With so many things to love about the summertime, there are also a few things I do not look forward to. Ants seem to find their way into the house no matter how clean I try to keep it, and I get eaten alive by mosquitos as soon as i leave the house. To take care of these problems I’ve always had to use harsh chemical sprays and sticky repellants which contain poison (like deet) and smell awful. Luckily there are some natural alternatives for these problems.
If, like me, you get ants during the warm months, here are a few homemade solutions for keeping them out without having to spray your counter tops or kitchen floors with harsh chemicals.
“Oatmeal”- Ants are attracted to starchy foods so they’ll eat this right up. Once inside the insect’s stomach, the oatmeal will expand and essentially kill the ant. Try to sprinkle the oatmeal as close to or even on top of the anthills.
“Catnip”- Catnip comes from a type of mint called “catmint”, it contains the plant’s natural defense against bugs. If you brew a tea using catnip leaves and pour it into a spray bottle, you can spray down counter tops and other areas the ants get in to keep them out. Of course if you have a cat and use this method, be prepared for kitty to go a little nuts.
“Walnuts”- Walnuts are an ant repellant, they do not kill the ants. However, if you have a dog DO NOT use walnuts because they are poisonous to dogs. If you sprinkle walnuts around an ants nest they will be unable to leave it.
Now that we’ve covered the ants, lets move on to those annoying blood-suckers, mosquitos. The best natural bug repellants use a combination of essential oils, which is safe for humans and pets alike. The next time your BBQ is being taken over by squits, try mixing alcohol free witchhazel with a little bit of citronella, lemongrass, and tea tree oils, in a spray bottle. Spray a little bit on your legs and arms and keep the bugs away.