Saturday Special: Kill the Colored Ants!

Ants Header

We have ants. Again.

We live in a fairly old house, and it’s just not sealed as well as it should/could be. About every 2 or 3 months, we get a good rain (like night before last) and a colony of ants decides they need to seek shelter by moving into our house. I don’t know about you, but I HATE ants. My husband says we need to name them and call them our “kitchen friends.” He is not in charge of dealing with the ants, obviously. He IS in charge of the videoing around here (see below). You’ll see that we are pretty easily amused.

I’ve tried all sorts of natural ant poisons and repellents. Some of them work quite well. Some of them, like diatomaceous earth, are really messy and need to be confined to dealing with ants outside (where it works beautifully!). Other things like clove oil (I like to mix mine in a spray bottle with some water) and cinnamon also work well as repellents, but just don’t seem to be enough during this post-rain periods when there’s a sudden onslaught of the little buggers. My favorite way to deal with them inside is to poison them with a little combination of honey, borax, and warm water. It’s easy to mix up. Works to keep them gone for quite a while, and isn’t so messy that it makes me crazy. The only difficult part is being patient.  I have issues in that department. You need to give the ants a chance to eat the poison, so that means not killing every single one you see automatically for about a day. It’s HARD to let ants run a muck in your house, even if it’s only for a day.  But it’s worth it when they suddenly stop showing up and stay gone for a while.

The ratio that I’ve been using for my poison is:

  • 1/4 Cup Water
  • 1Tablespoon Honey
  • 1 tsp Borax

Warm the water and mix the honey and borax in until it dissolves. Then, place the poison out in the places you are seeing ants.  I usually put mine on wax paper, but tin foil, parchment paper, or the like will work. You just want to make it easy for the ants to get to. You can just pour it in a puddle, pour it on a cotton pad, or you can soak a cotton ball in it. My children are big enough not to eat it, and our dog has never shown any interest in it, but you’ll want to make sure that children and pets don’t consume it.

Again, the key is . . . be patient.

It can take a little while for the ants to find your poison, but eventually they will. At first it will just be one or two.

A few ants

Then, they’ll tell all their buddies and soon you’ll have them totally surrounding the poison and fighting for a spot.

More ants

This time, I decided to try coloring the poison. I figure if we’re going to have ants, they might as well provide some amusement and be colored ants.

To do this, just drop a few drops of food coloring on the cotton pad or cotton ball, or color the whole puddle. I actually colored my cotton pad with three different colors, so we had different colored ants running around. They’re still ants. I still hate them, but at least they provided us with some entertainment this afternoon before they died. It’s ALMOST like I gave them a bigger and better purpose in life. ALMOST.


Later today or tomorrow, the ants will dwindle down to one or two and I’ll clean up the poison and switch back to using clove oil or something to repel them. I’ll have done enough damage to the colony to at least keep them away for awhile, and in the meantime, we can work on trying to figure out where they’re coming from and get things better sealed.

Until next time, my little ant enemies!

As for the rest of you, I leave you with this awesome video my husband shot of one poor little sucker taking advantage of our hospitality.

And, maybe it’s because we’re a homeschooling family, or maybe it’s just that I want to give ants OUTSIDE my house a fair shake, but here’s a little video that shows how cool ants (or ant hills) can really be.

This post linked up at:

Tending the Home Tuesdays works for me wednesday at we are that family


  1. What kind of ants are they? I’m trying to do a science project on colored ants and wanted to know if color will show on black or red ants. Thanks

  2. Love those green bellied ants. I use a really similar solution for ants but have never colored it. How funny! The best part is that it works, right?!

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