Sunday, June 7, 2009

Pet sitters' toolbox: get rid of ants

It seems like as soon as a client leaves on vacation, the ants move in. A trail from the garage to the kitchen greets me as I come in the front door, and the cat food dish is swarming with ants.

Here are some tips to get rid of and prevent ants without poisoning the pets.

Set the pet's dish in a larger outer dish filled with soapy water. This creates a moat that keeps ants out (see photo). For extra prevention, cover the edge with Vaseline to make a barrier. Pick up any spilled food. Pick up the pet's dish and rinse it out before you leave (harder to do for cats, who usually free feed).

Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it home, and  can't digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains.

Put bay leaves, spearmint, pepper, chili powder, cucumber, cinnamon, borax, or baby powder around the windows and other places where ants get in. I carry bay leaves in my car, along with the can opener and litter scoop! 

Spray ants with 409, Windex, Simple Green or other cleaner. Not toxic like poisons, and pets aren’t attracted to it. Vinegar is another good one. Add some liquid dish soap for extra sticking power. Wipe vinegar around windows and door sills. I can always find something like this under the sink or in the laundry room if I need it. 

Spread coffee grounds around the foundation of the house outside. 

1 comment:

BestFitPetSit said...

What a great article! I am definitely going to use the idea about the liquid soap and water in a larger dish! So many of my clients are feeding the strays and ferals and I've never really known what to do about the ants. This is great, thank you!