Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Ants in the House

It's that wonderful time of year--spring!  The sun is shining, trees are greening up, and tulips are blooming.  But something less wonderful is also going on...ants are invading houses.  It happened to us yesterday, but it was no biggie, because we've dealt with it before, so we know what to do.  I thought I'd share my green ant-deterrent tips with you, just in case the little dudes are invading your house, too.

First, if possible, plant peppermint, spearmint, and/or catnip around your house.  For some reason, ants avoid these plants.  The plants are easy to find at nurseries, they grow quickly without any special care, and if they get too tall, you can just go over them with the lawnmower (which, incidentally, makes your yard smell minty fresh!).

If you still get ants in the house, DON'T go buy chemical poisons like Terro and Raid.  These products are very dangerous to pets and children, and they can't be thrown in your regular garbage--they have to go to hazardous waste drop-off facilities.  Instead, run to the store and buy a bottle of apple cider vinegar.  It's cheap (about a dollar or two for a big bottle), it's not dangerous to pets and kids, and it smells pretty good.

Pour a liberal amount of apple cider vinegar on any floors and countertops where you see ants.  In my experience, this will not damage the finish on floors.  We have real hardwood floors, and they stand up just fine to being doused with vinegar.  You can wipe up any excess with a rag or paper towel.  You may have to do this a few times (three seems to be the magic number in my experience), but soon the smell of the vinegar will have replaced the ants' scent trails, which tells other ants, "Don't go here!"

If you try this, let me know how it works for you.  I hope it helps!

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