As the weather turns warmer, one problem most pet parents encounter in their dog or cat’s food bowl is pests of all kinds, particularly ants. In the summer months, ants get attracted to pet food kept outside in the yard or on the porches. Most pet parents tend to leave food for their dogs all day long, especially when they have to leave their pets alone for prolonged periods. This tends to attract roaches, ants, mice, and other pests. If you use automatic dog feeders, then too, you might encounter ants and roaches near them.
So, in this guide, we will discuss some easy tips to keep ants and other creepy crawlies out of your dog’s food.
1. Place the food bowl in a water dish
Ants hate water. So, simply place the food bowl inside a larger bowl filled with water. The ‘moat’ of water surrounding the cat or dog’s food will prevent ants from getting inside the bowl. Make sure you refill the ‘moat’ daily, especially in summers when water evaporates quickly.
2. Invest in an ant-proof dog food bowl
You can easily buy ant-proof dog food bowls these days. They consist of a ‘bowl-within-bowl-design’ and you simply need to add water in the outermost bowl to form a layer or moat of water. This will prevent ants from climbing into the food.
3. Sprinkle baking soda
To keep all kinds of insects away from your pet’s food bowl, sprinkle baking soda liberally around the bowl. This is a safe remedy that won’t harm your pets. You only need to replenish the baking soda every day or every couple of days to keep ants and other pests away.
4. Trap the ants using sticky tape
A slightly cumbersome though effective way of repelling ants from dog feeders is to place sticky tape or adhesive tape around it. Create a ‘moat’ with the tape, with its sticky side up. Just make sure that your pet does not step on the tape and accidentally remove it. Ants and other bugs will get trapped on the sticky part and they won’t contaminate your pet’s food.
5. Repel ants with chalk
Chalk is made of ground-up and compressed shells of marine animals and ants hate the calcium carbonate present in chalk. You can draw a line using chalk around your pet’s food and water bowl or scatter chalk powder around the automatic dog feeder.
6. Oil of cloves
The essential oil of cloves has a strong scent that repels ants. Use a dropper to add a few drops of the oil near your pet’s food bowl. The downside to this method of repelling ants is that some dogs and cats could also get repelled by the oil’s scent. So it is best to place the oil drops in the house’s foundation or directly on the ants’ nest. You can also dip cotton wool balls in clove oil and place them near the feeding bowls.
7. Powdered sulfur
Another natural ant repellent is powdered sulfur. Sprinkle it around garden pots and ant-hills to prevent ants from coming near your dog’s food bowl kept in the porch.
8. Boric acid powder
Use boric acid powder to keep ants away from your home this summer. Sprinkle the powder liberally inside cabinets and your home’s foundation. You can use a baster to blow the powder into cracks and crevices and other hard-to-reach areas. This will get rid of ant eggs and larvae. Avoid using this remedy directly near pet food bowls as boric acid can be harmful if ingested by pets or young children. Only use it directly on ants’ nests/ant hills.
9. Diatomaceous earth powder
Like the boric acid powder, diatomaceous earth powder is a powerful bug and pest repellent that is safe to use around pets and kids. Sprinkle DE powder inside cracks and crevices and also around pet food bowls. You can also sprinkle it in the foundation, basement, and other entry points to keep ants away this summer.
To keep ants out of automatic dog feeders, sprinkle some borax powder around it. Borax is safe for dogs and won’t harm your pet. Sprinkle borax again every few days.
If ants are getting in your dog’s water or food bowl, sprinkle cinnamon powder around it. Cinnamon repels ants without hurting or harming your pet.
12. Vaseline petroleum jelly
If you are wondering whether Vaseline will keep ants away, the answer is yes. Rub a small dab of Vaseline petroleum jelly around the bottom rim of the bowl to repel ants from the bowl.
13. Eliminate ants at their source with boiling water
If ants are a problem every summer, you need to eliminate their source. Place an inverted flowerpot over the anthill and pour boiling water through the drain hole to get rid of all ants.
14. Repel pests with lemons
Lemon juice repels ants and other pests. Squirt or squeeze lemon juice inside cracks and crevices. Then place lemon peels around the cat or dog food bowls. You can also diffuse lemon essential oil near the feeding area. This is a safe remedy to use around kittens and puppies.
15. Sprinkle salt
If you can see lines of ants coming towards your pets’ food bowls, you can deter them with salt. Sprinkle salt all over the rows of ants. Salt confuses the ants and they are discouraged from crossing the barrier.
16. Spray eucalyptus oil
To keep insects and ants away from cat and dog food bowls, place the feeding bowls in water and smear eucalyptus oil along the ants’ trail. To repel ants in and around the garden area, spray eucalyptus spray all over the perimeter of the house.
17. Orange peels
Blend dried or fresh orange peels in a blender with some warm water. Spray the ‘juice’ on anthills, along planters and pots, near food bowls, and along ant trails. The scent of orange will send the little critters packing.
18. Cayenne pepper
Sprinkle cayenne pepper beneath floorboards, cracks, and crevices. Cayenne pepper repels ants and does not harm pets.
19. Add spices inside dog food containers
To repel ants and other bugs from dog food containers, always transfer them to a clean, air-tight, and ant proof dog food containers. Next, place spices like cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, etc (wrapped in a muslin cloth) inside the container. Discard the old spice bag and replace it with a fresh bag every few months. (Make sure you remove all the spices before feeding your pet).
Ants absolutely detest the smell of vinegar. Pour or spray diluted white vinegar on ant trails leading to your pets’ food bowls. The ants will disperse right away and won’t come back. You can also pour full-strength white vinegar on the anthills and nests.