Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Unwelcome Summer Invaders



The other day I noticed a line of teeny ants coming through a crack in the caulking in the tile in our bathroom. There they were, hundreds of busy ants traveling from one crack, across the floor to another one. It was weird. Now I have nothing against ants or spiders or even termites, as long as they don’t come in my house! And I tell them so! Call me crazy but this time I did talk to those ants and told them this was my house and as long as they respected that and stayed outside everything would be cool. But if they insisted on coming inside, something would have to be done as hundreds of ants crawling around is just not my idea of a good time.

Well, in two days they were all gone. I kid you not. They left. I thanked them, wherever they are, for their respectful behavior and told them I would keep trying not to stomp on their very considerably numerous ant hills outside!

This had a good ending, but what if it hadn’t? What if those little guys had chosen to keep infesting our house? So I went to a book called Clean House, Clean Planet, by Karen Logan and found some natural ways to combat home invaders!

First, for ants, you can prevent their coming in by combining a few drops of peppermint oil with water in a squirt bottle. Spray the area where you have seen them enter. They do not like the smell of peppermint and will usually stay away.

If they don’t stay away, fill a spray bottle with water. Add a few Tbsp of liquid soap. Adding a few drops of peppermint in this mixture is also good. Spray the line of ants and wipe up. Caulk where they are entering or smear with a glob of petroleum jelly. Be sure there is nothing around that is attracting them like food or juice. Keep the area clean.

You can also try dipping several cotton balls in peppermint oil and rubbing the area where they are entering. Ms. Logan says that ants find their way through scented ant trails so rubbing the trails with this oil will confuse them and allow you to wipe up the scattered army of ants. I’ve also heard they don’t like crossing a line of chalk but I haven’t found that too effective myself.

But first try talking to them. I don’t know why but it worked. And if it works, imagine the energy and effort you will save, giving you plenty of time to attend all the wonderful events in your area for the fourth!

25 comments:

  1. I just battled ants today. I think I am going to try talking next time first. I love the natural remedies you suggest also. I resorted to bug spray and I actually felt guilty when I wiped up the ants, not to mention guilt for spraying poison in my home. Thanks for the helpful info. Happy Fourth!!

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  2. Can you come talk with the fire ants in our yard?!? That's wonderful that your communication with them worked! And that you also now know what to do in case they decide to come back. Thanks for sharing those tips with us! And thanks for your sweet and much appreciated comment on my blog!!! Hugs, Silke

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  3. Talk to ants? That's a new one. I'll try it the next time I some them in my kitchen and bathroom - their two favorite places to hang out. I f that doesn't work, I'll give that peppermint and liquid soap mixture a try.

    Thanks Diantha.

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  4. Wonderful post many of us can relate to, and good advice for natural solutions. We had a problem with ants for a while a few years ago, and now I use whole cloves to keep them away. I just sprinkle a few in the windowsill. Ants don't like the smell. Dry bay leaves work well, too. But of course, this is a bit unsightly, unlike peppermint oil!
    :0)
    I have tried talking to them, and they didn't listen. I'll have to try the oil, if there is a next time!

    Thanks, and happy 4th!

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  5. It's all about effectively communicating, isn't it ;)

    Sorry about your ants, I hope they continue to stay away. I don't like seeing little critters in the house either, and like Karen Logan's natural ideas for keeping them away. It's nice to use natural barriers rather than introducing chemical toxins into the home. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. Mama, I too feel so guilty about spraying poisons in or around our home. I learned early on in feng shui training about some natural cleaning techniques which I will do a post on later. But the fewer poisons and chemicals we have around, the safer our environment. I do hope these remedies help everyone with their insect control.

    Silke and Cheryl, I know it sounds crazy to talk to ants. Here is the key: it is necessary to really connect with the fact that they are God's creations and have a purpose. Once you connect with the "holiness" of them, with their spirit, you can communicate. I am new at this and have to tell you there was no one more surprised than I that it worked. But now that I know that it does, I am trying it with the flying ants, the June bugs, the spiders, the wasps, and other little critters who like to invade our home! Fire ants should work too! Give it a go and let me know how it goes!

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  7. Angela, thanks for more natural ways to deal with ants! Very fragrant too! Love it! See my reply to Silke and Cheryl about how to begin to communicate. I know it sounds a bit hokey, but do try it and let me know how you fare!

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  8. Joanne, just like with everything, communication is KEY! Wish those folk in Washington and our state capitals would get that message! Happy Fourth everyone!

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  9. I believe that talking works. There is a book, can't remember the name, but this fellow talked to every animal and had amzing, wonderful things happen.

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  10. Annie, I read that book too but like you I don't remember the title! But I remember that he talked to flies, snakes etc. and had amazing relationships with them. I'm sure this is where my inspiration came from now that you mention it! Thanks for helping me remember!

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  11. That's so funny...I just did the same thing with the critters eating away at my basil in my garden. Hope they listen, too!! :)

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  12. Too funny! Let me know if it works! xo

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  13. That is so cool! I love this. I guess everyone appreciates being treated with respect, hmmm?

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  14. No doubt, Carolynn! Even the lowliest ant! And you know, I do have great respect for them. I had an ant farm as a child and loved the lessons they taught me about being focused, working for the good of all, and putting a lot of effort and heart into one's work.

    I have a funny story about ants too. One day, in first grade, I was 30 minutes late to school because the whole way there I tried to avoid stepping on the ant hills! As I recall, the teacher was not amused, nor did she think this was a worthy reason for being late! For some reason it didn't bother me that she was mad. I knew in my heart that those ants appreciated my being so careful! xo

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  15. Definitely worth a try. Thanks for the lead! I only see them in the bathroom - they seem to like water. Of course, who doesn't in the desert? I'll try it though. I tried talking privately with a little cat that someone I know took up to the mountains as a mouser. She is so sweet and soo vulnerable - I was so upset she was there. But we had a talk about coyotes, the dark, where to sleep. etc and hopefully she got it. Take care!

    Anne

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  16. BTW, hope you got the book I sent. Let me know if you didn't. : )

    Anne

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  17. Thank you so much for first connecting with their spirit without destroying them. This is another reminder of how we are all connected.

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  18. Anne, I am so sorry I didn't let you know that the book did arrive. I've been a bit discombobulated by doing some quick trips and having company and have found I don't do well outside of my little routine! Thank you...the book looks great! And how kind of you to take the time to talk to the cat. I have no doubt your influence helped her understand her surroundings better and the dangers therein. Bless you for being so compassionate and kind.

    Mermaid, it just seems natural, doesn't it. As you can tell from the story of my 6 year old self above, I've always tried to treat insects as equals. Maybe that is why mosquitoes don't bite me too much! grin! xo

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  19. Hi Diantha,

    Oh no, animal communication sounds perfectly natural to me. This year, I've talked with the mosquitoes and they are pretty much leaving me alone - and that here in the humid south! I'll give it a try to talk with the fire ants!

    Now, something else... There's an award waiting for you at my blog. Feel free to participate and pass it on, or just enjoy it without doing anything else!

    Hugs, Silke

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  20. Hi, dear Diantha!

    Talking with insects, plants and all living things sounds very normal to me. I try to move spiders to a more suitable spot, if they've invaded our "human" territory, for example.
    :0)
    I also have been known to hug a tree and coax a plant back to health with soft whispers.
    :0)
    When you have a moment, please stop by my blog for a special award. No obligation. Just know that I think you and your blog are special!

    Hugs,
    Angela

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  21. Hi Diantha - I found your blog through Angela Recada's and I love this entry on ants! I have had large ants invading my studio... not a line of them but one at a time. And I'm ashamed to say I've been squishing them and feeling some guilt over it. Last night I told my husband that I think I'm going to buy one of those ant farms and start scooping them up and putting them in the ant farm for my own amusement. Hopefully they'll enjoy it too... if not I guess I'll try having a talk with them as you did. Hope you're enjoying your Sunday!

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  22. Hi Angela, seems as if we are on the same wavelength! Hugging trees is also great as is whispering sweet nothings to plants. I often wonder what my neighbors think as I talk my way around the garden! <;-)

    And thank you so much for the lovely award! You are so kind and generous! I appreciate your support!!

    Blessings to you....

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  23. Welcome Michele! You are not alone in ant squishing! We have been known to do this as well before I learned this technique, but your idea of putting them in an ant farm is very clever! Let me know how that works! And thanks for visiting! Love meeting new friends! xo

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  24. some ants just want to use your home as a route to get from A to B. This happened to me once. Sometimes of course though they do want to move in to stay, which is much more of a problem!

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  25. Crafty Green Poet, you are right. I will never know their mission, but they are gone. One of these days I should caulk that crack but I kind of like leaving it open for any future treks they might have! <;-)

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