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!