Let the Ants Go Marching Somewhere Else!
A couple of months ago, I had a pretty embarrassing experience. Before I tell you all about it, let me give you a little bit of background information. Early this spring, we began to spy ants in our house. They were spotted in several locations throughout the house, but mostly in the kitchen. Eventually, I figured out that they were coming through a tiny crack underneath the ledge of our kitchen window sill. So I set out some ant traps, started noticing them less, and went on with life.
About this same time, my daughter's preschool teacher asked us to save an empty egg carton to send to school at the end of the month. They would be using them for a class Easter egg hunt. As soon as we finished the eggs in one of our cartons, I set the empty carton on top of our cupboards, knowing my daughter would bring it to school in a few weeks.
When the week of the Easter egg hunt arrived, I saw the empty egg carton sitting on top of the cupboards and remembered I needed to send it in. In our rush out the door, I threw the egg carton in her backpack and we headed off to school. I gave my daughter instructions to give the egg carton to her teacher as soon as she got to the classroom and… she did.
When I picked her up from school later that day the first thing she said to me was, "MOM!! I think I know where all those ants in our kitchen were coming from!" I quickly put two-and-two together and realized that the egg carton we sent to school was infested with ants! I was so embarrassed. As soon as we got home, I emailed her teacher and apologized. She wrote me back and said that she was quite surprised when she opened the carton. She went on to say that the boys in the class thought it was the greatest thing ever to play "stomp the ants." Bless her heart; she was so nice about it!
After this experience, I became a little more determined to get rid of the ants in my kitchen. I already knew some of the obvious things like keeping food sealed and put away, placing ant traps in strategic locations, and making sure to keep the counters and floors clean. However, in my research on "ant prevention", I did learn a few new ideas. Maybe one of them will help you keep those pesky bugs out of your kitchen too!
-Clean your kitchen with a half vinegar-half water solution. Ants hate the smell of vinegar and it will also mess up the ants' scent trails.
-Add a few drops of peppermint or cinnamon oil to your cleaning routine. After you have cleaned the surfaces in your kitchen well, wipe the areas again with a wet rag sprinkled with a few drops of peppermint or cinnamon essential oil. Ants dislike both of these smells and as a bonus, it will make your kitchen smell nice.
-Spray lemon juice on possible ant entrances. Just like vinegar, lemon juice can destroy the ants' scent trails.
-Caulk. Use caulk to seal any cracks that the ants could be coming through.
-Place bay leaves in drawers, cupboards or containers where you've seen ants. Ants hate the smell of bay leaves and will stay away.
-Draw a chalk line around the area the ants are coming in. Some people swear that ants will not cross or go near a chalk line. The talcum powder in chalk is supposedly a natural ant repellant. The same idea might work if you sprinkled some baby powder with talcum powder around the area.
-Mix dish soap with baking soda. Put a thin line of this mixture where ants are coming in.
-Set out a mixture of borax, sugar, and water for the ants. Several people swear by this homemade ant trap. Spread a small amount of this mixture on a piece of cardboard. The ants will be attracted to it and take it back to their colony. The borax will kill the colony. Ant problem solved!
…And maybe it's best to not set any empty egg cartons on top of your cupboards!
Monthly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
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