I just have to share this tip for natural ant control with you today. You see, in my home, we try to make the absolute best effort to keep everything natural. What I mean by that is no chemicals, no artificial anything, but by using elbow grease and all the wonderful things nature provides. It’s that time of year again for us where the warm weather brings sunshine, flowers, green grass, and ANTS.
Gotta love those supremely strong, determined little critters. When we moved into our house over 12 years ago, one of the first things we noticed were ant traps left in corners here and there. I had a one-year-old in tow, plus a baby on the way, and didn’t want those things strewn about. Our first spring we got hammered with all sorts of ants large and small. I tried a few different things, but eventually gave in and had the house sprayed by a professional pest control company. bleck.
Never again. That would be the last time I would do that. Watching my house get a coating of a nasty chemical was all I could stand. So, by the next spring I was going to find a way to stop them buggers naturally.
WHAT TO DO
It was later on in our second year in our home that I found a solution through an old critter ridder book that said grits were perfect for preventing such invasions. My jaw dropped…really…GRITS?? My dad used to eat these as a kid and had yet to try them myself, but thought it funny they would do they trick. I had heard how throwing rice at a wedding is a bad idea because birds come and eat the grains, then they cause the bird to get sick and die because the rice bloats their belly. It don’t know if it’s true or not, but that’s what they say.
Same is true for grits and ants, or so the book I found says. They find the stuff, lug it home, share it and eat it, and their belly swells….you know the rest of the story. I feel bad for the little guys, but by golly I was sick of the invasions. I’m all about this type of natural ant control.
That coming spring I did got some grits and sprinkle around the entire perimeter of my house, all along the foundation. It worked like a dream!
Now it’s your turn. Go on, give it a try!!
When you do this, make sure to check the weather so that you have a few days of sunshine. Because if it rains, your chances of success are lessened.
One container of those gems is all I need to go around our 1600 sq. ft. home.
I poured mine up in a mason jar to make for easy spreading. Gotta love the versatility of those jars, right? Just pinching and throwing works great too.
Seriously though, all you have to do is create a layer and they’ll find it.
Can I just say that this method works and I am in antless heaven!! I have used it every year since and without fail. Once I start seeing an ant or two come in and the days are heating up, I head out with grits in hand. In a matter of days, they are GONE. Now, that doesn’t mean I will never see another random six-legged visitor all summer. But by golly, the invasion has ceased and we’re free of that chemical burden.
Aaaahhh…sigh of relief that with a little help from ladies of generations past and a grocery store unclaimed hero. I am happy to say we are staying healthy and happily antless.
I know I’m not the only one who could use the tip for natural ant control, so be sure to share!
If you have questions, just let me know. I’ll be happy to help.
UPDATE: I’ve been told that it actually feeds them, but hey, who cares! I don’t mind if they stay outside, as long as they stay out of my home. WIN-WIN!
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That is genius!!! We get ants so badly every year, and after our last week of constant rain, we’re getting invaded. Sending my son off to the store for grits. Can’t wait to try this. Thanks for sharing.
Go get ’em girl!!
Charlie B says
Not sure if UR still answering emails. But will the grits attract roaches. Thank you
No, they won’t. 🙂
KB McFarland says
I learned from a camping blog that cooking oil spray, such as PAM also stops the ants but doesn’t kill them. I have tried it for small red ants a d they won’t cross anywhere the oil was sprayed. Good if you know where they are coming in.
Thanks for the tip! I’d have to use it all around our house because they’re in all different varieties, but good to know for a picnic, camping, etc. 😀
Thank you, I will have to try this. Now if I can just find a way to get rid of earwigs!!
Go for it and let me know. 🙂 Yes, there’s always some sort of pest, but we need them, just not in our home.
A couple squirms of dawn in a spray bottle with water. We had millions of them it seemed. Just sprayed it on them and they die instantly. We were able to find nests underneath everything. Once those were gone we didn’t see any more in the house.
Great idea thanks. Don’t have a lot of trouble with ants but will try it. Need to find something that will get rid of Cockroaches without killing my little doggies.
You’re welcome, Karen. Yes, getting rid of all pests in our home would be a wonderful thing, wouldn’t it?
Try using Borac acid in a soda bottle cap–worked well when I lived in Hawaii.
I would if I didn’t have pets and kids. I can imagine it works well!
Sprinkle boric acid under your shelf paper. Kids and pets won’t get to it, but, the roaches will. Works
Kate H says
What if the birds get the grits? Do grits have the same effect on them as rice? I just want to know before I put this out – because I HAVE ANTS……and I want them to go away! 🙂
Hello Kate. As for the birds, I have yet to see any coming to get the grits around my house and don’t believe they’re interested in it. We are ornitholoogy lovers around here and wouldn’t do anything to hurt those sweet creatures. 🙂
Tabatha Brotherton says
I was wondering. With the grits. I have tried numerous things out side my hone with some victory. But I live in an older farm house with a root cellar that I can not gain full access. I still have numerous ant attacks no matter what I have tried on the inside. Particularly round my cats dry food and my kitchen. No matter how clean I keep it. Have you ever put the Brits down on the inside as well?? Was curious since I’m still having issues and have fur babies inside. And very curious ones to say the least. Thanks.
Hi Tabitha, I don’t see why you couldn’t lay them down inside and I would be surprised if your cats were interested in corn (grits or cornmeal), but you never know. Some cats like the weirdest things. All I can recommend is to give it a try and see what happens. 🙂
I have used them inside. I brought some wood in before a hard frost and of course ants came in with the wood. I scattered some andthey were gone quickly and have never been back.
Larissa, this is genius, thank you!!! I have those teeny tiny 1/8 inch long ants… troublesome to say the least. I did get rid of the cockroaches (all kinds) by dicing up raw cucumbers and tossing them in spots. They smell great, don’t attract ants and roaches run from them back outside. 🙂
hahaha…tell that to my hubby. We don’t have cockroaches (THANKFULLY!), but love the cucumber idea. Thanks!
Love your post on Ant Ridder, Grits. Going to try that.
Wondering if you have a tip on ridding a house/patio deck of spiders. We live next to the water and get more than our share of the creep crawlers. Please help if you can!
Thank you, Shirlean. For your spiders, get a cat! 😀 My cat loves spiders, but seriously, I’m not really sure of a good remedy for those eight legged friends. You could submit a question on my facebook page (just click the ask button) and see what response you get.
I’ve used cornstarch inside the house for ants. I seems to work pretty good Seems if it gets on their feet, they take it back to the nest and eventually it kills them. Digestion issue maybe?
Yes, I’ve heard the same with that, cornmeal, most any type of grain they can carry. I have just always used grits and that old saying rings true for me, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” 😉
Ill try that as i jist started vetting the tiny ants on my counters.
This year has been the worst for ants! Usually, we get the little black ants, but this year we had 4 different types invading at once! I set out baking soda and powdered sugar. They are attracted to the sugar and end up carrying the soda back to the nest, as well. I think it works the same as grits, It takes a few days, but they eventually disappear.
Yes, they seem to be numerous this year and so far my grits are working. Fingers crossed you don’t get invaded again! 🙂
Does it matter if the grits are old fashioned, quck cooking or instant?
I use the old fashioned and have tried the quick cooking, but have been advised not to use instant. Hope that helps! 🙂
Susan Truxal says
How do I get rid of slugs in my garden? Especially my strawberry plants? Thanks!
BEER! Put a platic lid or shallow bowl filled with beer and it’ll kill them. 🙂
Nerida B says
G’day I live on a sand peninsula in Australia and have read with interest your ant rid solution. On reading the comments I think “Grits” are made from corn.. Is That right? As we don’y have “grits” here, the only thing I can think of that is made out of corn is a corn flour! and it’s just like wheat flour in appearance. Do you think that will work? Cheers Ned
G’day to you too! I believe corn meal or wheat cereal or anything like that would work. I say try the corn flour so at least you’ll know if it works. 🙂
There is a company called Springbok Foods in Australia who import South african goods and they may have maize meal or as we call it in SA mealie meal. It’s a slightly coarse form of maize flour. You can google them or look them up in your tel directory. Their HO is in Brisbane or surrounds and they have branches or stores in the main cities…. Good Luck.
Look for cornmeal or polenta. They are both pure ground corn
My daughter has her first home and her pets have now got it infested with FLEAS…. She has auto immune dieases and can’t use chemicals… Any ideas how to rid your home of fleas… She is treating all the pets….
Thanks for the help
Tracey, do just the pets have them or has she seen them in the carpet or bedding? There are several different options. For our pets, we spray them with a mixture of 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water and comb 3 times a day OUTSIDE. They go bye-bye quick. Also you can dust the pets with Diatomaceous Earth (DE) found at farm stores like Tractor Supply or an equity. Make sure not to inhale it yourself unless you get the human version from health food stores. For carpet, set a shallow pan of soapy water (no suds) in the center of the room and hang a bare lightbulb or warming light about 12″ above the pan. The fleas are drawn to the heat and try to jump, fall into the water and the soap breaks the tension of the water’s surface so they fall in and die. Hope this helps! 🙂
I used to work for THE FLEA SPECIALIST. In addition, you can vacuum your carpets repeatedly in one day….to stimulate flea eggs to hatch and pick up any live fleas and “flea dirt” in the carpet. Then sprinkle DE or Borax into carpets, broom in, and leave for a day or two. Then vacuum the excess out. Kills adults and larvae by dehydration and new hatchlings immediately. Lasts until you shampoo it out.
That’s what we do too. Love the verstatility of DE.
Joan casey says
Wouldn’t a battery operated light be better than use electric near any water to attract the fleas?
Not sure, I have used a bare bulb suspended over a soapy shallow pan to draw them out of a room .
Erika Wolfe says
Inregards to fleas, we occassionally have a problem with them. I bath my dog in blue dawn dishsoap it kills fleas almost immediately. Just lather your dog up and let him sit for about 10 minutes. Then I usually will condition his skin afer the blue dawn with Rosemary and Lavendar suave conditioner. Fleas, tics, lice all hate the smell of lavendar for some reason. Then I’ll put some drops of pre lavendar on my little pooch to makhim smell good to me and bad to any critters. Then I vaccuum the rug sprinkled with Borax and that seems to keep everything away! I keep that suave shampoo and conditioner around all the time and I love it to b/c its incredibly cheap so my kids regularly use it too! Good luck!
Tracey you can also put the Diatomaceous Earth on your carpet. here is a link that i found and they seem to know what they are talking about.
i copied and pasted the part about the fleas in rugs. But the whole article is interesting!
Instructions: 3 Simple Steps for Using Diatomaceous Earth for Fleas
Ok enough chit chat. It’s time to get down to business! Here are a few easy steps that you can follow to get rid of fleas in your home using diatomaceous earth.
Using Food Grade diatomaceous earth For Killing Fleas
Use Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth
Give all your carpets a brush (stiff bristles) and a thorough vacuum. This will aggravate the fleas and get them moving about in preparation for your natural flea powder attack.
After reviewing the cautions for using DE (in this article), simply sprinkle the powder where fleas are usually found. This could be in the grass in your yard, your carpets in your home or even the areas where your pets sleep and play. I highly recommend that you rub the powder into the carpets with a broom to make sure it reaches the fleas. I have had a number of readers asking about the density of DE that is needed. My answer is that it should be enough to finely cover the surface and if you are unsure, a little more is better. Just be careful you don’t get too much powder puffing into the air when you apply it to the targeted area.
How long does it take for diatomaceous earth to kill fleas? Well research shows that once the fleas come into contact with the powder, they usually die about 4 hours later. However, I recommend leaving it for 12 hours before vacuuming up all the powder (and any dead fleas) to ensure they die.
It’s really as easy as that. Since flea eggs hatch after about a week of being laid by female fleas (in most scenarios), it’s recommended that you repeat this process once a week for a total of 3-4 weeks. This will prevent a repeat infestation after you get rid of the adult fleas.
Love DE in the garden, on our pets, and use it ourselves. Great read!
Glenda D. says
Try “FOOD GRADE” Diatomaceous Earth. That will take care of fleas, gnats, maybe ants, cockroaches, spiders too. Notice I said food grade there is a difference.
I sprinkled some around the plants in my bathroom next thing I know there are dead gnats all over the bathtub. It works.
Plants are fine.
I am currently working room by room to spread this food grade diatomaceous earth on my carpets because my house is infested with fleas also.. People can put this in their drink if they want to and get rid of parasites in their system.
I told my vet what I was doing and she said great. This is better than chemicals.
I got mine at Amazon.com. Use caution I wear a face safety shield, safety glasses and filter over my nose and mouth when I am sprinkling and I make sure my cat is out on the patio, because it is a very fine powder. I am doing my mattresses and then using those bed bug covers to make sure the FGD stays put. I don’t want to buy new mattresses. Everything else gets washed in the washer with hot water and hot dryer. When house is done I will start on the yard.
Then back to the house to vacuum the carpets with my wet/dry vacuum. The chemical bombs just don’t work anymore.
I didn’t know I had fleas until I got a cat and he got infested with them. Then I realized it was the house that was infested.
Poor baby now he is on that crummy Advantage until I can get rid of the fleas in the house and yard.
I am told it also kills bed bugs too.
Mary Alice says
I will try this. Is it good for spiders as well?????
Hi Mary, I don’t believe so, but I’ve never had a problem because my kitty loves to take care of them for me. 🙂
Jesse Hurtado says
Can you do a Lil note on Roaches
I would if I knew more about them! Thankfully, I don’t have any issues with those little guys. 🙂
Does anyone know a way to get rid of wasps? They are all around our doors this year and they have taken over the back porch. Help please.
Wish I did, but maybe someone on here can help. Also, try going to http://www.hometalk.com and subitting your question.
Brenda Bryan says
You can get traps for wasp at the store like Wal- Mart. But, I found a web page that gives you ways to get rid of wasp.you can put plants of mint, citronella, and eucalyptus on your porch are plant them around the area.
You can get spray to kill them I buy mine from Wal-Mart for less then $2.00 a can. Are make a mixture of Dawn dish detergent and wait until it starts to get dark at night then spray them with it. the soap will kill them. Then take the water hose and knock down the nest with the water hose. Just be careful not to get stung. Wasp are more dorment at night and have a slower reaction. Good luck and be careful.
Cat Woodward says
i use ground cinnamon along the threshold and at the foundation to keep ants out . Use a little cinnamon in a big plastic container to puff it out . They just go away! It’s cheap and safe for pets and kids.
Brenda Bryan says
You can do the same thing with cornmeal. You see they are both made from corn. Grits are made from white corn and like your father I grew up eating grits. I still enjoy a bowl of grits sometimes with my breakfast I also eat things made with cornmeal. I also grew up eating what they called cornmeal mush. It was cooked the same way as grits, but it came out smoother and not as coarse a grain. So, you can feed the ants either cornmeal are grits and it will get rid of them.
anyone have any natural remedies for centipedes or silverfish? Not sure what we actually have but they have tons of legs and look really hairy and are silver in color. Seem to invade when it’s really wet outside.
cheryl B. says
Love this hate chemicals I have asthma.What book was this???Thank you Larissa
Me too, Cheryl. I don’t know if it’s in print anymore, but it was called, “Grandmas Book of Home Remedies”.
Hi Larissa! I am also very phobic about chemicals in the home. Do you treat the furniture you Restyle for termites? Do you know any termite remedies for the home as well?
Patti, I do not as most are for in the home. I would say to try Pinterest or Google. 😉
Anyone know of something for fleas that wont hurt my cats and dogs?
I use a water/vinegar ratio of 2:1. Comb them out and put them in soapy water to drown. Spray the animal with the vinegar mixture hourly when infested and try to keep them outside if possible. It works like a charm. They hate it. 😀
This is very interesting, I am going to try it. My yard is full of ant mounds. Do you know of any home remedy’s to rid of lizards, especially to deter them from getting inside the house. I have moth balls everywhere but they still tend to come inside.
Sounds like you could use it! 😀 As for lizards, cats do wonders. 😉
Cindy Brooks says
We’ve been fighting ants the last couple of summers. Thanks for sharing this!
I hope you get much needed relief. My pleasure to share. 😀