Finding ants in your home is not something anyone looks forward to. Once you notice an ant invasion (even if it is just 5-10 ants that made their way in), it is critical to stop it right away. Luckily, it shouldn't take very long and once your home is treated you will keep ants out for a while! This solution is totally natural and non-toxic with no need to get poisonous ant killer involved.
- Peppermint Essential Oil
(Skip the DoTerra rep and buy it on Amazon or from my new favorite company, Rocky Mountain Oils)
- Cotton balls
- Dry mop (if ants are in an area with a hard floor)
- Surface cleaner
Step 1: Try to identify why the ants are coming inside
If ants are in your home, there is usually a reason why. Maybe they came in to get out of the rain. Maybe your kids left their Halloween candy behind the couch. Maybe your 5 year old ate a cupcake in the doorway and the ants are coming in to eat the crumbs. Observe the ants for a minute to try and see if they will lead you to a food source. If you find one, remove it.
Step 2: Remove any traces of food
Vacuum well to remove crumbs or plant material that the ants might be attracted to. If the ants are in an area with a hard floor (instead of carpet), use a dry mop to pick up any traces left behind by your vacuum. Feel free to vacuum up any ants you find while this is happening.
Step 3: Wipe down
Wipe down any hard surfaces - window frames, door frames, outlet covers, floor vents, countertops, etc. with a wet surface cleaner and a rag or paper towel (some of my favorite non-toxic cleaners that really work are: BioKleen All Purpose Cleaner and Grab Green All Purpose Surface Cleaner).
Step 4: Repel
Peppermint essential oil is a powerful ant repellent and I have found that ants will not cross a line of peppermint oil wiped on a surface. Plus it makes you home smell great! It's important to note that not all essential oils are the same. I have successfully used DoTerra Peppermint oil, Aura Cacia Organic Peppermint Oil and Rocky Mountain Oils' Peppermint to treat for ants. If you have another brand on hand, and it isn't working, try one of these instead!
To treat a surface with peppermint oil, place a few drops of undiluted peppermint oil on a cotton ball or small piece of folded paper towel. Wipe down any entry points where you suspect ants are coming in such as door thresholds, along base boards, wall outlets, air vents, etc. Be sure to re-load your cotton ball or paper towel with more drops of oil as needed to cover larger surfaces.
Because peppermint oil is so potent, it has the potential to strip paint or otherwise mar your surfaces (although this has not personally happened to me, it's still possible!). If you are unsure how peppermint oil will react with your surface, try using it in a small, inconspicuous spot first before treating a large area. I cannot be responsible for damage that happens to your surfaces as a result of using this treatment method.
So far, I personally have a 100% success rate of getting rid of ants in my home when following this method!
Of course, my personal experience isn't the same thing as a scientific trial and your mileage may vary depending on why ants are in your home, how thorough you are with following my instructions, and what brand of essential oil you use.
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If my method does not work for you, my friend, Angie from The Country Chic Cottage, has another post about other natural ways to get rid of ants that you might find helpful as well!
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