3 tricks to get the best of ants and fleas

Keep pests out of your home and garden with these easy insecticide remedies.

3 tricks to get the best of ants and fleas

1. Keep ants from pet food

  • Placed on the floor, pet food bowls are like a natural magnet for ants.
  • Here's a simple, totally nontoxic way to keep ants away.
  • Set an empty pie pan where you usually feed your pet.
  • Fill the pet's dish with food and set it into the pie pan.
  • Pour water into the pie pan, filling it to the rim.
  • Ants and other crawling insects cannot cross this "moat" to reach the pet food.

2. Ant traps

Here's an easy, inexpensive way to round up the ants that begin to invade your house each summer.

What you need

  • 750 ml (3 c) water
  • 250 (1 c) sugar
  • 20 ml (4 tsp) boric acid
  • Cotton balls
  • 3 clean 250 ml (8 oz) screw-top jars
  • Old-style beer-can opener (that cuts V notches)

What to do

1. In a pitcher, mix the water, sugar and boric acid together. Loosely pack the jars half-full of cotton balls and saturate with the solution.

2. Pierce jar lids with the can opener, making two or three holes just large enough to admit ants.

3. Place the baited jars where ants are active, but make sure jars are out of the reach of pets and children. Attracted by the lethal sugar and boric acid mixture, ants will crawl into the traps.

3. Carpet flea remover

If fleas hitchhiked indoors on your pet, try this simple, effective and cheap fix for freshening and debugging your carpets using your vacuum.

What you need

  • 3 mothballs
  • Duct tape

What to do

1. Cut a small slit into the disposable vacuum bag liner and drop in mothballs. Seal the slit with a piece of duct tape. If you have a bagless vacuum, simply drop the balls on the floor and vacuum them up, or open the canister and drop them in.

2. Vacuum as usual. Fleas that are vacuumed up will be killed by the mothballs in the bag or canister. Drop in new mothballs when you change the disposable bag or empty the canister.

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