Gardening On Keuka Lake – The Natural Way

Living and working around the Finger Lakes, I am very aware of the importance of good watershed practices.  I try to minimize any chemicals in my yard, knowing that it all filters into the ground and eventually makes its way to the lake – not good. 

Here around Keuka Lake, we had quite the mild Winter and one of the first things I realized early on in the Spring, was the amount of ant mounds that were developing.  The ants apparently liked and fared quite well during the mild winter. 

Last Fall, I had dug up some perennials, put them in large buckets and put the buckets into the ground to be replanted this Spring.  Ouch, those buckets were filled with ants besides the once wonderful perennials. I received bites as well as Kirk. 

My initial solution was to get the hose out and wash out the root from any of the plants that still had a chance of survival and then replant.  This flooded most of the ants away.  I now see that I am finding new colonies.  Thanks to Facebook and my friend Colette, I came across the following information at Double Danger.  Here are some of the natural tips they suggest.

 

10 Ways To Kill Ants… Organically

1. Baking soda is poisonous to ants, sprinkle it around your plants to ensure ants will stay away.

2. Flour & Baby Powder will keep ants from reaching your plants, ants will not cross the powder – so circle your plants with it.

3. You can use coffee grounds, chili powder, cinnamon, peppermint or black pepper. All deter ants and if you pour coffee grounds directly on an anthill, they will eat the coffee grounds and implode.

4. Grits, instant rice & cream of wheat can be sprinkled around plants. The ant will eat a piece of whichever you sprinkle, drink water and the grain expands and kills the ant. :)

5. Fill a spray bottle with 1 part vinegar and 1 part water and spray on plants. The acid in vinegar will kill ants.

6. Mix together one-third cup of molasses, six tablespoons of sugar, and six tablespoons of active dry yeast into a smooth paste. Use the mixture to coat strips of cardboard. Keep out of reach of pets and small children. You can leave mixture on a saucer outside anthill and they’ll eat it and die!

7. Fold contact paper in half, with the sticky side out and make a circle around base of plant. The ants get stuck on the paper – problem solved.

8. Cut off the bottom of a paper cup and cut a slit up the side of the cup and coat outside with vaseline and place around base of plant. You can also use packing tape.

9. Mix one cup of borax, two-thirds a cup sugar and one cup water. Dip cotton balls in the solution and place in areas near your anthill Ants will leave the plants alone and ingest the sweet mixture. The borax kills the ants.

10. Diatomaceous Earth is a commonly sold organic pesticide that will destroy the insects outer skeletons, causing the pests to die from dehydration.

Read our update to this post – where we tried some of the methods: Organic Ant Control Update

Hopefully some of these ideas will help you solve your ant problems organically. Helping to keep our waters safe and clean !

This information brought to you by Mary St. George Realtor, Associate Broker, Wine Trail Properties, 315-719-8377

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