Although we are approaching the end of the summer season, for those of us who live in warmer climates, ants can continue to be a problem into the Fall months. This week’s post contains both an aromatherapy recipe and some suggestions on using essential oils to reduce the problem of ants (and their effects) from your life

Essential Oils for Ants: Photo credit, ISP
Essential Oils for Ants: Photo credit, ISP

Using Essential Oils for Ant Control

Ants can be a problem both inside and outside the home. Once the weather starts to warm up, you begin to see armies of ants patrolling the areas around your home. Although fascinating to watch, ants can become a problem, particularly if you have children and pets.

Essential oils to use in an attempt to repel ants include:

  • peppermint

  • spearmint

  • cornmint

  • lavender

  • citronella.

Dilute your chosen essential oil in a distilled water spritzer base; use approximately 12 drops of essential oil per one ounce of distilled water. This guideline follows the chart given in my book Authentic Aromatherapy for spritzer bases. Spray the mixture around the affected area to repel the ants; for example, around windows and doors, across the patio.

Cautions: Use any of the mint essential oils with extreme care around children and pets. In particular, peppermint, cornmint, and spearmint essential oils should not be used in the vicinity of babies and children under three years of age, or in any areas where pets might have access to.

A Note on Fire Ants

Fire ants, also known as red ants, are common in Arizona, where I live. Fire ant bites are particularly venomous and can cause extreme pain, stinging, redness, and swelling. In extreme cases, you should consult a healthcare professional. However, for less serious cases, you might find some relief from the following aromatherapy recipe – tried and tested through personal experience!

Cooling Lotion Recipe for Fire Ant Bites

To 2 oz of unscented white lotion base, add the following essential oils:

  • 5 drops peppermint (Mentha piperita)

  • 9 drops of tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)

  • 6 drops of geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)

Cautions: The amount quoted is for use with a healthy adult; reduce amounts or avoid in use for contra-indicated groups such as those with serious health conditions and the elderly. Do not use in pregnancy or with babies and children under three years of age. Consult a certified aromatherapist for further advice.

Apply a small amount of the blended lotion to the affected/inflamed area of the bite as necessary. This lotion may help to reduce swelling, itchiness, and pain associated with the burning and stinging sensation of a fire ant bite. It can also be used for mosquito bites and similar bites, and for itchiness and redness associated with eczema and dry skin conditions. If the condition is serious, or severe allergic reaction to the bite is experienced, consult a qualified health care practitioner immediately.

Learn How to Use Essential Oils for Minor Health Problems

If you are interested in learning more about essential oils and their use for minor health conditions, consider a Sedona Aromatherapie home study course such as the Certification in Professional Aromatherapy. To learn more, visit the courses home page.

References:

  • Lawless, Julia, 1995, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, UK: Thorsons

  • Worwood, Valerie, 1991, The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, US: New World Library

  • Author is a certified aromatherapist

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