In DIY, Essential Oils, Homemaking

here’s no better way to wake up in the morning than to stumble downstairs to the kitchen, grab a coffee mug and walk over to the coffee pot, only to be greeted by hundreds of tiny Hymenoptera villains…I’m talking SUGAR ANTS! Couldn’t I have seen them after I had my coffee? Sigh!

Thankfully, I remembered that ants don’t like peppermint essential oil, it also seems to inhibit them from following their scent trail, so after annihilating all the visible tiny crawlers, I put a few drops of peppermint on a cotton ball and wiped down the entire perimeter of my kitchen (focusing heavily on their entry point).

I then remembered our 2013 lice epidemic (it’s still too horrific to share on such a public forum…but for a similar scenario read this post). A fine powdery substance, called Diotomaceous Earth, decimated those blood sucking villains like no other OTC product could do (sadly, we tried the OTC methods first). 

Diotomaceous Earth (DE) is a “soft, crumbly, porous sedimentary deposit formed from the fossil remains of diatoms.” Basically ground up sea creatures that are razor sharp to the insects, but as soft as flour to the human touch. DE cuts through the waxy exoskeleton of the insect, essentially dehydrating it from the inside out…and it works!

I grabbed our DE (if you’ve experienced lice, you will ALWAYS have some on hand) and a fine mesh strainer. Found the external trail of ants that led to our house and dusted their line with the fine powder. In hopes of locating the nest, The Hubs and I followed this tiny marching procession about 200 yards into the woods on the backside of our property…once the brush got too thick we gave up. Confident in our DE dust trail, we crossed our fingers and waited.

About an hour later? No more ants*!

Do any of you have experience with Diotomaceous Earth? I’m continually hearing of its countless uses and like to tuck them away for times like this. Share your DE successes in the comments below!

* About 20 minutes after we dusted the ant trail it rained cats and dogs. Once the downpour let up, we re-applied the DE and waited an hour. We were bug free from that day on! It may be necessary for a second treatment the next day, but let the ants be your guide. If you see them, dust them! And be sure to dust any surfaces they are crawling across to get access to your home, simply walking through the powder will kill them!

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    Do you think this would work when we take the RV to Yuma? Last time we got little tiny bugs in the pantry. I’m assuming they crawled up the rv legs or tires and found their way in. If we sprinkled this around the ground touch points of the RV do you think this might stop them?

    • Kelsey Steffen
      Kelsey Steffen

      100% YES Cheryl! You may need to reapply it if it rains or the wind blows it away. But if they crawl over the DE, they won’t survive the trip to your pantry!

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