Posts Tagged ‘vinegar’

With all of the hot and dry weather we’ve been getting it’s not surprising that unwanted houseguests would want to make their way in to a cooler area looking for food and water. If you’ve tried the traps to no avail here are some tips on how to get rid of the ants without having to fumigate the place or the chemical compounds.

Locate the entry point

Ants will find their way in through even the smallest crevices or hole in the exterior of a building.  Start with an outside inspection looking for what could be entry points.  If you find the potential ant lobby try plugging the hole with petroleum jelly (Vaseline), toothpaste or even duct tape. Check window seals and fill the cracks with compound from your local hardware store.

It’s a good idea to trim any trees or plants that touch the house – they may look pretty, but they also function as bridges for unwanted insects.

Shut down the insect buffet in your kitchen

You’ve seen how ants will gather around a discarded hot dog bun in the backyard, now imagine how they feel about that slightly open bag of cookies or those boxes of sugary cereals that aren’t properly sealed. Use seal-tight containers (added bonus: the food will stay fresher longer) to store snacks. Keep the kitchen surfaces clean by wiping the counters down with a diluted portion of a 1/4 cup of vinegar to 1 litre of water in a spay bottle. It only costs pennies but kills germs and the smell which will be unnoticeable to your nose in a few minutes is a good repellent for the ants. If you  have an older home and there are openings between the wall and the counter or pipes and floors try  filling or surrounding  them with salt. It’s a fabulous deterrent for the ants. They do not like the sodium.  Maybe they are smarter than we give them credit for.

Stage a DIY attack on the queen

Capturing the queen will solve the problem but how to do that can be a brain scratcher. With all the tunnels and nooks and cranny in the ground or between walls how do you get at the little royal pest?  Easier said than done, when Her Majesty remains behind the walls in her nest awaiting food from her workers (oh, to be an ant monarch). The only way to kill the source is by poisoning the ants you do see, so they can take the bait back to their leader. First mix something goey with something sweet like Crisco shortening and sugar, creamy peanut butter and jelly. Then add some Borax natural laundry booster which is  an all-natural sodium product that can be bought at most grocery stores. Place the mixture near the entrances or on a stiff cardboard surface against the wall near where you see the ants and replenish often. If they like your mixture they will alert all the workers of the easily available bufet. So if after an hour you see thousand of ants on the goods, don’t panic. They are gathering for the nest and they will distribute it easily.

Be patient though as this process can take a bit of time. Pest Control Canada’s website on ant control confirms that the process can take several weeks. Check bait often – if the bait is surrounded by dead ants (meaning they are not living long enough to take the poison back to the queen), lower the amount of Borax. At the same time, keep your house as cool, dry and clean as possible.
And finally don’t try to domesticate an anteater. It’s illegal and it probably will get you more than a few stares at the dog park.


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Vinegar is an extraordinary cleaning and deodorizing agent for your entire home. In your bathroom, vinegar can tackle the infamous bathtub ring, hard water and mineral deposits, soap scum, and mildew.

10 Ways to Use Vinegar in Your Bathroom

  • The bathtub ring Soak paper towels with undiluted vinegar and place them on the ring. Leave the towels to dry out. Then spray with vinegar and scrub with a sponge.
  • Clogged shower heads Shower heads can get clogged with mineral deposits from your water. To unclog, mix 1/2 cup vinegar and 1 quart of water in a large bowl or bucket. Remove your shower 
         head and soak in vinegar solution for 15 minutes. For plastic shower heads, let soak for 1 hour in a mixture of 1 pint vinegar and 1 pint of water.
  • Soap scum on glass doors and walls can be cleaned with straight vinegar. Spray on the vinegar and let dry. Then respray to dampen and wipe clean. Repeat if necessary.
  • Prevent mildew on shower curtains or liners. Keep a spray bottle of vinegar near your shower. Spray your curtain or liner once or twice a week. No need to rinse.
  • Mildew in your rug Once mildew gets into a rug, it lives and grows. Kill it with a 50.50 mixture of vinegar and water. Pour the mixture onto the rug. Let stand until the rug is completely dry.
  • Sinks with hard water or mineral deposits can be cleaned by covering the stained area with paper towels soaked in vinegar. Cover and leave on for 1 hour. Then wipe with a damp sponge.
  • Toilets To clean your toilet, pour 2 cups of vinegar into your toilet and let sit for 30 minutes. Next sprinkle baking soda on a toilet bowl bruush and scour any remaining stains. Then flush.
  • Bathroom floor For ceramic tile mop with a mixture of 1 cup vinegar and 1 gallon warm water. For linoleum and vinyl floor scrub with a mixture of 1 gallon water and 1 cup vinegar. To polish
         floor after wards, use club soda. Wood floor use 1 cup vinegar and 1 gallon water mixture. Mop onto floors lightly, do not saturate the floor. No need to rinse. The vinegar will keep the floor shiny and
         removes any greasy buildup.
  • Mirrors Use a diluted solution of 1/4 cup vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray on mirrors and wipe clean with paper towels. You will have a streak free shine.
  • Remove dingy old tub decals First, warm the undiluted vinegar in the microwave for 3 minutes. Saturate the decal with the vinegar and let sit for about 5 minutes. This should loosen the glue
         holding the decals on. Remove any leftover glue with a damp sponge and vinegar.
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