What’s a Nontoxic Way to Rid a Home of Ants?

Real Simple answers your questions.

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Q. Is there a green, nontoxic way to banish ants when there are pets in the household?
Phyllis Glidden
Rochester, New Hampshire

A. Although the more effective ant-killer solutions have some amount of chemicals in them, not all are dangerous for pets. Before you buy, check product labels carefully and avoid anything with arsenic, which is dangerous for both pets and children. Instead, look for products with boric acid, such as Terro Ant Killer liquid (prices vary, terro.com for stores), which has a low toxicity that is harmful to ants but safe for pets. You can also make an at-home pest-control formula by mixing ½ teaspoon of boric acid with a scoop of fruit jelly in a bowl. The jelly contains both sugar and water, which will attract ants. The key is to place the bowl along the ant trail, as well as safely away from the reach of pets, such as in a cabinet or up on the counter. ―Nykia Spradley

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