Imagine yourself waking up bright and early to make a fresh cup of coffee. Sleepy-eyed you reach for sugar and notice dozens of little ants crawling over your counter!
Welcome to summer in Florida, when the weather is perfect for creepy crawlers. Sugar ants (Linepithema humile), also known as Argentine ants, are one of the toughest bugs to get rid of. Their diet consists mainly of sweets and once they find some in your home, they leave a scent trail for others to find it. Only measuring 2.2 to 2.8mm, these ants will come back even after insistent cleaning and killings.
So, what can you do to keep them away and off of your counters?
Here are a few home remedies to help you keep the little buggers away from your snacks:
Keep your counters, stove, and cabinets squeaky clean and dry
After every meal you make, use a sponge with soap and water to wipe down all surfaces rather than just using a paper towel. The sponge will capture every little bit you may not see that would still attract bugs.
Check windows, doors for cracks and corners for any holes
It’s not often that we check things like windows or doors because if they aren’t breaking down in an obvious way, we think they work just fine. Any crack that has been created from normal wear can be the culprit for bugs getting in.
Leave out a mix of Borax and sugar
Mix ½ cup of sugar and 1 ½ tbsp of Borax with 1 ½ cup of warm water and soak cottom balls with the mixture. Put that near any ants you see. The sugar attracts the ants and the Borax will kill them.
Place a combination of boric acid and jelly on your counter
Another concoction that has worked well is mixing 1-part boric acid and 2 parts fruit jelly or cracker crumbs, which acts as bait for ants. Put it in a jar with holes punched in the lid so the ants can get inside. They will take it back to their colony and the entire colony will eventually stop coming.
Invest in ant traps
Traditional ant traps are always a great option if the problem is serious. While they do not look nice around your home, they will do the trick.
Store food in sealed containers
It may be easy to leave crackers in their box as storage, but if it’s not sealed properly then ants will have a field day. Go to Amazon or the Container Store or any home goods store, and find nice containers that will also look good in your cabinets. A clear container with a strong lid is a great way to store things like flour, cereal, rice, pasta and other things in your pantry. You will also be able to see it better and feel more organized.