New Zealand Woman’s Weekly



Everywhere I go at the moment, people are complainin­g about ants – it would seem the warm weather has brought them out. But please, don’t rush off to get some poison. Here are some natural remedies I’ve gathered from my old books that you can use...

• Mix 2 tbsp borax (available at your chemist) with 1 cup icing sugar, then leave out. Borax can be harmful to children and pets, so put the mix in a container with a lid and poke holes in the sides to let ants in.

• Wipe down shelves and surfaces with neat vinegar. You can also put the vinegar in a spray bottle and deal to the ants directly.

• Sprinkle and wipe around essential oils of eucalyptus, peppermint, lavender or tea-tree oil to repel any ants.

• Sprinkling talcum powder about is a simple, cheap and totally effective solution. Apparently, ants breathe through their skin and the talcum powder clogs that breathing function when they come in contact with it. In their haste to escape, the ants will return to their nests and infect the other ants inside it. We had a bad infestatio­n in our lawn, so we observed the ants’ movements to discover their nest. One squirt of talcum powder over the entrance and within 48 hours, there was not a single ant left. It took us only five minutes, cost us only 30 cents and there was no risk factor.

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