So when I read somewhere that aspartame (Nutrasweet sweetener) was actually developed as an ant poison, and only changed to being considered non-poisonous after it was realized that a lot more money could be made on it as a sweetener than as an ant poison, I decided to give it a try.
I opened two packets of aspartame sweetner, and dumped one in a corner of each of our bathrooms. That was about 2 years ago and I have not seen any carpenter ants for about 9 to 12 months. It works better than the most deadly poisons I have tried. Any time they show up again, I simply dump another package of Nutrasweet in a corner, and they will be gone for a year or so again.
Since posting this information I have had many people tell me of their success solving ant problems with this substance, when nothing else worked.
We found later that small black ants would not eat the aspartame. It was determined that if you mixed it with apple juice, they would quickly take it back to the nest, and all would be dead within 24 hours, usually. I have found that sometimes it will kill them, and sometimes it does not. Not sure why, may be slightly different species of ants or something.
Fire Ants We got our first fire ant hill about 2 weeks ago. My son had tried Terro Outdoor ant poison on some hills near his hour some time ago without success, so I figured I would give aspertame a try.
I opened 4 packets and scattered the aspertame over the mound. The ants seemed to be ignoring it, but a storm came in in about an hour, and washed it all away. So the following week I tried again. Once again they ignored it for 24 hours although some very small black ants found it and begun carrying it off. Then we got a light rain. It was just a sprinkle, enough to moiston the neutrasweet and ground, but not enough to wash it away. They went crazy, hundreds of them grappbing it and taking it back into the mound. When I checked the mound 2 days later, there was no sign of the fire ants. I even dug the mound up some, and still saw none of them.
AI called to the Agriculture department and they said they may have moved. They are sending someone over to see if they are dead or just moved. I will keep you posted when I find out for sure.
How does it Work
Aspertame is neuropoison. It most likely kills the ants by interferring with their nervous system. It could be direct, like stopping their heart, or something more subtile like killing their sense of taste so they can't figure out what is eatable, or smell, so they can't follow their trails, or misidentify their colonies members, so they start fighting each other. Not sure what causes them to end up dieing, just know that for many species of ants it will kill the quickly and effectively.
As with any poison I recommend wearing gloves and washing any skin areas that come in contact with this poison, and avoid getting in your mouth, despite anything the labeling may indicate.
I suspect it will work for other insects such as yellow jackets as well, but have not tested that yet.
More information on this fantastic poison can be found at the Dorway website.