They are tiny. They are everywhere. And they keep coming back again and again.
Prevention is cure.
I’m sure you’ve heard of that. Wipe down all surfaces, cover the food… You know the drill. But humans get lazy and ants are tenacious little opportunists.
So what can you do when there’s a battle to deal with? Here’s my ways:
1. Get rid of ants the safe and natural way
If there’s little ones in your house, especially newborns, you may be concerned about exposing them to chemicals.
Try peppermint essential oil.
It’s a natural ant repellant because ants don’t like the smell of mint. For myself, because I’m a tea drinker (and also too lazy to go all the way to the mall for essential oils), I used peppermint tea. After drinking the beverage, I used the teabag as a cleaning solution, adding warm water and wiping affected surfaces with the tea soaked cloth.
If you want a concentrated solution, I’ve seen some in Daiso selling at $2. Add 5 drops of peppermint oil to half a cup of water and place them at the infested area.
The other tried and tested method is an ingenious invention by the Taiwanese, the Anti-ant tray.
How does this work exactly?
Look at the legs of the tray. It’s a cortex spiral and once the ant gets in, it literally walks in circles until it dies of exhaustion. Creepy.
You can find this in neighborhood pasar malams or wet market. We bought ours at $5 during a pasar malam in Hougang Mall. Unfortunately, the local online retailer for this product doesn’t seem to carry it anymore, stating “out of stock” as reason. If you really can’t find it anywhere and is dying to get it, there’s always the Taiwan site. I’ve got a friend in Taiwan who might be able to help me process payment, but do bear in mind the end price would probably be around $10 per plate.
2. Get rid of ants the fastest way
I’ve tried Baygon, Mortein, Combat… You name it.
And I came to the conclusion that, it doesn’t matter the brand. Heck, it doesn’t even matter if you get the $1.30 favorite at your house downstairs.
The crux is, you’ve got to use something that other households around you aren’t commonly using.
Thing is, back when I was still staying in Hougang, I used the one dollar ant killer and it worked fine. Albeit a bit messy, but hey, it’s only temporary, I can always clean it up later.
But when I moved to my current place, nothing worked.
Not the cheap mama store favorite, not Baygon, not Combat.
Mortein worked for a while. It was the one in white and stated “safe to put near food preparation surfaces”.
I don’t know what happened but there was a repackaging and suddenly it’s not suitable around food anymore and the active ingredients were changed (yes, I actually do read labels) and it became ineffective. *sideeyes Mortein manufacturers*
Then I realized, all those that didn’t work were the ones that’s prevalent (and more affordable) in my neighborhood. Baygon? The ants didn’t even went close to it.
I’m not sure whether ants have some in-house intelligence of this-nest-is-a-trap-our-comrades-sacrificed-in-how-many-how-many-numbers but I was sure I gotta change tactics.
So I told my husband to get some relatively unknown brand (you know, the ones that’s sitting in the supermarket untouched and gathering dust because it looks foreign or ugly and just… Unknown?)
And then a few months later, I was careless and left the hob uncleaned and the horde slowly trickled back again. This time, I tried an ant liquid bait.
It worked wonders.
The ants flocked to it like it’s honey and the sight is actually pretty gross and I don’t want to revolt you so there’s no photo evidence but just know that the ants are now gone.
If your ants infestation problem isn’t serious, go for the cheapest kind. However, if it’s driving you crazy and you are actually starting to google for ant exterminators, simply go to the nearest mall and get a brand that nobody is actively using. Ask your friends when they go overseas to get you the local ant killers brand as a gift.
Have faith. And don’t be angsty. 😉
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