Hardiness Zone: 5a
Leah Meyer from Ottawa, Ontario
Your objective is to kill the queen and change the ant's environment into one that is less hospitable. Since you only have one ant hill, it shouldn't be too difficult to either get rid of the queen, or convince the colony to relocate. Boiling water can be effective in some cases, but ants can tunnel deep, so if the water didn't come into direct contact with the queen the ants you killed will simply be replaced with new ones. To make a bait fit for a queen, mix 1 cup of sugar, 4 teaspoons of boric acid and 24 ounces of water in a glass jar. Shake the mixture thoroughly until all the crystals dissolve. Pour 1 cup of this mixture into a smaller jar filled half way up with cotton balls. Screw the lid back on, seal around the band with weatherproof tape and punch a few small holes in the center of the lid. Draw a skull and cross bones on the jar and keep pets a children away from the jars!
Put one of these near the entrance of the mound. The ants will enter the jar, eat the sugar and return to the nest and pass it on to the rest of the colony-including the queen. A less toxic recipe includes mixing 2 parts molasses, with 1 part sugar and 1 part dry yeast. Use this to bait the jars in the same way.
If you want to try a different kind of physical treatment, spread diatomaceous earth around the mound. To ants, these tiny ground up bones are sharp and deadly to cross. It may eventually convince them to pack up and move to a new location, and it will work its way into your soil and help with aeration at the same time. You can also try mixing up a slurry of orange juice and orange peels. Pour this directly into the ant hill. A chemical in citrus fruit is supposedly toxic to ants.
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Cayenne, or Tabasco is supposed to repel them....maybe get a big bottle and pour it down? It shouldn't hurt the plants.
We have problems with fire ants down here in Mississippi, USA. We sprinkle grits on and around any ant hills. The ants eat them and carry them to the queen ant to eat. After the grits are eaten, when the ants drink water, the grits swell up enough to kill them. We put out grits a few days before it rains to ensure they'll have water to drink after their feast. This is the only non-toxic method I know of. P.S.-Grits are dried, ground hominy corn. They are a bit bigger than cornmeal.
If you go to <http://www.whyy.org/91FM/ybyg/boricacid.html>, you'll see a recipe for ant killer that's wonderful. It's all natural. The key is that once you put it out, YOU CAN'T KILL ANY ANTS. You want them to take the poison into the nest. It usually takes about 2 weeks for the ants to disappear.
Used coffee grounds are helpful with ants, they hate them.
As Reba Gayle said grits do work, so does cornmeal. I will often use a package of jiffy cornbread mix. The grain expands and the ants die. Take care, Hannah
I have the same problem and also live in Ottawa - did you try any of these solutions and did they work???
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