There’s been an ongoing war in my home for years now. Every spring, ants appear on my kitchen counters. Years ago, I tried everything. First it was an exterminator (who never solved the problem). Then I became more conscious of the harmful chemicals so I canceled the exterminator and tried grits. I read that if you sprinkled grits on your counter, the scout ants would take them back to the queen. The queen would eat a grit. The moisture in her stomach would cause the grit to expand, and she’d die. Ant problem solved.
Didn’t work. And now, there are grits in the crevice between my counter top and the backsplash that I’ve never been able to get out. I tried paprika, cayenne pepper, some special white powder stuff that’s all-natural that you sprinkle around the perimeter of your house, and a host of other natural solutions that frustratingly didn’t solve anything.
Then three years ago, I announced to the world I was going to have a peaceful coexistence. I’d make sure my kitchen counters were spotless at all times so the ants didn’t have anything to attract them. In the morning, if there were a couple of ants on my counter, I’d dispose of them and get on with my day. I could handle that. Hah. That was a frustrating summer.
The following year was awful. There was nothing I could do to get rid of the ants. In frustration, we bought chemicals. I was very careful with them. I felt awful using them, but I couldn’t have a counter full of ants at all times. Last year, I used the chemicals sparingly again.
(How many times have I used some variation on the word “frustrating” so far.)
This year, on the first day of spring, I walked out into my kitchen to a countertop moving with a thick carpet of ants. It was kind of scary. I took to Facebook with my frustrations.
Val, from the brilliant More Hip Than Hippie, told me about Terro Liquid Ant Baits that she uses herself and has recommended to many satisfied people over the years. She said she swears by the stuff. I trust Val’s opinion on natural products. I gave Terro a shot.
I have to tell you, I haven’t seen an ant in the kitchen in weeks. I put one Terro Liquid Ant Bait near the corner of the counter top where the ants seem to make their way into the kitchen. Within two or three days, the ants just stopped appearing.
Terro says its “active ingredient is Borax. Borax is a natural mineral that is found in many consumer products and has been used safely by homeowners for years.” Its “inert ingredients are sweet food-based products similar to pancake syrup.” I don’t believe that either of these ingredients when contained in the ant baits is going to come in contact with food or anyone’s hands. It’s a product I feel I can use without guilt.
I wish the grits or the cayenne pepper could have eliminated my ant problem, but they didn’t. I wish I could have kept my counters squeaky clean at all times and peacefully coexisted with the few ants that showed up in my kitchen each morning, but that’s just not me. For me, the Terro is a good solution. It’s more natural than anything the exterminator ever used or the horrible chemical sprays I would turn to in frustrated madness.
Have you tried any of the Terro products? Have you found them safe and effective?