thinks I seriously need to let it go. I seriously think these ants need to find another home!

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  • Reply
    February 4, 2013 at 6:54 am

    Ants are very annoying, I´m not fond of them at all..!

  • Reply
    Bren Graham Thebeau
    February 4, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    I hear you on the dish washing and I don't have your challenges of no running hot water! Not sure this is what you're looking for, but I use a mixture of Borax and icing sugar and sprinkle it all around the outside perimeter of our house, no more ants in the house.

  • Reply
    February 5, 2013 at 4:55 am

    Yikes, I do NOT like ants – I'm actually allergic to their bites and have been to the emergency room because of it. I hope they aren't eating your family

  • Reply
    February 5, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    Not fun! Have you tried baking soda? Ants are acidic, so they don't like it, but it is super kid-safe 🙂

  • Reply
    Jennifer {Studio JRU}
    February 6, 2013 at 3:07 am

    I have heard before about putting bay leaves out… they don't like them for some reason. The photo is so neat, even though I hear you that they are a pain!

  • Reply
    February 7, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    If you can find out where the ants are entering your house, get the kid's chalk and draw a line across the area they are coming in. The ants won't cross the chalk.

  • Reply
    Elisa | blissfulE
    February 9, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    Ugh! I hate ants, too! The first place we rented in Australia I tried using apple cider vinegar to clean the kitchen table when I ran out of white vinegar. The next day I noticed a couple of ants but didn't think much of them. The morning after that (still using the apple cider vinegar), I sat down on the sofa to see a TWO-FOOT-HIGH ANT HILL that had been erected overnight in the corner of my upstairs living room, which was the room next to the kitchen!

    I totally freaked out. Being in a new country I didn't know what to buy or what was even available, so I ran to the grocery store, which only had one ant killer, a sticky-sweet poison called Antrid. I dumped way more than the recommended amount on the hill and took the kids to the playground for the rest of the day. The ants were gone by the time Ben got home from work.

    I always keep a bottle of Antrid on hand for indoor use, just a little across the path of entry when I finally work out where that is. I hate using poison around my kids, but I tried a lot of natural solutions that didn't work so have stuck with the Antrid. (Normally the ants don't come inside now that I have learned my vinegar lesson, but there is one week each year that ants invade, which I guess is something to do with the weather. Thankfully nothing like that first incident has ever happened again.)

    Outside, I use a granulated borax mixture when I see a large swarm, but mostly I don't worry about outdoor ants. I am so thankful we don't have fire ants here!

    I do wash dishes (well, my mum does at the moment!) and clean the table with WHITE vinegar and sweep the floor after every meal, not just because of ants but also cockroaches. Sadly, before my mum came, I even prioritised dish washing over home schooling because I can't stand the thought of creatures invading my home.

    All that to say, I know where you're coming from, and I hope you find some great solutions soon!

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