Ants can cause damage inside homes and lawns due to their natural behavior of chewing plant parts and getting into food trays or even trash containers to look for food. Grits are an environment-friendly and cost-effective product and are considered better than other insecticidal products that are expensive and considered harmful to the environment.
Can You Use Grits To Get Rid Of Ants? You can use grits to get rid of ants by mixing them with toxic substances and sprinkling instant grits on the mounds. The dry grits can expand in their abdomen when they drink water and cause discomfort. Ants cannot digest starch, so its excessive consumption can lead to their death. It can take around 24 to 72 hours to kill the workers and entire ant colonies.
Many people want to kill ants using DIY methods to cut off the cost of expensive commercial products.
Should I use grits to get rid of ants?
Grits are coarsely ground grains of corn containing a large content of starch or carbs and less sugar, making them less sweet or mild in taste.
The mature kernels of dent corn are processed to produce the grit, which involves removing the outer hull, drying, and grinding the kernels.
Moreover, some people believe that it can blow up ants because it can cause stomach aches after consumption, but a few others consider it a myth.
They think it can explode tiny insects when they eat it in raw form because it leads to swelling of the abdomen and causes digestion problems.
However, it is also known that grit cannot kill ants alone because these insects show less interest in eating dry and solid food particles.
It is commonly used as a carrier for homemade baits when mixed with toxic substances to prepare effective killing baits.
In addition, grit can be an excellent option to consider if you want to get rid of ants, but you have to add a toxic compound to reap the benefits of the bait.
Some commercial ant baits like Amdro and ADVION also contain corn grit mixed in an oil bait matrix, making you believe this homemade bait can work well.
How do you use grits to get rid of ants?
You can use raw grits to get rid of ants by sprinkling them evenly on anthills. The worker ants come out of their nests to carry the particles and take them back to their colony.
These insects break the particles into tiny granules by chewing with their sharp teeth, as swallowing the fine particles of food is easier.
Accordingly, they swallow the food by mixing it with mouth secretions and passing it down to their gut and crop. They regurgitate the particles of food and pass them down to the colony.
The queens and young larvae also eat regurgitated food and die immediately as their bodies cannot digest this ground corn. Their bellies can get swollen when they drink water after eating it.
In addition, you can also prepare killing baits using grit as a carrier substance by adding soybean oil and an active ingredient into it, which causes insect toxicity.
The toxic compound reacts with their bodies, interferes with crucial nervous system functions, and disrupts digestion.
This combination of soybean oil and corn grit can produce highly palatable baits and attract nearby insects looking for the food source.
The active or toxic ingredients attack their body systems and halt internal processes, leading to the death of insects as they cannot tolerate the toxicity of insecticides.
However, you have to replace it when the oil gives a bad odor or goes rancid because oil is an attractant in the bait that directly affects its killing potential after losing its properties.
What type of grit can kill ants?
Different types of grits are present in the stores, including instant, hominy, stone grounded, and quick-cooking, but you have to choose the right one for better results.
The stone-grounded is not attractive for ants as they do not carry bigger solid particles and prefer to eat the find granules requiring less effort to chew and break.
In addition, hominy is a cooked form of porridge prepared by boiling cornmeal. It is usually sweeter, nutty, and puffier in texture than the stone-grounded type.
It is better to use instant grit to control the population of ants because it increases in size after absorbing water and creates problems in digestion.
Moreover, this instant grit is pre-cooked and dehydrated and can be re-cooked in boiling water, which helps rehydrate the fine-textured food particles.
The food particles absorb water and cause swelling of the ant’s abdomen, which can cause severe discomfort and death because they cannot deal with starch.
How long do grits take to kill ants?
The efficiency of grits against ants and the total time to kill them depends on the insect species and external environmental conditions.
It can kill ants quickly when you spread the bait or grit material on a dry surface, as wet surfaces can reduce its killing potential. Avoid using it if there is a possibility of rain, as it can dampen its effect.
Moreover, you can see a few dead ants close to the entry point of their mounds after 20 to 25 hours of sprinkling the grit or placing the bait.
However, killing an entire colony takes longer as workers have to transfer the food particles down to the colony members, which is a time-consuming process.
So, you have to be patient because removing a colony from your house or backyard can take more than 24 to 72 hours. It acts more slowly than other insecticides but has long-term effects.
Its time of action increases in highly humid conditions, so using it in dry weather is better to benefit from the toxic effects on insects.
Are grits effective at killing fire ants?
Grits are considered an effective solution for ant control because their chemical composition makes them suitable for killing a large number of insects in a few days.
You can use it to kill a variety of indoor species of ants because it seems to be a perfect treatment for indoor insects due to less risk of getting wet.
Pharaoh, crazy, acrobat, argentine, and ghost ants carry the food particles and take the grits back to their nests that are usually present within wall spaces and behind baseboards.
In addition, it can also help remove some outdoor insects, like carpenter, pavement, and fire ants hidden inside the wooden logs or under the bigger rocks in the lawns.
You have to ensure that the weather is dry because rainy weather and high humidity can make an instant grit wet as it absorbs the moisture from the air.
However, some researchers claim that it is not effective against the fire ant colonies because they do not consume solid baits until you add an attractant like soybean oil.