I have been in Hawaii for 11 days now and I am slowly getting used to the island. The thing I cannot get used to are the bugs. After living sans bugs in Los Angeles, it's expected to find creepy crawlies in a tropical climate. But my house is filled with ants. I don't like bugs (the snail incident of 2014 was a doozy). Yes I know they are helpful and have a purpose in the whole food chain process and all, but not crawling all over my counter tops and now I am a clean freak! Constantly wiping and scrubbing I have become neurotic and annoying.
Although disgusted at the tiny creatures, I am at the same time fascinated. I sit and watch as they collect in a lump and then move on their merry way. But how do they know where they are going?
Aside from the chemical route, hello RAID!, I've tried ant traps, which seems a bit more humane, and after having an unexpected reaction to the ant poisoning left by the previous owners, I decide to search out a natural alternatives.
After doing an online search, I found that the number one option that came up most often was Borax.
It's 100% natural, so it must work. Directions were simple, mix 1 cup of water, 1/2 cup sugar, and 2 tablespoons of Borax. Soak some cotton balls, then leave them where the ants hang out. I really wasn't a fan of this. It just felt messy to me and if I left the windows and doors open, the breeze would push those cotton balls around.
Dr. Bronner's Peppermint soap
Next up was Dr. Bronner's Peppermint soap. Since I had some on hand, this one was worth a try. I bought a spray bottle and added 1/4 cup of soap and added water. I would spray downs the walls and kitchen counters leaving the apartment smelling delicious. After spraying the baseboards and windows at least twice a day, ants were gone within a week. After that, I would spray the walls down at least once a week so the little buggers wouldn't come back.
Other options that I didn't try
When ants are out looking for food, they
leave behind them a pheromone trail, so other ants can follow their path. This works because it masks the scent trails the ants leave and they can't find their way back home.
1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup vodka and 15 drops peppermint essential oil, 15 drops tea tree essential oil. Pour all into a spray bottle. Shake, then spray around baseboards and anywhere ants can be found. Use caution when spraying on food surfaces if you're using tea tree oil. Spray until ants are gone.
Fill a spray bottle with 1/4 cup of vinegar (white or apple cider) and some essential oil (30 drops of one oil) and water. Shake the spray bottle and spray around baseboards and really anywhere you've seen ants.