Every April, ants invade my kitchenette like it is a Spring Break beach. Every year I lose my mind trying to get rid of them. I don’t want to kill them, I have no problem with ants, I just don’t want them in my house.
Several years ago we did go the ant trap route, hiding them under a cabinet so the kids wouldn’t find them. They didn’t, but my (then) puppy did. After the vet instructed me to induce vomiting immediately, I decided that was the end of poisonous ant traps.
So, I went to Google U and search for home remedy options: some were mildly successful, others not so much. I’ve tried…
…chalk. Actually this one works really well if you cover the outside area (my happens to be the back step) with sidewalk chalk. A single line inside the house- along the sliding door and baseboards- worked out ok. Coloring in a larger area would’ve been more effective, but explaining to every guest why my floor was covered in chalk wasn’t my favorite option.
…vinegar spray. Fill a spray bottle with equal amounts vinegar & water and spray on baseboards, cracks, or wherever the ants are entering. Simple, but effects didn’t last long, and I became a bit manic carrying around the spray bottle every time a wayward ant would catch my eye.
…baby powder. Because baby (talcum) powder has possible links to respiratory problems and/or cancer, I wasn’t comfortable with this option.
…essential oils. Aha! Apparently ants don’t like citrus oils (orange, grapefruit, lemon), tea tree oil, peppermint oil, or especially clove oil. Since I happen to have an essential oil blend that contains clove, orange, and peppermint I started there.
I put a few drops on a cloth and wiped it along my baseboards and sliding door. And…it worked. Really well. I didn’t see another ant for almost 48 hours. Even then it was only 1-2. Not to mention, the area smells fantastic.
No essential oils in the house? That’s ok.
Peel an orange – eat the delicious inside- then save the rind. Gentle fold a piece of the peel to release the oils and rub that along the ant’s path.
I’m quite happy that even with the rain and colder temperatures lately, my home is not South Beach for the ants this Spring!