When ants come marching into your home, they have just one thing mind… food! So when you see a trail of them heading up the wall, across the bench and down between the doors of the cupboard, you can be sure they’ve found something good to eat. Follow their trail to find out what it is. It could be a opened packet of sweet biscuits or a scattering of crumbs. Pull everything out and wipe everything down and before too long, the ants will go elsewhere.
Keeping your kitchen clean and free of ‘free food’ for ants is a natural and important part of an organic ant control strategy. A good place to start is to make sure open packets of food are kept in sealed containers. The same goes for any compost buckets that are stored in the kitchen – they should have a tight fitting lid that seals well.
Be sure to rinse plates, knives, cups and cutting boards if they are to be left sitting around and give empty cans, bottles and jars a good scrub before storing them for recycling. Bowls of pet food are like a magnet for ants, so try to clean them as soon as your pet has finished eating, or sit them inside another bowl full of water so that ants can’t access the leftover food.
If you have a particular problem with ants invading at meal times, try placing the legs of the table on jar lids filled with oil. Be sure to wipe down kitchen surfaces regularly, and when it comes to the floor and cupboards use a vacuum cleaner to get in and pick up all those tiny crumbs that accumulate (don’t forget the cracks).
Talking about cracks, if you notice any spots where ants commonly enter the kitchen, you can seal them up with a blob of silicon. And if you ever feel the need to reach for a spray, just mix up a little pyrethrum in an atomizer and follow all safety directions on the product label.
First published: May 2013