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Non-toxic products/remedies for bug control

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I have a question regarding insect control. We have a small invasion of our house by ants. So far they are just the little brown/black ones and have confined themselves to the kitchen, dining room, living room and basement. Others in our small town are experiencing similar invasions. I have received all kinds of recommendations on how to get rid of them. Unfortunatly they all involve dangerous poisons. Does anyone know of any way to get rid of ants using something that is not toxic to cats? I would be most appreciative of any advice or remedies. Thanks. In peace, Hannah/Flea
post #2 of 17
There are a few things you can do. One is the ant traps, small round cans with tiny holes in the sides with bait for the ants. Place them in the back corners of your cupboards and under your sink where the cats can't get to them (wouldn't do them any harm if they did but why test it)? You can also sprinkle rice in the same locations; when the ants eat the uncooked rice it swells in their stomach and kills them.

post #3 of 17
I dont know of any ways to kill the ants naturally. I do know that if you treat the front and back lawns is really reduces the amounts that make it to the house. We had a very similar problem in CA. Once we treated the yard, we noticed the ants disapear. We use a product called diazanon. You put it on the grass and then water immediatly. Once you water the lawn, it soaks into the dirt and no residue is left on the grass.
post #4 of 17
Originally posted by Sandie
I don't know of any ways to kill the ants naturally. I do know that if you treat the front and back lawns is really reduces the amounts that make it to the house. We had a very similar problem in CA. Once we treated the yard, we noticed the ants disappear. We use a product called Diazinon. You put it on the grass and then water immediately. Once you water the lawn, it soaks into the dirt and no residue is left on the grass.
Using a product like this for ants, you can just do a perimeter treatment. Sprinkle the granules along the perimeter of the house; ants won't cross the "barrier" but will look for a way around. Treating completely around the house will send them off elsewhere. The ants in the house need to be treated, though.

post #5 of 17
We had ants really bad about a month ago. When the bug guy came all the kids getting off the bus said "Hey you are suposed to be at my house" etc, so we know the whole neighborhood had them also. They use a gel product now, that is non-toxic after it dries. We only needed it in the kitchen cupboards, and we put chairs up against them to keep my cat out. Then the ants came back, and my mom tried ant bait traps, which didn't work. The bug guy came again about 2 weeks ago, but the ants came back. The thing that has stopped the ants for us? We had the kitchen floor tiled :laughing2
post #6 of 17
I am having the same problem here in KY. I have tried ant baits and such with no avail. We sprinkled ant crystals under the house but they are still here from one end of the house to the other. I too am worried about using pesticides around our pets. Yesterday at our local WalMart I found a product called Bioganic Dust Insecticide. They have been advertising it on T.V. lately. It is sapposed to control Ants and Cockroaches for up to 4 weeks and is sapposed to be safe around Children and Pets because it is made from plant oils. I am going to clean the house thoroughly today and apply this stuff to see if it helps. I hope it does because I am fed up with the ants too. They even made a "home" in my houseplants.
post #7 of 17
I'm also in Kentucky and we too are having an awful time with ants. I use dish soap to kill the ants. Also, ants will not cross a soapy barrier.

Its been really odd....the ants are like catnip to my cats. The cats lick them up and roll around on the floor on the ants and act all goofy! I think these must be some sort of really tasty hallucinogenic ants invading my house!
post #8 of 17
I tried the Bioganic product that was sapposed to kill ants instantly. I am not happy with this product at all. It did slow the ants down a bit but it did not istantly kill them as the label stated. My cats lick at the ants too. I was wondering if they were part anteater. Ha ha. I guess that I will just have to put up with the ant problem a little while longer until I can find a healthy safe way of exterminating them.
post #9 of 17
Hello, I am new. In regard to ants or other small insects, I recently purchased a product called "Pest OFFense". Not toxic as you plug it in an outlet and it uses your house hold current. My son told me about it. He has one in his home because of ants. I wanted one to protect against flees. So far it is working. The cost is about $30.00. If anyone is interested I can post the address, if that is allowed.

post #10 of 17
I have found that essential oil of peppermint works very well in repelling ants. Place a few drops of the oil on cotton balls and place around the areas the ants come in. It is a natural repellent and will not harm your animals. This truly makes the ants run the other direction.
post #11 of 17
A Kurdish lady here taught me a surefire way to discourage insect invasions. We have here a pasty sort of all-purpose yellow soap that comes in a plastic tub. It is quite strong. You can use it for dishes, pots and pans, and color-fast or white hand laundry. It smells very much like the old-fashioned bars of strong hand-laundry soap I used in the states to get those special stains out before putting things in the washing machine. She took a small handful of the pasty soap, about half a cup or more of laundry-strength chlorine, and a capful (NOT cupful, please note) of household amonia in a mop bucket of hot water (the soap has to melt down and get integrated!). {WARNING -- don't hang your head over the bucket when you are mixing this.}

For the floor (and to get at the things like fleas and cockroaches) you simple mop, but this mixture requires that you also mop with rinse-water after you have let the stuff "set" for 5 or 10 minutes.

For ants, you dip a sponge, cloth, cotton wad, etc. into the mixture, wring it out so it isn't dripping, and place the sponge, or etc. on the ant or cockroach trail, near their entrance into the house (like cracks between the skirting board and the floor, or other strategic places (under the sinks, in dark corners....). Leave over night and the problem is gone. When you need to treat a place where cats or dogs might go, you can wring the cotton or whatever out well and rub the area. The amount left on the floor or tiles will not hurt the cat or dog (they are not at all attracted to the idea of licking it), but in this case you may have to do a rub down several nights in a row to get maximum effect. Here in Israel, where we have almost yearly migrations of new ant colonies into the house (I once found about a thousand ants plus eggs and queen had moved themselves into the space between my sheets and my blanket at the foot of the bed, which I did not discover until I settled down to sleep -- now THAT was a shock...).

I can attest that this mix of things really is magic. Just remember that it leaves a sticky residue, so it needs to be rinsed off of any surface where a slight stickiness would be a problem. It makes a pretty good stove cleaner or pot cleaner, too, but there are several better products on the market specifically for those tasks.

Simple, cheap, effective.
post #12 of 17
I have some friends who keep their house organic as much as possible. They have no cats, but they do have a small dog. They swear by borax, just a line of it laid along edges where walls and floors meet and windows and pantry shelves. They have never had either ants or roaches. They also suggested pennyroyal oil, which they use for fleas on their dog too, but I think that might actually be toxic in large enough quantities so I have avoided it.
post #13 of 17
We had the same problem until 3 days ago ! There were millions of ants whenever they found a food supply ! Those ant traps didn't work; I think the ants can smell the human scent on them & that's why they don't go in them ! Finally we called the bug man. He 1'st sprinkled some brown granules and then sprayed something (perhaps an insecticide ) in front of their nests, along the edges where walls and floors meet. We kept our cats closed in another room for 1 hour only, and cleaned the sprayed places after a day, as the bug man told us so ! We are finally ant free for 3 days :tounge2:

I found this ant bait on the internet but we wanted them to go right away so we called the bug man instead:

" Make ant bait by mixing a small amount of boric acid into food that foraging ants feed on. To prepare bait, first determine what the ants like. They usually prefer something sweet like honey or jelly, or something greasy like peanut butter. Apple jelly or honey mixed with peanut butter is a common bait. Add boric acid at 1 to 2 percent concentration (approximately 1 teaspoon of boric acid per cup of the food bait). Place in an area visited by ants but not readily accessible to children. If successful, the bait kills the ants in 10 days to two weeks. "
post #14 of 17
The only thing I've tried for ants that has worked is "Hotshot Maxattrax" ant bait. I've tried all the other baits and they didn't work at all. I have carpet so I just put one down with a glas custard cup on top of it. The ants can still get to it but the cats can't. Eventually they come back, but I don't want to spray pesticides around the cats, so I just stick with these. Good Luck!
post #15 of 17
Dear Dodo, borax is not poisonous to cats, but the brown granules are probably Dizingdole (spelling is probably wrong), which is an organophosphate. It works great, and I used to use it all the time around trees and bushes (ants love to deposit aphids (the ant cow) everywhere, and killing the ants leaves the aphids without caretakers). But I discovered that my cats would dig around the trees for toilet holes, and then they would get the granules between their toes. In grooming off the granules, they started to show symptoms of mild organophosphate poisoning. I didn't wait for them to get a bigger dose. I discontinued the use of the insecticide and fell back on my Kurdish lady's remedy, which you can also spray or sprinkle on the ground with good results.
post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for your great responses. I am pretty new here and am very impressed by all the caring and intelligent responses. I am printing your responses so I will have them handy for next year. Shortly after I posted the ant problem began easing up and eventually stopped altogether. I have to smile as I write this because our tiger striped cat, Isaac has been bringing his white and green striped mouse to me here at the computer so I will throw it into the kitchen for him to retrieve. He will only do this with the gray and white toned mice and ignores the others. He has taught our newest addition, Melody how to play this same game. She is still a bit inconsistant and doesn't care which two-toned color mice she plays with Anyway, thank you all for your resonses. I really like having a place where I can talk with others who are as in love with cats as I am. In peace, Hannah
post #17 of 17
I have found that bay leaves will keep ants away.

Does anyone know how to keep spiders away. I live very close to the woods and we get all kinds of spiders. I found one in my bed last night. I hate spiders! I was also wondering if they can harm my cats? I know that some can harm people we do not have them around here. So if anyone knows how to keep spiders away I would really like to know.

I was told by a friend that Seven Dust works to keep bugs out of the yard. I have never tried it. I will be. It is not harmful to animals.
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