Erica's Blog

The Try Something New Everyday experiment

Today I fought ants with peppermint essential oil

on June 17, 2014

I walked into the kitchen this morning and noticed some black specks roaming around atop the dog food container.  I hadn’t yet had my coffee or put my contacts in but I still knew what they were…ANTS!



And of course Ants Marching by Dave Matthews Band came to mind.

Honestly,  the ants have been bad this year.  I’ve seen a ton of them outside which is fine.  As long as they stay where they belong, I have no issue with them.  This whole vast world has room to house all of us.  However….HOWEVER…when they cross my threshold and enter my dwelling, they take their microscopic hearts into their own legs and need to be prepared for war.

I have several tools in my ammunition stock hold.  I usually use Terro traps which I feel is fair.  The ants eat the syrup, take it back to the nest, and then eliminate the whole colony.  Terro rocks!  But with my pets, I’ve always felt uneasy about leaving these traps out.  I also have some diatomaceous earth (de) that I can use.  DE works as a mechanical weapon.  When the ant marches over the fine powder, it scratches their waxy protective layer of their exoskeleton which causes them to loose moisture and dehydrate.   Ok, I’m passionate about keeping my house critter free, but that seems so inhumane.

I know…I know…I’m all about poison which, in the end, probably does the same thing but I draw the line at DE.  I make no sense.

Then I read about essential oils (eo) and that peppermint eo deters ants.  Peppermint is very safe around pets and as long as the peppermint keeps the ants from my house, I could embrace a more diplomatic approach.


I broke out my peppermint eo and two cotton balls.  I put 3 drops on each ball, one on top and one on each side.  This way I could get them coming and going.  I placed one ball on top of the food can and one at the base.  Within 30 seconds, the ants disappeared from the top and most scurried down the sides.  Within 2 minutes no signs of ants could be found.


Lookie there…I made love, not war 🙂


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