Ants in My Kitchen

4:22 PM Posted by jo

I found ants on the kitchen floor this morning. Texas ants are a nuisance, they bite you and it really hurts for a while. Fortunately we didn't have any problems last year but two years ago we had a big problem. The first summer in Texas was extremely hot. It didn't rain for a long time and the ants were everywhere. I remember being outside standing on the lawn and feeling a horrible pain on my feet and legs. Once I looked down I noticed I stepped in a pile of ants. So much for enjoying a nice moment outside!

They even found my bed

 The first few days  we didn't notice them inside at all, but it didn't take long before they found their way into the house. I remember waking up one night in pain just to find tons of ants crawling all over me. A friend of mine told me to pour baking soda down the ant hill, but the problem was to find where they came from. I started by pouring some baking soda in the corners on the floor where I saw they came up from. I also made a spray of peppermint essential oil and water and I sprayed the area where they came from.  I didn't want any ants in my bed again so I prayed down the sheets with the peppermint spray before I went to bed. I also dropped some peppermint on cotton wool balls and put in various areas. To really make sure that the ants left me alone I sprayed down my body with the peppermint spray too.

They found the kitchen too

The baking soda and the peppermint worked pretty well in the bedroom, but the problem was that the ants turned up somewhere else in the house instead. This time it was the kitchen and I had the pleasure of finding them all over the kitchen counters when I was going to make breakfast. Ants are not supposed to like cinnamon so I sprinkled cinnamon and baking soda in the corners on the counters. I sprayed the counters with the peppermint spray, vinegar can also be used but I didn't want to use it on the marble counter tops.  I poured baking soda and cinnamon in the corners on the floor too. We used vinegar on the outside on the patio and we managed to control the ants that summer. 

Peppermint and vinegar

This morning I sprayed some peppermint and vinegar on the floor where the ants were running around. I cleaned up and so far they haven't come back. 

Ant tips

  • Pour undiluted vinegar down the ant hill if you can find it. Vinegar can also be used in other areas, just watch out if you have tile in your house. The vinegar can eat away the grout.
  • Pour baking soda down the ant hill, or in areas where the ants are found.
  • All mint essential oils are ant repellents. Add on cotton wool balls, mix with water and make a spray, or drop undiluted on areas.
  • Sprinkle cinnamon to keep them away. I have also mixed cinnamon essential oil with water but make sure that you don't spray in areas where it may stain the surface. You can also place cinnamon sticks in areas in the house where the ants enter.
  • Don't leave any dog food on the floor.
  • Clean the kitchen counters and make sure they are empty of any temptations that the ants may like. I add a few drops of peppermint to the water or rag before I wipe down the surfaces. Put a couple a drops of peppermint on some cotton balls and put in the bottom of the trash can.
  • Peel and slice a couple of cloves of garlic and place around the house where the ants come in.
  • Use black pepper, ground chili, salt, bay leaves or whole cloves. 
  • If you have a big problem with ants, plant mint around the house. Mint destroys the ants' smelling capabilities.
  • You can also try eucalyptus, thyme, basil, or rosemary. You can use the plants or buy them as essential oils. Mix essential oils with water and a vinegar and spray surfaces. The ants leave scented trails so that they easily find their way back. Make sure that you clean the trail so that you confuse them and their buddies behind them.

Try some of these ideas and see if they work. You may have to try a few of them before you find what works for your "uninvited" house guests. I noticed that a natural approach is often successful but it takes longer to get rid of the ants. People that are using heavy duty poisons seem to have a bigger problem with bugs than what we do. It can many times be annoying to use a natural approach due to the fact that it takes a little longer to get rid off the pests. I believe it is worth it in the long run not to expose my children to all these toxins. It is also better for our pets.

Photo credit

Johanna is an aromatherapist and she is passionate about educating people about health, essential oils, real food, natural remedies, and nutrition so they make healthier choices in their lives 
Follow Johanna on twitter and facebook for more health tips and information.

This post is linked to:
Simple Lives Thursday
Domestically Divine 
Healthy 2day Wednesday
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