Nobody likes a pest.
Rats, roaches and other critters have always been annoying, but there’s one type of insect that is more of a bother than any other: the ant.
According to a 2010 survey conducted by the National Pest Management Association, ants are considered the biggest nuisance in American homes. Ants don’t typically carry disease, but some species can do serious harm to your house.
“Carpenter ants pose additional concern to homeowners because these ants can be structurally damaging,” ant researcher Dr. Laurel Hansen writes on the National Pest Management Association website. “They do not actually ‘build’ like carpenters, but they will excavate wood and can be damaging over time if not managed.”
So what’s the solution?
Commercial insecticides are a relatively cheap way to deal with unwanted insects, but the effects are not permanent, and the chemicals may be unsafe for children and pets. Professional pest control treatments are typically more effective but are also more expensive. Unfortunately, even professional remedies don’t last forever. Bryan Healy, owner of Exodus Pest Control, recommends homeowners get treatments from pest experts on a monthly basis.
“It’s like a housecleaning service that comes regularly,” Healy tells Angie’s List, a local business review website. “The first time, it’s a deep clean. But after that, it’s just maintenance.”
Monthly pest treatment costs can add up. According to one Angie’s List estimate, a homeowner could spend around $500 a year on pest control.
One YouTube user, gregthegardener, shows off a cheap and safe way to get rid of ants — spraying a sugar, water and borax mixture outside of your home. The sugar attracts ants, and the borax destroys the ants’ digestive system. According to the website Borax Ant Killer, this particular recipe works so well because the borax keeps the ants alive long enough to allow them to feed the queen ant. Other pesticides may kill worker ants, but the queen remains safe.
Although the EPA has claimed that borax is safe to use as an insecticide, that doesn’t mean it’s entirely safe. Ingesting a large amount of the white powder can be harmful, and getting it in your eyes or nose can cause some irritation.
Check out gregthegardener’s video below.