I use a sugar based product called Terro, and it is very effective. I am not sure if it’s organic. We just put a dime-sized dollop on several pieces of cardboard near our baseboards and it works every time.
In the event that it’s not organic, you might try diatomaceous earth, which is. However, I haven’t read about its efficacy on ants.
I just realized you were talking about ants on your strawberries, not in your house. To reframe — I think diatomaceous earth is a good place to start, if it’s effective on crops. It will not harm plants or pets or people.
Otherwise, contact the entymology dept. at your local cooperative extension service is the way to go. Also, a horticulturalist specializing in fruit crops at your extension service may give you expert advice.
We have used beneficial nematodes before for ant control. They don’t offer immediate relief, but you will see improvement within a week or two and they will ultimately eliminate the ant population in following seasons if used correctly. I would say that seeking advice at a local organic nursery is always a great option as well! Best of luck.
Nematodes have also helped me with grubs, fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. Great beneficial insect! They do need to be reapplied once or twice a year to be completely effective but anything to keep the villains of nature under control is worth my dimes and nickles. I have never tried the cucumber peels but I always keep an open mind, sounds like a good idea. Cucumbers contain a compound known as “trans-2-nonenal” that repels ants as well as cockroaches. Thank you Kiskin for the hot tip!
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Welcome! I’m Margaret Roach, a leading garden writer for 25 years—at ‘Martha Stewart Living,’ ‘Newsday,’ and in three books. I host a public-radio podcast; I also lecture, plus hold tours at my 2.3-acre Hudson Valley (NY) Zone 5B garden, and always say no to chemicals and yes to great plants.