Apparently peppermint oil is some kind of magic.
Along with it being sweet to live somewhere I can glance out the window and see a moose, elk, fox, deer, etc, there are some challenges. There are lots of little critters around. I don't mind little critters at all, with the exception of spiders. Those I have an irrational fear of. But in general, I really enjoy watching all the little birds, bugs, and rodents that scurry around here.
Exceptions are when they all like my spaces better then theirs. Like when the mice moved into my van repeatedly all spring long. And now the ants have decided they like my house. A few days ago I saw one inside and thought I'd just brought it in with me. Then I saw a few more. And today there was a good little handful scurrying around. Below is one who's thinking it is a good idea to run around on my counter top. He is so wrong! I'm not totally sure where they are coming in, but it seems there could only be a few options. My house is pretty small after all.
So I went on a hunt for natural ant repellants. There are many reasons I don't want to just start spraying RAID or some other poison around including my health, my plant's and dirt's health, and all the animals around here. It turns out that among other thing, everyone says that ants do not like peppermint oil. Over the last few months I have learned that mice, voles, and spiders also really dislike peppermint oil. So I need lot's of peppermint! I have no particular attachment to the brand I have pictured above, it was just the least expensive.
I soaked some cotton balls with the oil and tossed them under my little tool shed so hopefully no rodent will decide that's a good place to move in. I'll also be adding some to my van though I haven't seen a new mouse in a few weeks. And I mixed more oil with water and some vinegar and sprayed it around the outside of my door, window sills, jacks (because that would be one of the main connections between my house and the ground that could be climbed) and sink drain. Now I'm getting a serious dose of aroma therapy as the scent of peppermint drifts around the house!
I think it's working. Just in the last few hours, the amount of ants I'm seeing inside seems to be dropping compared to expanding which is what it had been doing the rest of the day. I'm curious to see what I find tomorrow. If this does the trick, I'll be delighted. Especially if it deters spiders as well. Spiders also reportedly dislike cedar and maybe the whole exterior of my home being cedar has something to do with the fact that I have only seen one small spider inside in 7 months of living here. I hope I never seen another one in here. And yay for chemical free ways to solve problems like this!