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Natural Awakenings Central New Jersey


Natural Ant Control for the Home

Natural Ant Control


The warmer weather can bring unwanted pests, including ants, into homes and apartments. Conventional pesticides and ant traps can be toxic to humans, pets and the environment. This season, consider using one of these safer ant control alternatives.

Keep Counters Clean

First and foremost, maintain kitchen counters and floors free of food particles. Tightly seal food containers, wipe countertops with soapy water, sweep the floors and avoid leaving standing water overnight. If there are no food sources around, the ants will lose interest.

Stop Entry Into the Home

After cleaning, the next line of defense is to keep ants from entering the home in the first place. One of the most effective, toxin-free methods is to spray cedar oil outside around the perimeter of the house. Mix one ounce of cedar oil in one quart of water (or four ounces per gallon) and spray the solution three feet up the outside wall and on the ground six feet out from the edge of the house.

Use Natural Repellents

Numerous natural repellents work well inside the home. Place one or more of these in the kitchen or wherever the ants are entering: cucumber peels or slices; tea bags of mint tea or dry, crushed mint leaves; cloves; cayenne pepper; citrus oil soaked into a piece of string; lemon juice; cinnamon; or coffee grounds. 

Confuse Ants Traveling Back to the Nest

As worker ants travel from their nest to forage for food, they leave a sex hormone (pheromone) scent in order to find their way back to the nest. These invisible trails can be washed away with a mixture of one-quarter cup of white vinegar, two cups of water, and 10 to 15 drops of peppermint, clove, eucalyptus or tea tree essential oil. 

Use Natural Ant Killers as Last Resort

A serious ant problem might require more drastic measures that kill the invading ants. These two options employ non-toxic ingredients. 

  • Diatomaceous earth is a non-toxic, talc-like powder made from the fossilized remains of marine phytoplankton. When sprinkled on ants, the powder causes them to dehydrate.

  • Cornmeal left out in small piles where ants are visible is another option that poses no threat to pets or little kids. The ants will eat the cornmeal, but because they can’t digest it, they will perish. 

Tick Talk

Spring officially sprung on March 21. We have turned our clocks ahead. We are looking forward to warm winds, sunny skies and the smell of fresh cut grass. The daffodils and tulips have recently bloomed and we are just starting with the yard work that comes with the warmer weather.  Sadly, another season has started ramping up.  Tick season.

•             The best form of protection is prevention. Educating oneself about tick activity and how our behaviors overlap with tick habitats is the first step.

•             According to the NJ DOH, in 2022 Hunterdon County led the state with a Lyme disease incidence rate of 426 cases per 100,000 people. The fact is ticks spend approximately 90% of their lives not on a host but aggressively searching for one, molting to their next stage or over-wintering. This is why a tick remediation program should be implemented on school grounds where NJ DOH deems high risk for tick exposure and subsequent attachment to human hosts.

•             Governor Murphy has signed a bill that mandates tick education in NJ public schools. See this for the details.  Tick education must now be incorporated into K-12 school curriculum. See link:

•             May is a great month to remind the public that tick activity is in full swing. In New Jersey, there are many tickborne diseases that affect residents, including Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, Powassan, and Spotted Fever Group Rickettsiosis.

•             For years, the focus has mainly been about protecting ourselves from Lyme disease. But other tick-borne diseases are on the rise in Central Jersey. An increase of incidence of Babesia and Anaplasma are sidelining people too. These two pathogens are scary because they effect our blood cells. Babesia affects the red blood cells and Anaplasma effects the white blood cells.

•             Ticks can be infected with more than one pathogen. When you contract Lyme it is possible to contract more than just that one disease. This is called a co-infection. It is super important to pay attention to your symptoms. See link.

A good resource from the State:


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