"The ants go marching one by one, Hoorah, Hoorah!" was sung in a cute song in a children's show my granddaughter loved when she was younger. Very cute indeed as a song, but not so cute when it's a home invasion reality.
Unless you are an ant lover, you probably would prefer to see no ants in your bird room or anywhere else in your home for that matter. In fact, you probably also prefer not to have them hanging around your home on the outside either.
There are many articles online to help you identify which species of ant you are trying to rid yourself of. However, I prefer to focus on how to get rid of them or at least deter them and not so much care what their particular species is. Getting rid of ants naturally is the preferred way to go if you have birds, other pets, or even small children in the home in my opinion.
Here are a few tips and suggestions I have found that really do work on helping to control ants in a natural safe bird-friendly and other pet-friendly way.
Idea #1: One easy way to help prevent ants from climbing up into your bird's cage is to put all cage legs in a small container of water. Ants do not like water, they do not swim. However, you will need to check daily to be sure there is still water in the bowls. Although this helps keep the ants out of the cage, it doesn't get rid of them. It is, however, a quick fix to keep ants out of your bird's cage, especially if you feed lots of fresh foods which ants love just as much as your bird.
Idea #2: Mix a soapy water solution in a spray bottle. Doesn't take much liquid soap or dish detergent. Spray the ants. This will kill most of them almost instantly. The soapy water mixture also eliminates scent trails of the ants helping with newcomers. You can also spray this mixture on your bird's cage legs (but not on your bird) and around baseboards of the room as well. You may need to repeat daily if you have a lot of ants invading.
Idea #3: Mix a solution of 50/50 vinegar and water, and with a spray bottle, spray the ants. This will kill them and vinegar is not harmful to your birds or other animals (of course don't spray it on your bird or other pets). Doesn't especially smell good, but it does work. Vinegar and water is also a great cleaning and disinfecting solution for cleaning your bird's cage too. Just rinse after cleaning.
Idea #4: Cucumber peels repel most ants, so you can chop up some big cucumber slices and spread around the bird cage tray. You will need to do this fresh daily as your bird may decide to taste or enjoy the cucumbers as well.
Cucumbers are fine for your bird and most love the cucumber seeds too. However, you don't want your bird eating day old stale cucumbers. Do keep in mind though that although the cucumber may repel the ants, it may attract those pesky fruit flies and that’s a whole other blog post.
Idea #5: Mix up a solution of water with some lemon juice and spray around the room corners or baseboard. Ants don't seem to like lemons very much either.
Your room will probably also smell lemony good. Clean and reapply as often as needed.
Idea #6: You can sprinkle cornmeal around the corners and baseboards of the room to keep ants out as well. Or sprinkle a circle around your bird's cage. Cornmeal is safe around pets and children, but not so attractive sprinkled all over your floor not to mention pets and children may track cornmeal all around the home. Cornmeal seems to work well outside the home too, especially poured on top of ant beds or mounds. If using outside, you will need to repeat after any rain.
Idea #7: I'm sure everyone has seen or heard of the spray bottle of Bird Mite Spray you can buy at many pet stores and online.
I personally do not recommend ever spraying your bird with this yucky stuff. If your bird has mites, lice, or anything else these sprays claim to take care of, your bird needs to go to your avian vet for the proper treatment. Your bird does not need this chemical sprayed on him or her.
So why do I even mention this product then you ask? Because this Bird Mite Spray stuff kills ants. Kills them quick, and is actually safe to spray on your bird's cage, trays, papers, or all around the floor. Just remember to not spray directly on your bird. It does have to be repeated every day or two to stay active.
Idea #8: I also recommend a product called Control Bug Spray for really bad cases of ant invasion. It is safe to use around your birds and other pets, but should never be sprayed directly on them, nor should it be sprayed freely in the air if they are in the room. I recommend you remove the birds, other pets, and children, then spray around the floor or baseboard or cabinet area, air out a bit, and safely return the birds and other pets to the area.
You can learn more about Control as well as order some by clicking the image or this link as we do sell this product in our bird store.
Idea #9: A note about using Diatomaceous Earth as a deterrent. Yes, Diatomaceous Earth does kill ants, slugs, roaches, grasshopper, earwigs, and fleas. However, the dust can be an irritant to birds, children, pets, or anyone with asthma or other breathing issues. I prefer not to use this inside the home. However, it can be safely used around the outside of the home with good results. There are two types of Diatomaceous Earth and the one I recommend is the "food grade" Diatomaceous Earth.
Idea #10: There are commercial ant baits as well that do work, but I prefer not to use them around my birds, cats, and my little dog. I mention their use as some may be able to use them without a problem.
My birds and cats are very inquisitive creatures that love to check out anything new in the room so safety is very important to me. Birds enjoying time out of their cages are quite capable of cracking open ant baits to see what is inside. I also find my cats love to bat the ant baits around the room to see how just far they will slide. Although the cats are not harmed, they do tend to move the baits to areas that no ant would ever find thereby defeating the whole purpose.
I hope you may find some of these suggestions helpful if you have an ant problem occurring at your house this summer. For more tips and tricks please visit our Pinterest Board for Natural Pest Control in and outside the home
I would love to hear how you control ants in your home.