Ants: Safe and Effective Cure

by DesertRose
2 Materials
10 Minutes
This cure for invading ants is safe for pets, children, and the environment. When we purchased a home with an acre in Tennessee, the land and surrounding fields were covered with ant hills. The ants were not only invading ants, they were fire ants. We tried every thing from poison to bait to try to get them off our yard and in our vegetable and flower gardens. Nothing got completely rid of them and not for long.
Ants are frustrating because they are so invasive.Their members seem infinite. Many insects carry disease and bring disease into our homes. The battle seems endless, BUT there is a cure that is inexpensive and safe.

An old timer told us about this cure and we found his word to be true. Here is the proof and this works for ANY type of ant in the USA. (I wanted to say the earth, but we have not used it on every ant on earth, but I do suspect any ant colony would die or move away as ours have done).
Every spring we find new colonies invading our flower and food gardens including our potted plants. Here is a small colony that found our rhubarb and day lily beds. You can see this colony is just getting started.
This is the magic bullet we use on our yard. Actually, any corn meal will do, but Jiffy is sweet and all ants scurry to get it into the nest. They eat it and cannot digest it. The colony dies when the queen and all the ants eat it. It works the fastest of all corn meal we tried because it is sweet. In 2 or 3 days if you see an ant walking and the corn meal is gone, reapply more corn meal. The colony is larger so you need more, but believe me it does work.
I dropped the box and applied way more than I normally put on a new nest. After 24 hours, you can barely see a few ants here in the cornmeal. They are tiny in this shot. There were only a few still mulling around in the meal.
There are 2 dead ants in the photo. One is on the left of that central dark hole lying in the cornmeal. The other is just below the central dark hole lying partially in the corn meal on the right end of that folded brown leaf. I apologize I do not know how to put in arrows or circles on the photo. There were NO ANTS other than these 2 dead ones in the flower bed.

I enlarged the photo as much as I could without blurring it too much. This was taken 48 hours after applying the meal. I have not seen a single ant for 2 days now in this colony.
We keep Jiffy in our pantry, especially in the spring, when new colonies are moving in and building a nest. I know I will have to put some in and around the planting barrel in our front yard too. They always build a nest there. If this year is typical, after the few colonies have been dusted with corn meal, we won't see another colony the rest of the summer.

Corn meal is safe and inexpensive. You can buy several boxes or bags for pocket change. The best part, it WORKS.
OTHER THOUGHTS: If you have ants in your home, try to place the meal where you see trails of them. I also try to find where they are most active outside near the foundation and put corn meal there too.
They love the convenience of soft dirt in potted plants, new tree plants, and under permanent structures like foundations and sidewalks. The larger the colony, the more corn meal is needed.
I have never had to apply corn meal more than twice. In this case, I applied too much, but it does not hurt any other creatures and may deter more ants from moving into the garden. Try it. You will see. Just dust the soil well, don't dump half the box like I did.
I meant to put this in earlier. It shows the huge number of ants is already down to only 2 or 3 after a few hours. These two were dead the next morning (or 2 more that ate on the surface).
Suggested materials:
  • Corn meal or sweet corn meal   (Grocery store)
  • Jiffy   (grocery store)
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
3 of 7 questions
  • Lou Lou on Nov 18, 2018

    Isn't there any concern for other things (like mice) that the cornmeal would attract?

  • Mary Taylor Mary Taylor on Oct 30, 2019

    Does the Corn meal work on fleas?

  • Renz Renz on May 30, 2021

    Can I use in my woodpile ??

Join the conversation
3 of 55 comments
  • Char Char on May 18, 2021

    Oh I am buying several boxes of Jiffy today! We have ants inside and out. I've tried peppermint oil, lemon oil, dawn in a water spray. I even emptied all the cabinets and sprayed a chemical bug spray. None of which worked for more than a few hours! Look out you pesky bugs, I have a new arsenal!

    Thanks for sharing!

    • DesertRose DesertRose on May 19, 2021

      Char, it sounds like you have more than one nest invading your home. Be diigent to keep putting it out where you see ants/ant hills/ant holes and lines of ants. Put more out after a rain. You CAN get rid of them eventually and corn meal is so inexpensive and safe!

  • Katherine Katherine on Dec 28, 2022

    My fire ants moved up into my big palm tree, my solution? Double sided carpet tape wrapped around the tree st different intervals. Ants tried to pass the tape barrier as bd got stuck!! Queen eventually…. Starved! Collateral damage!! I won!!