Eco-Tip Of The Week: Invasion Of The Ants

Across much of the country the big thaw in well under way and rains are driving bugs to higher ground. Ants are on the march in our homes here in California. It’s amazing, one day there are no ants at all and the next day there’s a trail of hundreds of those sneaky suckers quietly roaming your house. As if that wasn’t bad enough, you can’t even get rid of them by cleaning up because they are not even looking for food.

So what do you do? I posted recently about how social media moms are getting much of their green purchasing advice on-line. It turns out that’s where we’re getting many of our ideas about buying eco-friendly products too. So, it might be fun to start sharing what we’re learning here at Kendall-Jackson and some of our employees own advice from home.

Right, but back to the ants. Imagine you’ve just woken up and are heading to the kitchen for your morning toast.  But in the kitchen you find a small army of ants streaming up your cabinets. Now what? Reach for a can of Raid? Well, if you’ve got pets, children or an aversion to inhaling poison, probably not.

For immediate ant eradication I actually use Method Daily Shower Spray.  During an invasion several years ago I freaked out and just grabbed this non-toxic shower spray and let loose. The ants died almost before taking another step. I was thrilled with the results, but all of a sudden I was questioning the whole “non-toxic” aspect of the spray. After all, I enjoy using it each day because it makes our bathroom smell like a spa.

So, I contacted Drummond Lawson, the Green Giant (cool title meaning director of sustainability) at Method. He explained to me that “Ants, like most insects, have an external skeleton made of protein. This exoskeleton is dissolved by the surfactants in the shower spray and the ants die as a result.” Surfactants, are typically organic or non-toxic compounds that basically enable the spray to more efficiently attach itself to the solids in the shower and dissolve them. Seems pretty cool to me, none the neurotoxins most insecticides use and it smells like Ylang-ylang used in aromatherapy.

Well, this is our first stab at eco-tips and we’d love to hear from you what you’ve been using around the house. Ironically, my wife just called and said we’ve got a wasp nest outside and somehow they’re finding a way inside. Anyone got an eco-friendly tip for me? I’m not sure the shower spray is going to cut the mustard this time!