Mama Gone Green is a blog dedicated to raising happy children and reducing our impact on the Earth. My name is Taryn and I am the mother of 2 young kids and an environmental studies instructor at a community college in Portland, Oregon. Please join me as I journey through life as a mama, teacher, knitter, photographer, gardener, and environmentalist!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Ants Hate Polenta

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about ants. They had invaded our house, especially our bathroom and bedroom. It was so bad that I would wake up during the night and find ants crawling on me. I wanted to find a non-toxic way to get rid of them. A got a few great tips from readers, decided to experiment, and thought I would share my results here.
So, our problem obviously wasn't with food storage since our ant problem was somewhere we didn't eat. They had just decided they liked our bathroom, and basically moved on in. So, I just needed to get them to move on out.
The thing that worked miracles was dried polenta (You can also use cornmeal, I just happened to have polenta on hand). I put a few piles of it around where the ants were hanging out. Supposedly they eat it and bring it back to the nest. Once they have it in their belly and then drink water, their stomach explodes. Gross and cruel, yes. And yes, I did feel a bit guilty, but these ants were everywhere. And they bit. Not hard, as they are just sugar ants, but still.... After a few days, I noticed the population size decrease, but they were still around. So, I left the piles, but cleaned everywhere else the ants were. I started by vacuuming up the ants themselves, and then cleaning the entire trail where they had been, spraying a vinegar solution into the cracks where the appeared to be coming in and out of. A day later, they were almost all gone. There is still a straggler every now and then, but I can totally deal with that.
So polenta combined with a thorough cleaning. It works. It is safe for kids and pets. This will definitely be my go-to method next time around.
Have you tried this method before? How were your results? Pin It Now!


  1. Glad to know this works. I've been meaning to try the cornmeal route. We have them in the garden.

  2. Awesome! Filing this in the back of my mind for future use if we need it. Thanks!

  3. Thank you Taryn! I am going to get some Polenta and give it a try. Ants seem to be a yearly summer problem around here and I HATE toxic insecticide around the house! I really appreciate this info. Enjoy your week!

  4. After reading this, I tried it and will update with results.

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  6. I thought i would try polenta on funnel ants which are all over the lawn,
    Has anybody had any experience with funnel ants.

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