This has NOT been a good week for our little kitchen! First our refrigerator went out so we spent five days waiting for delivery of a new one. Just as we got the new refrigerator installed and the kitchen all settled back to normal, we awoke this morning to find out that our kitchen had been taken over by thousands of fire ants!
If you don’t have fire ants where you live, count yourself lucky. If you do have fire ants, you know that these aggressive ants swarm and are more than happy to bite as soon as they come in contact with you…or with your dogs.
We don’t free feed either the dogs and cats; both are fed at set times and, once the food is eaten, it’s gone so there’s no food sitting around the lure ants in the house. We try to keep the kitchen wiped up to prevent any interest from ants…but, nonetheless, they paid us a visit. With a long drought underway, they may have been coming in to look for water.
Of course, with a houseful of pets and the desire to always handle things as naturally as possible, we didn’t want to turn to any kind of pesticides. Instead, we looked at natural ways to kill the ants in our kitchen that wouldn’t endanger us or our pets:
Physically Remove the Ants
Step one was to take the drawers and their contents out of the house…along with the invading ants. We sorted through the contents of the drawer (yes, we both were bitten several times). We tossed ant-ridden food and washed utensils. When the drawers were empty, we rinsed out the drawers, washing off the ants.
Kill Ants with Vinegar
Our favorite product for everything from household cleaning to flea prevention was put to work again today…killing ants! We poured vinegar in a spray bottle and sprayed the inside of the cabinets. The vinegar killed the ants!!
Once the ants were dead, we wiped down the inside of the cabinets, cleaning up not only all the dead ants but also any tiny crumbs that might encourage other ants to come visit.
Although we didn’t have any corn meal in the house (it HAD been in the fridge so we threw it out when we cleaned out this week), corn meal is another natural way to kill ants. Sprinkle it around for the ants to eat and it will kill the ants but won’t endanger you or your pets.
Our next task is to find out where the ants are entering the house and making that entry less attractive to the ants. How? Ants dislike citrus so we’ll be pouring lemon juice at the entry point. They also have a difficult time crossing petroleum jelly so we’ll be smearing some along the entry area once we locate it.