• Peppermint Essential Oil Vs Ants: And the Winner Is…

    Swarm of ants on a board

    I’ve been writing about essential oils for several years now. Today I’m going to vary from my usual format; I’m going to tell you a story. A story that involves a sh*t-ton of ants and a few drops of peppermint essential oil.

    Weeds and Dirt and Ants Oh My

    I spent this past Saturday outside pulling the weeds that were growing next to the house and in the driveway cracks. I also spent time scrubbing moss off the foundation and filling a lot of the cracks in the cement. All of this involved me sitting on the ground and slowing scootching my way up and down the driveway and side of the house. I was out there for a grand total of close to 5 hours.

    It was no big deal at first, but then I found the ants, and they found me back. Let’s just say they were none too happy about having this area disturbed. They let me know just how upset they were by biting me. I didn’t want to kill them (well, maybe a little), but I wasn’t about to let them eat me alive either.

    I spent the first 30 minutes of our acquaintance shooing the ants away, and not making much progress on my project. Then I remembered that I had a secret weapon. Peppermint essential oil.

    Now, I’ve written about using peppermint essential oil against ants before but I haven’t had much call to use it myself. Until Saturday.

    So, I grabbed a small (2ml) bottle of peppermint and put 3 – 4 small drops on each wrist and ankle and went back outside to finish my project.

    Did It Work?

    I’m happy to report that it worked like a charm! The ants still came towards me, but now they turned away before getting close enough to bite. It was a huge win for both me and the ants. I’m going to proactively do this when I know I’m going to be sitting on the ground stirring things up. You might want to consider doing this too.

    Before you run right out and do this yourself, I have two caveats.

    One, I’ve been an aromatherapist for almost 10 years and I spent 10 years prior to that working as a chemist. I spilled many a chemical on me during my chemist days and know which chemicals are in each essential oil I put on my skin. I know first hand how my body reacts to these chemicals and don’t put anything on my skin that I’ve had a reaction to in the past. Please be responsible and dilute the peppermint if you tend to have sensitive skin.

    Two, the size of the essential oil bottle is important. The 2ml size that I used delivers much smaller drops than either of the more popular 5 or 15ml sizes. If using one of the larger bottles stick to 1-2 drops per ankle and wrist.

    Happy yardworking!!

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