Getting Rid of Ants in Recycling

My recycling system is attracting ants. Can you help? I rinse out cat food cans, plastic bottles, and place them in a plastic bag hanging from my kitchen doorknob. I take the bag every couple of days to a local recycling center, and sort through the bag there.

But I have an invasion of small black ants crawling on and through the plastic bag! If I store this sort of bag outdoors instead, I'll likely attract wildlife. Can't afford to buy several trash cans. Any ideas would be appreciated.

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July 15, 20080 found this helpful

Unfortunately, you will have difficulty keeping ants away unless you meticulously clean all your recyclables...which to me wastes much more valuable water. A covered trash can outside your home is probably your best bet. Do you have a shed or a garage?

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July 15, 20080 found this helpful

I've had good luck getting rid of ants by using peppermint oil (not the extract but the OIL; can be found at health or gourmet food stores) and cleaning products (like Pledge, Fantastic, etc.) that have orange oil in them. I'd just sprinkle or spray some of either oil in the bottom of each bag. If that doesn't work, try also adding some of the oil on the outside of the bag, like around the opening. Good luck!

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July 16, 20080 found this helpful

Thanks for the responses! I absolutely agree about the waste of water. And my shed is small & too far away for any workable solution. About the orange or peppermint oil: I can try that.

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July 16, 20080 found this helpful

My mom swears by cinnamon. She used it on the floor around her trash cans and the ants wouln't go near it. And the good thing is that you can get it for less than a dollar at discount stores.

I don't know what you'd do about the ants already on the bags, but next time you take them to the recycle center, sprinkle a thick line of cinnamon all around the area where you put your bags before you atart a new one, or wherever you see the ants coming from.

Hope this helps!

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July 16, 20080 found this helpful

My mom swears by cinnamon. She used it on the floor around her trash cans and the ants wouln't go near it. And the good thing is that you can get it for less than a dollar at discount stores.

I don't know what you'd do about the ants already on the bags, but next time you take them to the recycle center, sprinkle a thick line of cinnamon all around the area where you put your bags before you atart a new one, or wherever you see the ants coming from.

Hope this helps!

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July 17, 20080 found this helpful

Equal parts Borax and icing sugar will get rid of the ants.

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January 4, 20090 found this helpful

I know from experience that baby powder will keep ants away (they can't breathe in it). I'm not sure how this would help you but maybe it's something to keep in mind for the future.

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December 30, 20100 found this helpful

Karo and 20 mule team to kill the nest. About 10% 20 mule team borax in Karo syrup warmed just enough to dissolve. Squeeze bottle application. Apply to small areas like cracks. Ants consume and carry it back to nest. Queen is killed. It takes a few days but ant colony is gone, dead. Queen cannot produce other queens for other colonies. Queens can live and reproduce for 20 years.

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December 30, 20100 found this helpful

I keep a bucket in the bathroom to collect the cold water for when we are waiting for the water to warm up. I use this water along with a small amount of dish soap to wash my recyclable containers. Doing this keeps the unwanted pests away. Rinsing the items with plain water does not wash away the residue left behind by food, juice, etc.

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