The weather is warming up and we all know what that means. Uninvited visitors, mainly of the insect variety, wake up from their slumber and make their way into our homes. Here are 7 ways you can keep ants, or most other 6-legged nuisances, out of the confines of your home.
1. Essential Oils: When a foraging ant leaves the nest and finds a food source, it marks its trail with pheromones to show other ants how to get to the food. That's when you have an influxation of ants crawling around the corners of your kitchen. Using oils to disrupt the pheromone trail can help. Peppermint, tea tree, lemon, and clove all have properties that are toxic to ants and masks their scent trails.
2: Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth: Boric acid can be fatal to children and pets, so diatomaceous earth (DE) is a much safer alternative. When a bug that has an exoskeleton comes into contact with DE, it compromises their waxy coating and eats away at their body. However, it has no adverse effect on mammals and is actually beneficial to consume, as it's rich in silica. So you can sprinkle a think layer in trouble spots like windowsills, beneath the fridge, garbage cans, etc., and be assured your little ones and pets will be just fine. You can find DE on Amazon for a reasonable price.
3. Vinegar: Like the essential oils, the smell of vinegar repels ants and also covers up their scent trail. You can make a vinegar spray by just mixing 1/4 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup water to a spray bottle. It wouldn't hurt to add some of the essential oils we mentioned earlier. Shake up the liquid and spray around your baseboards or any other entry point you've seen ants use to enter your home.
4. Citrus Peel Spray: You can take leftover citrus peels and use them to the same affect as the citrus oils. Take your leftover peels and place them into a pot, adding just enough water to cover them. You can even add a even mixture of water and vinegar. Heat until steaming then allow to steep overnight. Strain and pour the liquid into a spray bottle. Use in the same way you would use the vinegar mix from the last idea.
5. Dr. Bronner's Soap: Like DE, soap also dissolves the waxy coating that covers ants. Peppermint castile soap is the best kind to use and I've found that Dr. Bronner's is the best brand. Fill a one quart spray bottle almost to the top with water and add 1/4 c. peppermint castile soap.
6. Baking Soda and Powdered Sugar: This one is certainly devious towards the poor ants. You can use the powdered sugar to attract the ants and the baking soda will kill them. Mix equal parts sugar and baking soda and you can use in the same way you would the DE.
7. Lemon Juice: Again, citrus can be used as we mentioned earlier. You can try all the different citrus methods and see what works best. You can take equal parts lemon juice and water and add to a spray bottle.