Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ants and How to Curb Their Ant-I-Social Behavior with Baby Powder

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How many times have you been outside . . . just minding your own business, and ouch! . . . You're being eaten alive by ants!!!

This weekend was no exception! Will and I were out working in the roses and wham, an angry hoard of little red ants began working their way up my sandals, and onto my toes . . .bite, bite, biting as they advanced up my foot! These little devils bent themselves in two so they could inflict more pain!

As I pulled off my sandals, and began slapping my poor, bitten , and beginning to swell feet, I remembered a local morning show I'd watched the previous week. A guest was sharing about the uses for simple baby powder. It stops squeaky doors, works as a quick dry cleaner for your dog, removes squeaks from floorboards, can absorb grease spots on clothing (gotta try this one), and provides a barrier ants won't cross over!

Well, I thought, "What do I have to lose?" I sprinkled some baby powder along the brick border, where I was working, and the ants stayed away! NO MORE BITES!!! I find this simple remedy EMPOWERING!

That got me thinking, what if I sprinkle baby powder on my feet and Crocs before I go out? I could also do this for the Grands when they're over!

We put honey in our cute little honey pot to use with biscuits, 2 days later, I opened the pot and it was filled with large black/red ants! It was disgusting having them in the honey and on my kitchen counter! I almost lost my cookies (hurled). A line of baby powder along the bottom door frame will keep them out of the house!

Don't even think about picking up that garden hose . . . They're using it as a personal "super-highway"!

While I'm a huge proponent of ant eradication, I'm not so sure that's a viable option all the time. Maybe we need to try an "ant relocation" program, and move them away from our porches, children's play areas and gardens with baby powder!

You may want to spend a bit extra on your personal, "after-shower" bath powder to get the softest and smoothest feel, or maybe one lightly scented with lavender. Baby powder for ants . . . That's a totally different story! Go to the dollar store and stock up!

Baby Powder is nontoxic, and safe to use on and around children and pets! Ant poison, on the other hand, is toxic can have some lasting toxic effects (see Safety Rating vs. Toxicity Effects) even if you are only in the proximity of the poison! Ant poison is expensive in comparison to dollar store baby powder.

I found the following by doing a google search about the safety of ant poison:

Safety Rating vs. Toxicity Effects

Toxicity level and effect of ant pesticides on humans can't necessarily be determined based on the product's EPA safety rating. Instead, the toxicity hazardous impact is largely dependent on whether the product will have an acute toxicity or an chronic (lasting) toxicity effect. Acute toxicity effects can occur if the product is inhaled, comes in contact with your skin, or is taken orally. Chronic toxicity can occur by the mere presence and location of the product's ingredients to humans, "which may cause cancer, reproductive or developmental effects, or other long-term toxicity," according to Austin City Grow Green.

Heptachlor Side Effects

One popular ant poison product is Heptachlor, which is typically used to control fire ant infestations. Heptachlor is classified as a Catagory II toxicity level by the EPA, which can cause skin irritation with direct contact. Yet, the EPA also lists it as a probable carcinogen. In addition, according to the EPA RED Facts, Heptachor, "produces liver tumors in mice and female rats, and Mutagenicity studies show that Heptachor and Heptachor epoxide affect DNA synthesis in certain human cells."

Julie's Note: This is serious stuff to be sprinkling around!

What do you use when your babies run screaming to you because they were bitten by ants? I have an easy DIY solution . . . Make a quick dash to the kitchen cupboard, grab your baking soda, and whip up a soothing paste to dab on those bites!

Baking Soda Paste for Insect Bites and Bee Stings

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon water

Mix together to form paste and apply to affected areas immediately! The paste will pull the poison from the bite or sting.

Please note: If you are stung by a bee, they leave a stinger in your skin, which continues to pump venom into you body. Remove, stinger with a flick of your fingernail or with the edge of a credit card.

There will certainly be a trip to a dollar store planned for this week! I want to do some experimenting with cheap baby powder around actual ant hills . . . I'll let you know what I discover . . . Over at Julie's!!!

Do you have any home remedies that work for getting rid of insects? I'd love to hear about them! Post them in comments.



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