Sunday, February 9, 2014

Wipe up Ants With Listerine

          Few things make one's skin crawl like ants running all over the kitchen counters and bathroom.  But we can do something about ants in the house.  
Fill a spray bottle with Listerine.  Spray them; watch them squirm and die; and wipe them up.  Do so wherever you see them; keep a small spray bottle in each room they tend to appear.  Walmart has cute little spray bottles that are perfect for the job.
Listerine kills ants with the same aromatic oils and alcohol that kill the germs in your mouth.  Natural pest control companies use much the same kind of oils to kill insects in and around your house, in much greater concentration for longer effect, I’m sure.  The oils soften their exoskeletons, clogging their breathing holes.  On small ants, it works immediately; larger ones take a little longer to die.
Listerine kills ants only as long as it is wet; once it evaporates, they will return.  Persistence wins the game.
It also works outside, wherever and whenever ants are in your way.  Listerine does not appear to harm plants, either.  Some mid-sized ants forage in lines, following chemical paths to food sources.  Keep spraying lines of ants in places where you don’t want them, and they lose their way and look for food elsewhere.  Some local mid-sized ants simply run all over the place in certain warm weather conditions, biting anyone who stands still long enough.  These are harder to control, but you can spray the area where you want to work periodically until you are done.
Listerine does not work on spiders or roaches.  Simple Green cleaner kills nearly anything with an exoskeleton within 15 seconds.  Roaches start running and slow down and stop.  Big ones sometimes will sometimes freeze and then start moving again after a few minutes with only one spray and need a little more to stop them.  I've only used them on our local little Japanese roaches, 1 inch maximum length.
Another good use for Listerine is as a hair rinse.  Evaporate it in a crock pot by 1/4 to remove the alcohol and put some in a squirt bottle.  If you overdo it, just add water; I’ve revived Listerine crystals.  Squirt a little in a cup of water and pour over your hair after shampooing.  The aromatic oils coat the hair lightly, and when rinsed, remove all the tangles.  The oils make your hair more manageable and keep it from drying out too much.

Read The Litter Cleaner Blog and support cleaning up Grants Pass at GPgardener.com.