I try to make conscious choices to lower my impact on the world. I try to eat locally, clean with simple solutions, and look for ways to reduce my waste. You can use canvas bags, avoid palm oil, and still want to kill every last ant that has made its way into your cupboards. Because try as I might, I cannot love every one of the earth’s creatures.
What is it about ants? Is it because you know that there isn’t ever just the few that you see or because they seem like sprinkles that have sprouted legs or because they feel like a refection on your own cleanliness? They are creepy, crawly, and normally every where once you see them.
As much as I want to go full out terminator every time I see an ant, I cannot kill them if they aren’t causing me any harm. When I lived in California, the dry hot weather would force the ants into my house looking for water. These were not the kind of ants that eat the wood framing or sting, they are simply a hungry nuisance. And I can think of a hungry nuisance a little more invasive than ants.
To cultivate a peaceful existence I make my home very unfriendly to ants. I keep all my dry goods in sealed containers rather than the bags they come in. It was a bit of an investment but I found it keeps my bulk items longer and reduces waste – so win-win. I am also diligent about cleaning. Wiping down the counters, oven, and floors not only gives me a sense of pride in my kitchen but reduces the bits for the bugs. If I do happen upon an ant, it’s time for my clove spray. I add about 2 tablespoons of witch hazel, 5 drops of clove oil, and 5 drops of lemon oil to a small spray bottle and wipe down any ant traffic patterns. I like the witch hazel to the vinegar because it has the same effect as a carrier solution but doesn’t have the strong odor. I then soak cotton balls in clove oil and place them in ant entry points like the counter top corners. I change out the cotton balls every couple days until the ants get the clue and stop trying to shawshank their way in. Clove oil will harm the ants, which bothers me a bit, but my I have an extremely dim cat who will eat cotton balls soaked in cinnamon or peppermint oil and my allergies do not tolerant tea tree or eucalyptus. Clove oil is my balance and less harmful over all than chemically processed insecticides. And if the ants are trying to get into my home because of hot dry conditions, I would give them a little misted shade in my backyard to try to keep them happy outside.
(entry number 44 on the pagan blog project week two)