Elderly Care Safety: Controlling Ants This Spring without Using Poison

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Elderly Care Germantown TN

Elderly Care Germantown TN

The spring is a wonderful time to be on an elderly care journey with your aging parent. You can get out in the fresh air and enjoy warmer temperatures, brighter sunlight, and longer days. Unfortunately, this is also a time when pests starting coming out again. One of the most common household pests is ants. These little creepy-crawlies can start wandering into the home early in the season and if you do not handle them quickly, your parent’s home can quickly become infested.

Unfortunately, many of the ant control methods widely available utilize poisons. Though effective on pests, they can pose hazards for your aging parent, especially if she suffers from cognitive limitations and challenges. Using nature, poison-free methods will keep these unwanted guests out of the house without putting your loved one at risk.

  • Carpenter Ants
    • Look for small piles of fine sawdust, which usually indicates the home of the carpenter ants.
    • Primarily look for moist wood, like that in wood piles, trees, decks, foundations and gaps between boards.
    • Use a medicine dropper to apply food grade diatomaceous earth, or DE, which is natural and organic and made from skeletal remains of algae like plants.
    • Apply the DE directly into the nest, if you can find it, and around cracks where carpenter ants are leaving behind debris.


  • House Ants
    • If you happen to kill an ant in your home, make sure to wipe the trail, if you can see where they came in from, with a sponge and soapy water. This kills any pheromones the ant left behind and will end the trail for any other ant looking to gain access.
    • Find where the ants are gaining entry into the home and follow any trail possible to their nest.
    • Combine 3 parts powdered sugar and one part borax and spread near the point of access to the home as well as near the nest if it can be found. The sugar will attract the ants and the borax will kill them, so placing them around the trail that ants have been seen will keep them from finding alternate routes.
    • If you are worried about your elderly loved one or a pet getting into a substance you are using to remove ants, try one cup of warm water with 3 tablespoons of borax and 1/2 cup of sugar. Use cotton balls to soak up the mix and place them in hard to reach place but in the path of the ant trail.
    • House ants also can be confused by and have scent trails eliminated by vinegar. Spray white vinegar on dry surfaces and then use a clean cloth to wipe them clean, repeating often to eliminate any trail left behind.
    • Keep spills, garbage and crumbs cleaned up often and make sure any sweet food is stored in zip top bags or sealed containers. Jars of honey are often targeted, so make sure if you have a jar that has honey dripping down the side, or any other type of sweet, place it in a zip top bag as well.
    • Peppermint oil on a cotton ball and cinnamon are natural deterrents to ants as well, and a small sprinkle will keep ants away. If you notice a trail of ants, follow behind them with cinnamon or peppermint oil. This will cover the pheromones that the ants put out, making their trail “invisible” and also leaving a smell that they find repellant.
    • Vaseline is also an easy fix for keeping ants out of specific places, as just a small amount can keep them from attempting entry. Dab a small amount of the jelly into cracks and crevices to stop ants in their path and prevent them from getting in. This will also discourage other ants from trying.


For in-home Elderly Care in Germantown TN, please contact the caring staff at Personal Care Services MidSouth today! 

About Walter Black

Born and raised in Mississippi. He graduated from Mississippi State University with a BS in Industrial Engineering, and from Angelo State University’s School of Business with his MBA. Walter has worked in the senior market for nearly 15 years and has obtained the distinguish honor of Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) by the Society of Certified Senior Advisors, an organization committed to providing ongoing and meaningful support to Seniors addressing their health, financial, and social issues. Walter has spent the last five years building PCS MidSouth into a premier Home Care Agency. With three locations in the MidSouth providing services to clients in three states: Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama. The company is poise for growth and is expecting to expand its territory in the MidSouth.
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