Every year our house is attacked by these tiny little ants that I now know are Odorous House Ants. For the first few years they only came in our kitchen. My husband can attest that when I see them... alright when I still see them... I go a little nuts... alright, alright, I go flat out ape S*^t when I see them. My opinion is if they are dumb enough to show their shinny, black stinky bodies in my house they are flirting with their own fate. Yes, I do understand that I am judging the intelligence of an ant. I will stalk the area, checking back every few minutes to catch all the stragglers. Even my cat is in tune with my feelings about them and acts as my early warning system. It is probably the smell they emit which drives him nuts, like the smell of bleach. But in my eyes he is my ever faithful warrior. He is also my spider killer.
Each year I would put out those black bait traps, smash all visible bugs and they would retreat for a month or so. We would carry on with this back and forth war all year until winter.
Then a few years ago the ants got smarter. They found a way through the bathroom and laundry to where the cat food was kept. Late last summer I finally threw in the white flag and called a exterminating (poison) company to come take care of them. To my joy it worked like magic, until about 3 months ago.
I was reading through some ideas online for how to use the essential oil (EO) kit I had recently purchased and read came across a post in which someone used peppermint EO to repel ants and spiders with success. Not long after when I saw the first ant in my kitchen I thought, 'what the heck, I'll give it a shot.' I filled a small spray bottle with water then put 8 drops of essential oil in and gave it a vigorous shake. I sprayed around my kitchen and around my whole foundation, windows etc. The subsequent invasion that was customary didn't happen.
Fast forward a month. After some rains and regular cleaning the peppermint had worn off and I found another ant in the kitchen. This time I decided to use some of my original oils, you know the ones I purchased cheaply online before I knew anything about oil purity. It didn't make sense to use my nice oils to just spray around the house.
I grabbed my trusty spray bottle and put the same mix as before in except with my bargain brand peppermint sprayed my kitchen and thought all was well. About 15 minutes later I went into the kitchen again and found a full invasion. There were ants everywhere!!!!!
It was as if the oils I had sprayed were attracting them. The ants were even congregating around the heavier sprayed areas. I went nuts. Hulk smash. Even after cleaning all the surfaces, the ants were still coming. On the verge of breakdown, I washed out my spray bottle and loaded it with my good oils. (Heavy sigh here. I had really hoped to save it for a different use but I figured it is only 8 drops). I sprayed until I could spray no more. Good bye ants.
I have found some stragglers here and there since then but at this point...
I HAVE WON THIS BATTLE!
I learned a very powerful lesson about cheap oils this day. They are cheap for a reason and not even fit for the health of my house, let alone me or my kids. I poured them out and washed the bottles to use for making blends and sharing with friends.
Have you had success in eliminating bugs or pests? What did you do? I'm interested in knowing.
Do you need to eliminate some from your home currently? Send me a note and I will use my resources to brainstorm for you and help you find a natural and chemical free way. I recently had a Facebook contact mention that her husband used Vetiver EO and it killed ants on contact and completely repelled the rest. I can't say I blame those ants. Vetiver is not high on my list. Others have added Purification EO (a Young Living blend) to the Peppermint EO with good success. Depending on your pest and climate, different oils will work better than others. So please don't give up on your first try if it isn't completely successful.