Aromatherapy Series: When Ants Come To Stay

Having pests in the house is somewhat a norm here: mosquitos, midges,  all sorts of roaches, ants and flies find their way into households despite the height of the buildings.

This morning I got back home to find ants having a party on and around my daughter’s breakfast plate where she smudged some jam. There must have been at least 100 of them!  No kidding. I got so disgusted – threw the plate into the sink and washed all the ants off the counter. I did notice that they found their way from our laundry balcony that is next to kitchen. The first trespassers were in the kitchen yesterday. At that time I used a mix of water and tea tree oil. However, it is a temporary fix. So I needed something more permanent or at least long term.

After talking to some friends and searching the Web, I decided to try the following: sprinkle cinnamon at the entrance of the balcony and draw lines with chalk.

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I also noticed there was a crack in the corner on the floor where the ants seemed to come from as well. So I poured some cinnamon there.

Two hours later,  still no sign of new ants making their way here. But I have to explain to my cleaning lady tomorrow not to wash the cinnamon off  or if she does – to pour some more in there.

I’ll be back to report how effective it is in about a month. My kitchen smells divine,  though!

{Aromatherapy Series} Home Made Bathroom Freshener

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Welcome to the new series I am starting – Aromatherapy Series. In these series I will share some tips on using essential oils and herbs in your household in a way that is friendly for people like myself who suffer from respiratory allergies; also in a way that is friendly for the babies and younger children.

Disclaimer: This post uses affiliated links from doTerra Essential Oils website.
All funds that are raised through affiliated links sales go for the blog’s development purposes. 

You have probably seen tons of sites and blogs that promote aromatherapy and green living.  While I am really far from living “green”, I like making use of fragrances, oils and herbs in simple and eco-friendly ways.

As you have read before, we moved to a new apartment. While this building is much newer than the one we used to live in, it seems it has a piping problem and we get very smelly drains in both bathrooms! With smelly drains I’ve tried a number of thing before and nothing quite worked, not even so well-known baking soda and vinegar rinse.

Since we also live in a very high humidity area (as high as 100%!) besides running ACs all summer and during humid seasons to keep the house dry (lots of carbon print here, yes, but I can’t breath in hot and humid air well), we have recently invested into a small dehumidifier that works well for keeping the bathroom dry. And well,  it helps with the smell in drains too!

So one thing I learned: high humidity and moisture = smelly drains.

So,  tip #1: keep your bathroom as dry as possible.

Tip#2: pouring a cup of water into the drains a couple times a day also helps with washing all the yuck down.

Tip #3: don’t wait on unclogging your drains. That soda + vinegar rinse is a good prophylactic measure against clogging.

Tip #4: make your own simple bathroom fresheners. They are not only natural,  they also guarantee nice pleasant smell without any surprises and much more eco-friendly and children-friendly.

Here’s what I made after much research: rice and essential oil/fragrance oil bathroom freshener.

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It is SO simple to make and it can be pure fun to make with a toddler (as long as it does not go into his mouth! ) or an older child.

You will need:

A small container or a saucer
Some rice – the cheapest kind
Oil of your choice

I used the folloing mix: 6 drops of Lemon Essential Oil  and 4 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil  mixed with a teaspoon of Fractionated Coconut Oil for the container in the picture. You can try different oil combination to suit your preferences.

Spread the rice in the container. Drop the oil in and mix with a spoon or a chopstick. Place in your bathroom and enjoy a mild and pleasant fragrance.

If you are new to aromatherapy,  use one oil at a time, mixing small amount to accommodate new sensation of rich smells . If you wish like experimenting,  do it in a separate bowl mixing oils 1 drop at a time till you get desired consistency (e.g. 5 drops of your favorite fragrance and then 1 drop of another which you want to add for zest. Add another one if you feel it isn’t strong enough).

Also, take your time to add the oils and give a few minuts for the smells to settle: the initial smell when the oil JUST comes out from the bottle may be either very strong or not even felt at first, depending on the oil you choose. But the stronger first smell might evaporate quick, while the almost invisible one can become very strong after reacting with the air. For example, that’s how Sandalwood oil works – it suddenly hits you in a heavy way after being few minutes in the open air.

I hope you enjoyed this simple recipe and tips. Wishing you all health and a pleasant mood!