In 2004 the house I lived in became a shared residence with some neighborhood ants. By then I knew enough about chemistry and my regular proximity to the garden- adjacent directly with the house- that I did not want to use any poisons.
A scientist from Rodale said simply, and I don’t recall the exact quote- that we are so structurally similar to these creatures and material (weeds) we are trying to eradicate with biological weapons that eventually it kills us too.
So at that time, in 2004, I purchased a pre-blended organic solution of Neem oil and soap. It was roughly $15 after shipping. It smelled like nothing I’d ever smelled before but it worked quickly, effectively, cheaply and I didn’t need to reapply until the next year.
Today I still use Neem oil for ant control around my home, for aphid control in the garden and mildew prevention on foliar plants. It is also a health tonic in ayurvedic medicine, particularly for skin issues. So if any spills on my skin I welcome it. I mix my own Neem oil solutions now though.
There are many other tricks for easy replacement of horrible chemicals. Simply replace White Vinegar anytime you were going to use Round-Up for anything from now on. It does the same job on “weeds” or plants that are out of place, without poisoning the neighborhood from storm runoff, causing reproductive issues for both men and women, cancers, neurological disorders, an increase in ADHD and Autism in this generation’s youth and birth defects. Also, White Vinegar does not devastate the soil microbes and render the soil infertile like Round-Up does.
Many problems can be solved by intuitive prevention and good planning or design. We don’t have to scramble to fix problems we don’t have in the garden: this especially applies to vegetable gardens. More helpful information is always readily available at your localCornell Co-operative Extension. In my county, the extension folks are incredibly knowledgable and generous.