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Friday morning I woke up to find an army (or two) of ants swarming my living room side table. They were all over my computer, all over the table top, climbing up and down the table leg, marching into my kids toy room, just coming and going as they please right from under the corner of the door frame.
My son had left out some uneaten pizza the night before. *insert a hard eye roll*
Needless to say, I freaked the heck out. I tried wiping them up with a dish rag, but that just made the problem worse. Now they were all over my kitchen sick. Agh! I put my shoes on and was ready to walk out the door to go get something for ants, but I stopped in my tracks.
I don’t know why I remember this, but when I was younger and my brother was a toddler, he got into some ant gel or some kind of product my mom had set on a window seal. He stuck his finger in it and proceeded to put it in his mouth. Ya know, like kids are supposed to do. Well, he ended up being taken to the hospital.
This memory is what stopped me from just jolting out the door to find the nearest ant killer I could. Ant products can be very toxic and I didn’t want my kids to unknowingly get into something that could harm them. I mean, these ants were right where we hang out every day so there’s no doubt one of my kids would touch something they shouldn’t be.
I decided to take a moment to do a little online research and I’m so glad I did. I found a completely natural way to rid my home of these pesky, pizza loving ants. The best part? I already had what I needed at home (Yay for saving money!) and IT WORKED!
My online research brought me to understand that when an ant finds food, it lets off pheromones or a scent so that other ants can follow its path to the food. Well, there’s no doubt in my mind that this is exactly what happened with the uneaten pizza. I wish I had taken a picture so you could see just how many ants there were and they were sticking pretty tightly to a single path. Ugh! I’m itchy just thinking about it.
I read that peppermint and tea tree oil blocks the pheromones, causing the ants to lose their way. So, what do I have to lose? It’s natural, sounds pretty easy to try, I have the oils already. Why not give it a go? I decided to use both oils to see how well they would work. I used peppermint around the kitchen sink, and tea tree oil around the toy room and the side table.
I simply placed a few drops off oil on a cotton pad and wiped the inside and outside rim of the sink. And for the toy room, I wiped the perimeter of the room, the door frame, and then the side table right outside the door. And just to be on the safe side, I left a clean cotton pad with a few drops on the back of the sink and in the corner of the room.
I immediately noticed a difference. There were no more ants coming and going from under the door frame, which is where they were originating from. There were a few stragglers that had wandered into the middle of the room, but aside from that we were officially ant free.
It’s now five days later and I still haven’t seen an ant even peep from under the door frame. Seeing is believing and I am a firm believer that peppermint and tea tree oil is the best natural way to repeal ants indoors. And if you’re kids touch the cotton pads, the oils aren’t going to harm them.
And another perk is your home will smell pretty nice, too. Peppermint and tea tree oil for the win!