Talcum Powder Beats Ants in RV

I had read in a message from "D.F." of Dallas, on Howard Garrett's "The Dirt Doctor", that talcum powder, sprinkled on a window sill, will keep ants away.

I got the opportunity to try it one day when I looked out to the porch in front of my RV, to see ants swarming all over my new hummingbird feeder.

The feeder was perched on top of a large red vase, and, instead of hanging, set on the porch railing, to help attract new birds.

Ants had found it first, and they were swarming up the sides of the vase, into the feeder.

After I had cleaned up the mess and refilled the feeder, I thought of setting up an experiment to prove whether or not talcum powder really would repel the ants.

I sprinkled talcum powder on the railing and put the vase and feeder back in the same spot, filled with the same nectar mix.

Then I brought out another red vase and set up another, identical, feeder station a few inches from the first.

A few hours later, the ants had returned... but carefully made their way around the talcum powder that surrounded their previous target, and started climbing up the second red vase.

The ants aren't yet swarming in the photos I took, but if you look closely at the first photo (double click to make it bigger), you can see ants walking along the extreme front edge of the porch railing, and a line of ants (at the very edge closest to the first vase) climbing up the second vase.

The second photo is a closer look at the line of ants along the front edge of the railing, avoiding the talcum powder.

This experiment would have been more impressive if I'd thought to take photos earlier, when the first vase was covered with ants... but it has still proved, beyond a doubt, that the talcum powder did repel the ants.

The powder I used was not the expensive kind, as recommended in the Dirt Doctor article, but Wal-Mart's Equate Fresh Scent.

Here's where to find the original message on The Dirt Doctor:

Baby talc marches against ants

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