We love the wildlife here, down to the bugs, the ants and the spiders. We haven’t come across any snakes to love, thank goodness. That will be the real test. But, hey, the tarantula didn’t turn me. I remain optimistic.
Much as we love them, we don’t want them in our beds, on our toilet seats, in our dressers, on our dining table, in our sofa, on our food. You need to know a good pesticide, but it is not our first choice. It may do the trick, but having a son with asthma makes one sensitive to one’s airspace. Being old makes me aware of what is going on my skin. I think pesticides have made me look older. What else could it be?
What to do, what to do. I googled "death to ants" or something like that and found this great recipe that works beautifully without stinking up the place:
INGREDIENTS: boric acid, honey, water
RECIPE: Mix 2T boric acid (we found it hanging in the spice section of our Costa Rica grocery store in one of those plastic bags: acido borico*) with a T of honey and a little water.
The sweet draws the bugs, the water thins it enough so even the tiniest ants can lap it up (without water it is too thick and they avoid it) and the boric acid does the trick.
We spoon it onto the floor near the entrance and/or onto the counter overnight, wherever we see them, then wipe it up the next morning and, after a couple of days, NO MORE BUGS. We even had them in our bed when we first moved in (leafcutters and itsy bitsy biters) so we put this around the base of the bed at night.
We have NO ants or bugs anymore. After about a month, a new tribe might move in next to the house and start to come inside. We repeat, same results.
This has worked with ALL ants: leafcutters, the itsy bitsy biters, the black ones. All of them. Voilà! No ants in the bed, Ryan can breathe and I retain my youthful glow. It’s a good life.
*In Key West, Uncle Brian and Aunt Peg found it only in a pool supply
store in a 32 gallon drum for $56. There must be a more reasonable way
to buy it in the states… any suggestions?
I bought boric acid at Walgreens years ago for pink eye.
Boric Acid Powder is sold at all pharmacies and also at hardware stores (larger containers) I bought tablets at hardware store for St. Augustine and I no longer see roaches or silverfish. Haven’t had ants here.
In K.W. I’ve had Keys Pest Control for 10 yrs. They do my house, my guest cottage and the house behind me that I own, $36/mo. Can’t give them up.
Try a border of diatomaceous earth. Works great for us. Cheap, quick and easy.
I recently saw a news item about a little kid who came up with the best method to keep ants out (I don’t remember if it killed them too or not) – use “Baby Powder”. Try it, maybe it works. They had allergy issues too in their home and the kid tried many recipes before deciding on Baby Powder. Pura Vida
Hey this could be a business venture for expats.
My husband and I bought a house in Key West in April (prior to finding your blog and having second or third thoughts!)
Our home was build in the 50’s and came with ants. The more modern commercial baits didn’t interest them, but I found a boric acid-based liquid solution in the grocery store that’s been working wonders: http://www.terro.com/ Good luck!
Thank you! My brother and sister-in-law, Brian and Peggy, have been using that there and it seems to be working for them, too. I don’t know if you can get it here, but the home-made brew is still good for now. Sorry to be such a bear on real estate –the real problem will be for speculators as this market adjusts. Are you related to John? I know him from dollar store days. If you are, please tell him I said hey! Pura vida – we miss Key West, it’s a great hometown. See you, thanks for reading!