Ants are active in South Florida all year round due to mild weather conditions. Keeping ants out of your RV can be a challenge. No one likes to find ants in the sugar bowl, crawling along baseboards, or leaving behind carcasses in light fixtures.
It’s a hard fact that if you see one, you probably have many, and they aren’t giving up the free rent that easily. It’s time to get tough on ants, but you don’t have to use toxic chemicals!
1. Death by Scratching. Diatomaceous Earth is an inexpensive non-toxic powder that sticks to their feet and legs and makes its way into the exoskeleton of the ant. The dust’s tiny jagged edges work like broken glass to scratch open and dry out an ant’s body. As an ant killer, it is cheap, safe for pets and kids, and effective on other bugs too. It works on roaches, fleas, bed bugs, and most creepy crawlies. Use a powder duster to get into those deep pockets and cracks and wear gloves to keep it off your skin. As bugs move across the powder, it sticks to their feet and legs only to get into their joints and exoskeleton. The particles are jagged and so it works like broken glass to scratch the insect’s body then dries it out. While it is not poisonous, it is an irritant. Avoid breathing in diatomaceous earth or getting it on your skin. Be patient, it’s not instant death but super effective.
2. Bonked by Borax. Another ground mineral that’s a natural ant killer is borax. In this case, when the ants eat the borax, it interferes with their digestive system. Unfortunately, it is not an instant killer either. Worker ants take the borax bait back to the colony for the other ants to eat, eventually eliminating the queen ant and the rest of the colony. Ants aren’t enticed by borax, so to get them to take the bait, mix it 50/50 with sugar and place the mixture along probable ant trails.
3. Boil the Queen. Really. If you can locate the ant colony and the queen that lives there, why use chemicals at all? Just follow the ant trail holding a pot of boiling water carefully and pour it over the hills. Repeat if needed. You will not be popular with the ant colony but you will have used a chemical-free method to take back your RV from the ant invaders.
4. Make ‘em Stiff. When you spot a parade of ants using an ant trail, sprinkle dry cornstarch on their legs or put it in their path where they will be forced to walk through it. Wait 24 hours. Then take our spray bottle of water and spray all visible ants. The cornstarch and water act like cement. The ants can no longer walk, so they just die. Just sweep them away after a few hours. You can use this method on groups of ants too.
5. Seduce Them. Essential oils may smell seductive to us, but they repel ants – and some even kill them. Peppermint oil sprayed on door frames and windows naturally repel pests and Tea Tree Oil is specific to killing ants. Just pour a little scented oil onto a cotton ball and lay them around where ants hang out. At least your RV will smell great while you soldier on to save your home from invasion!
There are certain ants in Florida that need pest control efforts. Here’s the list:
Denotes the ability to sting
- Big Headed Ants
- Carpenter Ants
- Fire Ants
- Ghost Ants/Sugar Ants
- Pharaoh Ants
- Twig Ants
- White Footed Ants
- Velvet Ants/Cow Killer Ants
For a guide to the various species of ants in Florida, how to control them using natural methods, and how to identify the ones that bite, visit Port St. Lucie’s pest control Green Pest Services.