Today I found some ants in my kitchen. I know full well that where you find one, you are soon to have an invasion, so to find a few was disturbing.
Now that we are on GAPS I couldn't just reach for my usual can of raid, so it was time to put in some hard work. If you have ants in your kitchen, here is a simple, healthy, and eco-friendly option for dealing with them.
The first thing you need to do is take out everything out of every cupboard and clean it out before putting them all back. I do this systematically, starting with the top ones and wiping all the debris straight down onto the floor. This is also an excellent time to be choosy about what you put back and reorganise your cupboards.
I found a tonne of stuff to donate including several GAPS illegal items that other families would probably be really happy to receive.
Wipe everything down with a sponge soaked in a solution of white vinegar and hot water (I put it in a spray bottle to make it really easy.
Next take a DRY cloth and some peppermint oil. Rub a few drops of peppermint oil over all the surfaces (shelves, walls, doors) of your cupboards and work surfaces.
Finally, it's time to mop the floor! Make sure you put a significant amount of peppermint oil in your mop bucket with some really hot water. It might make your eyes water a little, but your kitchen is going to smell amazingly fresh. Make sure you sweep your mop over all the skirting boards too, and contrary to your normal mopping technique, leave the floor fairly wet. The aim is to leave a nice layer of peppermint oil everywhere as the ants don't like to walk on it.
Hopefully this will be enough to deter them and they will find a new source of food.
As an extra measure you could also mix one cup of sugar with 3 tbsp of borax* substitute and 3 cups of water. Soak some cotton wool in the solution and leave it in a bowl. The ants will come and take it back to their nest and pretty much overnight they will be wiped out.
*we use a borax substitute because borax is pretty dangerous stuff. Although it isn't a man made chemical it's still a developtmental toxin, carcinogen, neurotoxin, endocrine disruptor and can cause respiritory and skin irritation. Borax is not sold in the uk, although some people do buy it from ebay. We choose not to use it and have found Borax substitute to be an excellent exchange in all things aside from making 'slime'.