Ants

It's that time of year again, unfortunately. With the lovely warmer weather comes the black ants. We didn't get them last year, so that was a welcome reprieve.
I am looking for a 'non-toxic to humans and pets' method of dealing with them. I saw over the weekend that the commercial ant baits contain arsenic (yikes!) and boric acid, neither of which I want around the toddler and the kitty.
I'd love something that will eradicate the little nasties, but will settle for a repellant of some type, if that is all I can have. We don't drink brewed coffee, so coffee grounds are out of the question. We also live in a very old home and I wouldn't even want to think of how many cracks and crevices may be allowing them in. It's usually a short-lived problem, so I don't want to do a massive amount of work to deal with them.
Any ideas? Recipes for bait that will kill them, or repellant ideas?
TIA!
Nan
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Nan, You can try camphor, clove oil, tansy, spearmint, or pulverized eggshells inside the house. Around the house foundation you can create a barrier with agricultural lime, bonemeal, or powered charcoal. Ants don't like to cross a chalk line. Plants that repel ants include mint, lavender, chives, rosemary and garlic.
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I found this on the net a few years ago. I generally add a few drops to the solutions I use to wipe my counters and floors. I also add a few drops to some water in a spray bottle and spray the entrance-ways, inside and out.The odor removes the scent trails that the ants follow. This also leaves a nice scent behind and is not a problem with the dog and cats that run my house.
Herbal Insect Repellent
8 drops Cedarwood essential oil 5 drops Eucalyptus essential oil 4 drops Lavender essential oil 2 drops Neroli essential oil 2 drops Lemon essential oil 1 drop Peppermint essential oil 1 drop Cinnamon essential oil 1 drop Clove essential oil
For a refreshing change from the scent of citronella, try the above mixed into two ounces of carrier oil.
AVOID CONTACT WITH EYES.
Gayle
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Nan wrote:

6 mg of arsenic could kill a toddler. It would take about a teaspoon of borax. (Table salt is also toxic. Babies have died from salt accidentally added to formula.)

Borax can be used to repel ants. Dissolve a little in water and apply to cracks with a paint brush.

1/8 teaspoon borax in 1 tablespoon sugar. Add few drops of water and heat to make a syrup. Keep it away from the toddler so you won't have to make more.
If the ants like sugar, a few drops will kill a colony. There won't be enough borax in a drop to harm a child or kitten. I like to put it on pieces of cardboard. When the ants find it they'll form a line, and you replenish the refreshment for several days until they stop coming.
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Nan wrote:

I can understand you not wanting poisons put down with a dear sweet kitten about. I do so love kittens. I had one once but sadly it got run over on its first trip out of the house. Have you thought about a humane trap adapted for ants? That would suit perfectly, no poisons and ant friendly. I am sure Gary could come up with some contraption made from a matchbox I daresay. Once the ants have been collected and removed to a nearby field they will all soon get the message and leave the area where they are not wanted. I read a book about ants not long ago. It was very interesting, they are clever little things and could probably wipe us out if they had half a mind to. Maybe one day they will.
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