An obvious place to start is in the kitchen. Keeping counters clean, and sinks and pipes dry, eliminates potential food and water sources for the little critters. Even a tiny drip in a sink pipe or faucet can be a call to mecca for ants. They follow water sources into homes. Especially in hot climates.
Ants often follow outdoor plants into the house too, so be sure to keep shrubs and vines off of your home’s exterior.
As I’ve mentioned many times before, garlic has all kinds of hidden health properties, but the old wives tales about it warding off ills seems to apply to creatures of nature. Deer and rabbits steer clear of plants saturated with a mixture of water, pureed garlic, and cayenne pepper. And it turns out that ants don’t like the pungent cloves any more than vampires do. When you see a few ants congregating on or marching along a windowsill or counter top leave a couple of garlic clove slices in the area. If you can find what the source of entry, leave a couple of slices there, too.
Cinnamon sticks also act as an ant repellent, and may you may prefer their odor to garlic, especially in cabinets and pantries.
Ants don’t like black pepper or vinegar, either. So wipe your counters down with white vinegar during times of heavy ant traffic. Try sprinkling black pepper around areas where you’ve see the varmints.
The insects are surprisingly picky about their herbs and spices. Mint leaves, basil, rosemary, thyme, lavender, and eucalyptus are all known ant repellants. Leave a few sprigs from any or all of these plants on pantry or cabinet shelves or on windowsills where ants have been spotted. Their odor usually turns the critters away. Growing these plants around the outside areas of your home and patio where ants seem to enter can turn them away, too. Just be careful to maintain the plants! Mint and basil can become invasive quickly, and both tend to act as perennials in warmer climates. Rosemary grows into shrubs that get large fast. If you’re in a warm climate, or don’t like to do lots of pruning and thinning, grow the plants in containers and avoid hostile garden takeovers.
Try these natural ways to bounce ants from your establishment and enjoy a healthy kitchen.
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