Peppermint Oil for Ants: Easy Repellent Recipe
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As the weather warms and insects become more active, you may be experiencing the dreaded any invasion. Before you stock up on caustic chemicals or expensive traps, though, you may want to reconsider. There are other effective ways to rid your home of pests like ants without the cost and chemicals. Keep reading to learn how to stop ants in their tracks and prevent them from returning to your house, all without pesticides or chemicals.
First, Find the Source
Before you can tackle your ant problem, you need to figure out where they are getting in and eliminate any source of food that may be bringing them indoors. Start by removing all possible food sources, especially in your kitchen, under your sinks, and around windows and doors. Look around to determine how ants are entering your home. These can be in some pretty sneaky areas, so do a thorough search. Seal up as many holes and openings to the outdoors as possible, or you will be fighting a losing battle soon enough.
Vacuum thoroughly to remove all traces of crumbs and other particles that may be feeding your pesky visitors. Mop hard floors to remove traces of sweet liquids you can’t see. Wipe down hard surfaces like counters, walls, and window and door frames using a clean rag soaked in vinegar.
Repel Using Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil makes an excellent natural ant repellent because ants do not like the scent. Peppermint likely interferes with their ability to communicate with other ants, which means they will avoid it if possible.
You can create natural barriers by planting peppermint around your home, or you can use peppermint essential oil to create barriers where ants may be entering your house. Mix a small bottle filled with water with ten drops of peppermint essential oil and spray in areas where you want to deter ants.
You can also soak cotton balls or pieces or rag in peppermint oil and leave these in various places around your home to deter further ant activity. Be sure to refresh your oil regularly if you choose this method.
Peppermint oil is very potent, and it can damage the surface of painted or stained wood. Be sure to test the effects of your spray in an inconspicuous area before using more broadly.
If you would like to make a homemade ant spray to use outside your home to repel and even kill ants, try this mixture. In a spray bottle, combine one-quarter cup of white vinegar with 15 drops of peppermint essential oil, five drops of clove essential oil, and ten drops of orange essential oil. Shake well, then add one-quarter cup of water. Shake well to combine and before each use. You can use this spray anywhere you see ants and want to kill invaders. You can also use this mixture to spray cotton balls to leave around your home to deter future encounters.
Additional Measures to Deter Ants
In addition to the above steps, you may also need to discourage ant activity through more rigorous measures. These include:
- Wash all trashcans and recycling bins thoroughly and spray with peppermint oil. Store all trash outdoors if ants continue to return to these areas.
- Remove shelf paper from any drawers, cabinets, or shelves, as crumbs and food particles can collect here and attract ants.
- Discard any food containers where ants have been found.
- Store all food in air-tight containers.
- Regularly clean your pet food dishes.
If you find ants in your houseplants, you should remove these from your home. Re-pot your plants using sterile soil, being sure to wash the pot thoroughly, and spray it with peppermint oil. Be sure to thoroughly spray your plants with water to remove any remaining ants before repotting.