I have ants. I saw a group of them carrying the cat bowl through the living room. I live in Florida, so bugs come with the territory. These are pesky little black ants that my mother calls Sugar Ants.
I did not want to use chemical pesticides to treat the ants. I have one frail cat, Chewy, and one frail dog; Puglsey and I did not want them exposed to chemicals. So, I put on my mad scientist cap and began experimenting with natural remedies for my ant problem. I used methods suggested by friends and family. I had two goals in mind, to keep the ants out of the house and keep them out of the pet food.
Water This remedy cost the least, but worked for keeping ants out of the cat and the dog food. A neighbor suggested it. I simply sat the food bowl in a larger bowl with water in it. It looks like a moat. The idea is that ants won’t cross the water intentionally. It was a little messy. Chewy, who is blind, kept putting his feet in the water. He left wet prints all over, but it was only water. Also I had to change the water frequently because of the dead floating ants.
Cinnamon I put cinnamon at the thresholds of the front and kitchen doors. It seemed to work, but I kept stepping in it. And then, when the dogs went for their walk, they stepped in it. On day two, the ants got smart and began to use windowsills as their entryway. I couldn’t see sprinkling every window area with cinnamon, so I stopped the treatment. The house did smell very nice.
Peppermint Oil I purchased my oil at Wal-Mart. A small bottle (0.5 oz.) cost $10.95 and I used the whole bottle for one treatment. I did not consider this treatment to be cost effective. However, the peppermint oil and cinnamon combined made the house smell like the holidays.
Chalk A teacher friend told me that ants would not cross a chalk line. I cannot lie, I didn’t try this remedy. I didn’t want the entire house to look like a crime scene.
Vinegar I started to put vinegar at the entry points, but I stopped when a friend told me that the vinegar needed to be put on their nests. I wasn’t going nest hunting and the vinegar smell masked my holiday peppermint/cinnamon smell, so I stopped using the vinegar.
Both my grandmothers were from the mountains, they believed in natural cures and I agree with them. I do not want chemicals around my pets. At this time, the ant situation is now contained and the pet bowls are still in moat like contraptions.