Only the essentials

Last week, when we stayed at Jennifer’s in San Mateo, the temperatures were mighty high, and what with the drought, the ants decided to come inside to look for water. I found a trail of the little creatures when running the children’s bath. Terry reminded me that Jennifer said she had essential oils to curb the migration.

Like her mother, Jennifer hates to use poisons of any kind around the house. My dad died of leukemia at 59 and it was years later I realized the disease had been brought on by the pesticides he used so freely on his beloved cotton fields. The “bug man,” as my dad called the pesticide sales rep, was always in our fields and always had something new to offer my dad to keep the yields high. Due to that hatred of chemicals, I refuse to have a “pest control” person anywhere near our house. I have literally chased their door-to-door salesmen from my front step. Anything that kills living creatures is dangerous.

Jennifer nor I are big into killing either, but since we hate the bugs coming in our house, we try to find ways to keep them away. Essential oils work well for this. At Jennifer’s I mixed up citronella, lavender, cedar, and peppermint. Since she didn’t have any white vinegar, I used water to dilute and then wiped down the trail and tiles with cotton balls soaked in the mixture. Ants stayed gone while we were there.

Coming home, I found that the patio has been taken over by some red beetle that looks to be related to crickets. We have an abundance of spiders, but they don’t seem to care for these fat beetles or the bugs are too strong to be caught in the webs. Every evening, when I go out to pick up the cat food dishes, a mass of beetles make a run for it. Something had to be done, so I got out MY essential oils and concocted a mix that would persuade the beetles to stay OFF of the patio.

I used citronella, lemongrass, cedar, eucalyptus, spearmint, and peppermint all mixed in white vinegar. I wiped the cat food area with this and then poured the remainder around the edge of the patio. No bugs last night when I went out. I figure, though, that I’ll need to repeat the process tomorrow as the oils do dissipate.

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6 responses to “Only the essentials

  1. Where can one buy these oils?

  2. we’re not allowed pesticides here anymore for years now. It’s a good thing.

  3. That’s a great idea. We have lots of essential oils for sale at our local co-op, and I sometimes buy lavender oil just to put on my wrists. Nobody minds having an old lady around who smells like lavender! 🙂

  4. I kept essential oils on hand for years but gave them to my daughter who is building a herb garden so she can make her own. I too have issues with pest control. I do use rodent control services, however. We would be overrun with mice and rats if we did’t do something…and they carry diseases and chew on electrical wires.

  5. Since I can’t breath after the scent get’s in the air, I use undiluted vinegar. It worked great yesterday on some very odd, small ants.

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