Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What's Bugging You?

Phew! Things have been busy over here! Between being in Cleveland for the funeral and half marathon a few weekends ago and then being in St. Louis for my sister’s graduation, there hasn’t been much time to blog. Not this week! Even with our impending move (did I tell you we’re moving this weekend? Eeek!) I'm going to catch you up on what’s going on in my budget-friendly world.

While in Cleveland, we obviously spent time with family and friends. John and I also attended the International Beer Fest with my high school friend Liz. On Saturday, there was a mini blogger meet-up with Piper of One Sydney Road and Brigitte of Unfettered Ink at The Root Cafe in Lakewood. And of course Sunday was the Cleveland half marathon. It was my Mom’s first half! She walked the race, finishing under 3:15, and placed 19th in her division. I had a super race as well and finished in 2:03.

It wasn't until we returned to Chicago that we saw some uninvited guests. While we were gone, the wet and warmer weather brought ants. I’m not sure why this happened after more than 1.5 years in our apartment, but a miniature army of ants has attempted to take residence in our kitchen. Did they know we're getting ready to move out? And these aren't your regular ants. These are high-class foodie ants. They completely ignored the Apple Jacks on the counter and headed straight towards the fruit-filled Frosted Mini Wheats and booze.

Seeing that I didn’t want to make a special trip to the store to rid ourselves of ants, I tried a few natural and homemade remedies. The obvious first step was to take out the trash and seal up any food. Next, I wiped down the kitchen, floor, and counters. In light of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," I thought I would try Windex with a cocktail of original, antibacterial multi-surface, and some natural all-purpose cleaner. Ants leave a little trail of pheromones to tell the other ants how to find food. I figured if I washed away their trails, they wouldn't be able to find the food. That didn't quite work, so I had to step up my game.

Mint had a post about unusual uses for household products. Cayenne pepper and cinnamon are natural ant repellents. The post said to sprinkle cayenne pepper or cinnamon around the baseboards or wherever ants are seen. Cayenne pepper didn't seem to work on its own (I told you the ants were foodies), so I also sprinkled some cinnamon. Since I have good cinnamon from Penzeys Spices, I used some old Chinese five spice blend. The spice blend includes star anise, cinnamon, cloves, fennel, and black pepper.

So far, the combination of Windex and spices seems to work and the ants have stayed away from our kitchen. Yes, it looks a little funny, but I'll take it. And if I've seen a few stragglers, I've hit them with the Windex.

Anything else "bugging" you? Or any homemade remedies for dealing with pests?
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1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh! How horrible about the ants!!! Good thing you will be moving away from them in a few days!!!!!! :) Nice work on the half marathon, too! This week started my training!


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