I promised to share more tips for how your home can benefit from essential oils. I love how experiences we go through and people we meet offer opportunities to learn and grow. Several years ago we visited Patna, India. While we were there, I noticed that there were cloves sitting along the window sill in the kitchen. I hadn’t seen that before so I asked our hostess if there was some purpose other than making her kitchen smell delicious, as to why the cloves were placed on the sill. She shared with me that cloves are a natural ant deterrent. I filed that little tip away and enjoyed another pastry as we visited some more.
Fast forward to that summer and I found my kitchen invaded with tiny little ants! EEK! I try to keep a tidy kitchen so I was mortified! I remembered Camilla’s tip but didn’t have any cloves in my pantry. However, I did have a bottle of Clove essential oil! So I grabbed a little spray bottle that was filled with 1/2 vinegar & 1/2 water and added a few drops of Clove oil. I went to spraying down every area of my kitchen, especially any place I had seen the ants crawl. *Random fact: Ants leave a trail of pheromones as they travel so they know where they’ve been and can lead their colony back to where they find food. To prevent more ants from returning, you have to remove the pheromone trail. Vinegar & clove both do an excellent job of removing the scent trail.
Now I love finding great natural remedies for just about everything, but I love even more when a “pro” tells me I’m doing it right. Not long after I found the ant trail, we also found termites. FYI, if you live in Arizona, I’ve been told that having termites just comes with the territory. As we were having our home treated, I asked the exterminator his thoughts on using clove to deter ants. His response, “Oh yeah! That’s a great tool. Clove throws them off their scent and tells them there’s nothing here for them!” So there you have it folks. The eloquent words of our exterminator giving validity to my natural remedy!
In case you’re not fond of clove, or don’t have access to it, some other herbs/oils that also repel ants are:
Once you’ve stopped the pheromone trail, look for any crevice or place where they are sneaking in and dust the area with diatomaceous earth. It is safe around pets and children, but will kill the ants as they crawl thru it. Let me know which oil you try and how it works for you. If you have another trick that works for you, I’d love to hear it, too!