Friday, July 5, 2013


once upon a time, I spent a ton of time in my kitchen. It was pretty cool or whatever (Well, lately, mostly "whatever." I only have air conditioning in one room, and it is not my kitchen. It's been crazy hot lately.)

I am currently renting an apartment, and have really enjoyed the kitchen set-up. I have these huge sliding glass doors, and a cute little porch, and some classy outdoor furniture (which I need to clean today). 

As I was hanging out in my not-so-cool but soon to be very classy kitchen (I'm working on some artsy stuff and new organization), I glanced down at the floor--and immediately noticed something that caused me great alarm.


all over the entrance of the glass doors, and trailing through to in-front-of-my-stove-space.


i immediately stopped what I was doing, and looked up various ways to kill ants, the intent of bug murder burning deep in my soul. Outside is bug territory. Inside--at least, my kitchen-- is MY territory. (Porch is the Neutral Zone). i will sometimes just catch or re-direct bugs that are in my room, or other parts of the house-- but bugs crossing into my kitchen is a trespass worthy of immediate destruction. 

I didn't like any of the remedies I found, and medical situations in my apartment disallowed the use of traditional bug poison. So, true to form, I took the knowledge that I had and mixed up my own concoction. I couldn't use soap, because that would leave my floor sticky.  I need something that evaporated quickly, and didn't leave a nasty scent.

It took a few tries before I was successful, but in the end, this is what I came up with:

Some water (about a cup) (use filtered if your surfaces are particular)

About a cup of distilled vinegar (or apple cider, but distilled is clear)
Also some vodka (or rubbing alcohol)
Mix in lavender oil, cinnamon oil or extract, mint oil or extract, oregano oil, thyme oil, clove oil, ginger oil, lemon or bitter orange oil. Garlic, I hear, also works....but I did'nt want my house to smell like garlic.

For a less expensive version that takes longer, I'm sure I could have steeped the herbs in the water instead of using all the oils, then let it sit overnight. Strain the herbs out, then mix the liquid with the water and alcohol.
But today, those bugs needed to die. Immediately. Essential oils by doTerra for the win!!

Put in a spray bottle. Spray on the bugs, and they die. Also, allow a couple to escape, follow them back to the entrance point, spray the entrance point with the mixture. Mop surrounding floor, spray lightly. If you find the hill, destroy it with either boiling water or dumping some of the mixture into it.

Note: I cannot vouch for whether the ants feel pain.  I really, really don't like killing things (I have a hard time with shellfish cookery)  or knowing things were killed inhumanely. However, bugs do not belong in the house, and one simply cannot reason with them at this point in our mortality.

The bugs are in bug-heaven, my kitchen is up to code, my floor is clean. 

And my house smells fantastic. Bonus points. 


meisha said...

I love your solution (both meanings there btw!)! Sorry about the ants int he first place but I am glad they are gone. Good work Chef!

Marilyn said...

I have a friend who is into natural remedies, and when I visited her, she had cinnamon sprinkled around entrances to her house: to keep the ants out.

(Smells good, too!)