I was washing dishes the other day when I heard the most horrific, blood-curdling scream from my 20-month-old son, who was playing in the dining room directly behind me. I immediately dropped the cheese-encrusted spatula I was scrubbing back into the sink and spun around. I’m the type of mother whose mind immediately goes to the worst possible conclusion, so I firmly expected to see lots of blood, possibly fire, and a maniac standing outside the sliding glass door holding a chainsaw.
So there I was, ready to wrestle my baby out of the clutches of the flamethrower-wielding bear or whatever it was, when I saw that he was being attacked by…an ant. It was a big ant, I suppose, and my little guy is a pretty little guy, and he was dancing around screaming, trying to dislodge the beast from his foot. I scooped up the thing and tossed it outside (I don’t kill anything that doesn’t try to kill me first, except mosquitoes, because you know they would totally kill you if they could), soothed the wailing Boogaloo, and together we inspected the floor for more teeny black creepy crawlies.
They get in the house every year, but this is the first time anyone has had a partial meltdown over it. My babes still does if he sees one indoors, because he’s apparently cool with them if they stay outside WHERE THEY BELONG, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
I dislike using chemicals in or around the house unless absolutely necessary, because, you know, kids. Also a dog, four cats, three ferrets, etc, all of who would love to get their hands on that delicious, delicious poison. But you know what? There are essential oils that ants absolutely hate. The formula I’ve been using with great success:
- 2 1/2 cups of clean, filtered water
- 10 drops of lavender essential oil
- 10-15 drops of peppermint essential oil
- A clean spray bottle
Combine the oils and water in the spray bottle, close the bottle and shake until you’ve worked out you frustration over the ant situation. I just lightly mist the entire house, especially around doors and windows (it can make your hard floors slippery, so BE CAREFUL). Let it dry or wipe it up after a few minutes, the scent will linger, and the ants will rage because they really can’t stand the smell. Also, you can use this formula to clean your counters just by adding a small amount of baking soda and about a half cup of vinegar. Wait for the vinegar/baking soda reaction to chill out a bit before you put the top on though, or you WILL lose an eye or knock your significant other unconscious from across the house. If you wind up having to explain that to the ER doc, please let me know how that goes, and don’t say I didn’t warn you 🙂
Well, lovely internet people, I hope this helps. My children can all sleep soundly now, with no fear of those terrifying ants ambushing them in the night. I’ve also read that this works for mice–if you try it, let me know.
Peace and love to all of you,