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  • BJ Riordan

    Bolster your home against invading insects; use traps and natural remedies to eliminate interlopers. Bugged by ants? Clean up spilled food promptly. *RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS PA—Chances are you get occasional houseguests you’d rather not have visiting. While I can’t help you with the two-legged kind (though putting them to work often helps move them along), I can offer advice for dealing with pests of the insect variety—without resorting to nasty chemicals that are bad for you and the environment, OR spending a mint to eradicate the little buggers. As a general rule, your first line of defense is to keep pests out by sealing cracks, using repellents, screening openings, and not bringing any stowaways home. Should any make it inside, most of them can be trapped pretty easily if you have the right bait, like their favorite foods or natural critter-specific chemical attractant scents called pheromones. *Ants: About this time of year I often have some small kitchen guests. It’s an inevitable fact of spring: Sugar-seeking ants find their way in through some infinitesimal crack and start casing the joint. Once they find crumbs or other spilled food the news spreads like wildfire through the colony, and soon there is a tiny two-lane highway full of ants carting away my leavings. Reduce your chances of an ant invasion by keeping spills cleaned up and food stored in secure containers. Seal any cracks with caulk and sprinkle entry areas with crushed dry mint, ground cinnamon, or cloves to keep them out. Also, clean the floors, counters, or any other surfaces where you’ve spotted them as often as you can, so you’ll remove the trails that they lay down to lead their fellows to the food. If you can’t stem the invasion that easily, you can use a sugar-borax paste to control the insects. Borax is reasonably safe for humans (you still don’t want to eat it, or allow kids to play with it, so keep it off food and out of reach of little hands), but when the ants carry it back to their colony, it kills the whole nest. Mix 1 teaspoon borax or boric acid and 1 teaspoon sugar or honey with enough water to make a thin paste, and put the mix in a small jar near where the ants have been foraging. Refill as needed until it no longer disappears. You can also buy ready-made liquid natural ant killer that contains borax and sweetener.

  • BJ Riordan

    Bolster your home against invading insects; use traps and natural remedies to eliminate interlopers. Bugged by ants? Clean up spilled food promptly. *Pantry moths: Just about any time of the year you may find you have been unwittingly hosting tiny banquets in your dry foods. If you see small (½-inch-long) grey-brown moths flitting about, or you open a food container only to find the contents full of webbing, you have pantry moths. Tiny black or brown beetles found in flour or other ground products are flour beetles. Your first response should be to put affected containers in the freezer for a day or two to kill the adults, and then get the tainted food out of the house and into the compost or trash (or, at our place, the chicken feeder). Check other containers and deal with other active infestations at the same time. If you don’t want to discard food products that may be lightly affected—such as a jar of whole beans with a few moths strolling around on top (more protein, according to my Mom)—store the them in the freezer until it’s used up. These small munchers usually arrive in purchased food (including pet food), so buy sealed containers and shop at places with clean shelves and high product turnover. Store bulk foods in containers or glass jars that seal tightly (plastic bags won’t keep determined pests in or out for extended periods), and/or put purchases in the freezer for three days when you bring them home to kill any adults hiding inside (eggs take more like a month to kill). As for the moth that are already loose in you house, it may take a bit of work to get rid of them, but if you stay vigilant it can be done. Clean up any spilled food in storage areas and make sure all food is kept in sealed containers. I put a intact, dried bay leaf in each container, which is perfectly harmless to humans but seems to help keep pests away. If you have a bad case of pantry moths you may want to invest in some pheromone-baited traps to help thin the population, or keep one around all the time to alert you at the first sign of a problem.

  • Harriet Pennington

    This is a guide about get rid of ants in your kitchen. Have ants taken up residence in your home? The kitchen can be a challenging place to get rid of ants since there are so many sources of food.

  • Stefanie Stevens

    ants eating food on kitchen floor, homeowner survival skills

  • Crystal Ålderson

    {Beat Back Household Bugs} You can get rid of ants, moths and other insect pests without dousing your home with chemicals.

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