Ant Bully

I try to have an informal agreement with all insects … I will not harm you in your outside environment, but if you come into my abode, all bets are off.  However, the best thing for me is to try and prevent them from getting inside so we don’t have a problem in the first place. In the last few weeks, I’ve had multiple friends complain to me about ants. None of us want to get into heavy, toxic sprays so I tested a few organic remedies. formichina_architetto_fr_01

Natrual Remedies For ? is a great site for all things curative in the most natural sense and provides an arsenal of information about ants. After testing a few of their suggestions, I found the most effective (and easiest) to be: Cinnamon – To keep ants out of the house and/or garden, try sprinkling a bit of ground cinnamon about the base of the house & Plant Leaves – Scatter the leaves of penny royal, tansy, mint and/or bay leaves on the surfaces that ants frequent.  

About.com:Frugal Living consistently provides me with money saving solutions, and they also have a great section on ants. From their suggestions, I tried and had some success with the following: Vinegar – Wipe down your counter tops, cupboards and any other places where you’ve spotted ants with a 50-50 mixture of white vinegar and water. Repeat throughout the day to maintain the efficacy; Coffee Grounds – Sprinkle your used coffee grounds in the garden and around the outside of your house;  Cucumber/Citrus Peels – Leave the peelings in areas of known ant activity.

Let me know if you’ve had success with other natural remedies for the sake of ants everywhere!

Don’t Bug Me!

From where I sit, it’s finally getting warmer and I’m getting to enjoy my beloved outdoors. However, as per usual, the outdoors comes with pesky bugs and mosquitoes. I’m not a big DEET person, nor do I enjoy the scent of OFF which reminds me of  girlscout camp so here are a few of my favorite, more natural alternatives.

Gaiam.com offers these great Geraniol Insect-Repellent Wristbands. “Slip a band around your wrist, ankle or belt; encapsulated geraniol – a plant-based, odorless essential oil – creates an invisible shield around you. Each insect-repellent wristband is effective for up to 120 hours when stored in its resealable container between uses. A breakaway feature makes it safe for children. Set of 4 in assorted colors (let us choose for you). USA.”

Burt’s Bees offers an Herbal Insect Repellent that smells lovely as well as offers serious protection. “Our 100% natural blend of bug-fighting oils repels even the most stubborn of pests. Rosemary, Lemongrass, and Citronella oils mix with 5 other oils that bugs hate, creating an all natural solution for keeping them away. Since there’s no DEET in this formula, it’s safe enough to apply with confidence to children and pets.”

The Natural Store carries the Bite Blocker All Natural Insect Repellent Herbal Wipes. Read the rest of this entry