To me, keeping a natural and healthy home means keeping it clutter-free which I mention many times on my blogs, using natural cleaning products as much as possible, using plant based scented candles and essential oils to scent the home and also maintaining hygiene in the kitchen and bathroom. Today I want to focus on the kitchen and how to keep it pest free in a natural way.
Keeping the kitchen clean and tidy is important to me for our own health. I regularly clean the shelves of our cupboards and the fridge-freezer to ensure no bacteria is able to form. I wipe down the sides several times a day for food preparation. I hope to keep any nasty germs away from our food to prevent us being ill. I use non-toxic plant based sprays with a cloth to clean the kitchen. It’s all very well keeping it clean, but if you are using toxic chemical-laden sprays then you may be damaging your health in other ways.
Another important reason for keeping the kitchen crumb free is pests!
Luckily we have not had a pest problem in this home, aside from the odd fruit fly, but I once did have lots of ants in a shared house I lived in years ago. I’m certain it was down to the state of the kitchen. At one point there were eight of us living there and one lad who never washed up. He’d leave his bowls and plates and rotting food on the side for weeks on end. It was disgusting. Suffice to say he was the reason I had to move out! I’m sure it was why we constantly had pest problems in the kitchen.
Pests, such as ants, are attracted to crumbs, food scraps and especially rotting food. They can smell it a mile off, I’m sure, and come in search of this glorious feast to devour.
When this happens the first thing most of us do is pop to the shops and buy cans of bug spray. Whilst these may be effective in ridding your home of the pests, they are not so good for us, our pets or the environment as they are loaded with harsh chemicals. If available, then choose a natural non-toxic spray or use a natural method instead. There’s hopefully no need to fill your home with toxic fumes and potentially damage your own health.
Follow these steps to take control of the situation:
Know what you’re dealing with
You first need to know what type of ant species you’re dealing with. They’re most likely pavement ants but look at them carefully. If you need help, visit Pest Free USA. There are different species of ants and you may need to research online to find the exact method to help deal with the type of ant you have in your home. They’re probably pavement ants and you’ll be able to follow some of the steps below to help rid your home of them before resorting to any chemicals.
Find their entry
Try to find their entry point into your home. Perhaps there’s a hole or crack somewhere that needs fixing or sealing to stop them in their tracks.
Disguise the ant trail
Ants leave scent trails to let the other ants know to follow them when they have found a food source. Use a mix of half vinegar and half water to spray their trail, your kitchen sides, their entry point and the floor to stop other ants from being able to smell the trail. This will deter other ants from entering your home.
Citrus scents repel ants. Use a mixture of water and lemon juice to wipe down sides and floors to stop the ants from entering your home. You can also leave out orange and lemon peel – try leaving this near their entry point to scare them away.
Use spices and herbs
Ants also hate some spice and herb scents such as cinnamon, pepper, mint and basil. Luckily lots of these scents along with the citrus scent above is appealing to us, so fill your windowsills with lovely smelling herbs, or treat yourself to scented candles that will make your home smell lovely but freak those little ants out!
Prevent them from coming back
The best way to stop ants in your kitchen is prevention. As they are attracted to food sources you simply need to ensure your kitchen is kept in good order. Put food away after using it. Don’t leave it on sides for long periods of time. Clean up crumbs promptly from both sides and the floor. Pull out units, such as cookers, every so often for a deep clean. Store food in airtight containers and don’t leave fruit to rot on the side.
Hopefully you will never suffer ants in your home, but if you do spot some then there are some natural ways you can try to stop them in their tracks before it becomes an infestation. If it’s too much to manage naturally or is a recurring problem then seek professional advice.
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