Do It Your self Herbal Medicine

PART 3. THE REMEDIES

10

AROUND THE HOUSE

ANT INFESTATION

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Ants are an important part of the natural world—that is, the natural outside world. Inside the house? Not so cool, especially when chemical insecticides are often the chosen method of removal. Instead of toxic store-bought options, treat infestations naturally with herbs that repel bugs from your home. Not only are these DIY recipes fantastic for eliminating infestation, they can also be used as fuss-free preventatives before insects make their way inside.

Garlic Ant Spray

YIELD: 1 GALLON
STORAGE: PLASTIC CONTAINER
TIME: 24 HOURS FOR BREWING

Garlic repels ants by confusing their sense of smell, which they rely on to create trails that lead from their nests to their food sources.

1 gallon boiling water

1 tablespoon liquid dish soap

6 full bulbs garlic, puréed

1.In a metal bucket or large glass or metal bowl, combine the water, dish soap, and garlic.

2.Cover the container and allow it to sit at room temperature for 24 hours.

3.Strain the liquid and transfer to a spray bottle for indoor use or a pump sprayer for outdoor use.

4.Apply liberally to areas where ants are a problem.

5.Store the unused portion in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Freeze any extra.

Images This spray is also effective against aphids and flea beetles. Like other topical solutions, this one needs to be reapplied after rain. Because garlic’s natural scent dissipates, you may need to re-treat every few days until the ants move to a less hostile environment.

Peppermint Ant Repellent

YIELD: 1 TREATMENT
STORAGE: GLASS BOTTLE
TIME: 5 MINUTES

One of the easiest ways to get rid of ants indoors is to use peppermint essential oil straight out of the bottle it comes in. As an added benefit, this remedy leaves your home smelling minty fresh.

5 drops peppermint essential oil

1.Apply the peppermint essential oil to a cotton ball.

2.Wipe the area where ants have been seen.

3.Repeat with additional essential oil if treating a large area.

Images This treatment keeps ants away for 3 to 4 days at a time, in most cases. Repeat it as necessary to prevent these pests from taking over.

Cayenne Ant Defense

YIELD: 1 TREATMENT
STORAGE: NOT RECOMMENDED
TIME: 5 MINUTES

This is a potent remedy that can cause discomfort to people (as well as ants) if it is inhaled or gets into your eyes. Handle cayenne powder cautiously and consider wearing rubber gloves. Diatomaceaous earth, called for in this recipe, can be easily purchased online.

4 ounces cayenne powder

1 (4-pound) bag diatomaceous earth

1.In a bucket, combine both ingredients.

2.Using a scoop, apply a one-inch thick line of the mixture along areas where you have noticed ant activity.

3.If you know where anthills are located, surround the anthill with a heavy layer of diatomaceous earth and cayenne.

4.Leave in place for a few days, reapplying after rain.

5.It’s best to wage ant warfare after dark, when most of the pesky insects are home in their nests. Plan for application before the sun goes down.

Images Diatomaceous earth is a food grade, nontoxic powdery substance made from fossilized aquatic life. Nonetheless, it’s best to keep curious children and pets away.