After an attack of sugar ants in the kitchen this year, I realized my food storage methods weren’t adequate. These ants are so small that they are able to get into almost anything. Imagine my surprise to find them in a can of shortening and a salt shaker. Fortunately, they weren’t able to get into the peanut butter, although I’ve even heard of that happening.
There are a few things you can do to protect your food if you have a problem with pests.
- If they are confined to your kitchen, remove all the food from cupboards where you have seen ants. We put anything we didn’t use on a regular basis in a box, and put the box in another room. The things we used regularly, we left on the counter where we could keep an eye on them.
- Clean the area thoroughly every day.
- Find out where the ants are coming in and try to seal the opening if possible. If you can’t find the entry location, attack the point where you see them. Clean that spot every day. After cleaning, we sprayed the area with a laundry stain treatment product and left it damp. The ants didn’t want to cross it. Fortunately, it was between the sink and a window rather than an area where we prepared food.
- Consider putting your cereal, pasta, sugar, flour and similar products in sealed containers. This will help to keep out a variety of insects.
- The key to getting rid of ants permanently is to put something poison out that will attract them. They will take it back to their nests, and eventually the ants will disappear. Mix equal parts of sugar and borax and leave out where the ants are coming in. You may have to use less borax if the ants aren’t attracted to it. Make sure that it’s in a spot where your children and pets can’t access it.
Realize that getting rid of pests will take persistence and time. Throwing out good food is expensive, though, and it’s worth getting control of the problem.