5 Natural Remedies for Ants

Natural Remedies for Ants

Summer is in full swing. Barbecues, trips to the beach, camping and hanging out on the porch on a lazy summer afternoon are all fun summer pastimes, but there is one thing that isn't fun about summer...The ANTS! They begin to show up in spring and by summertime a number of homes are under full invasion by armies of these pesky and relentless little critters. 

At times, it seems the only thing that even remotely comes close to getting them under control are toxic sprays you don't want anywhere near your loved ones. I'll admit it...Before I found out about these natural remedies, I resorted to using those sprays a time or two out of pure desperation. Luckily, there are a number of natural remedies for ants that are much, much safer than those bug sprays. 

Here are 10 natural remedies for ants:

1. Peppermint Essential Oil.

I'm sure you've heard of essential oils and how good they are for you. Well, insects don't feel the same way about essential oils and they steer clear of the strong scent of oils like peppermint essential oil. Combine a cup of water with 20 drops of peppermint essential oil and spray it anywhere you're under attack. Ants (and most other insects) will avoid this area like the plague. 

I've tried a lot of brands of peppermint essential oil and one of my personal favorites is doTERRA Peppermint Essential Oil - 15ml. It costs a little bit more than some of the budget brands, but isn't so expensive that it's unaffordable. Since you're diluting it before use, a single bottle will last multiple seasons.

2. Lemon Juice.

Here's an easy one. Ants hate lemon juice and will steer clear of anywhere it's been sprayed. Spray the perimeter of your house to keep ants out. It doesn't last long, so you'll have to spray every couple days while ants are on the prowl. 

3. Diatomaceous Earth. 

This fine powder is made from the fossilized skeletons of tiny aquatic organisms. The sharp edges of the particles cut into the exoskeletons of ants and other hard-bodied insects that crawl over it, causing them to dry out and die. Make sure you get Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth. It's safe for both humans and pets, but sprinkle it around areas frequented by ants and you'll do a number on them.

4. Cinnamon.

Ants hate cinnamon. You can sprinkle powdered cinnamon in areas where ants roam or you can dilute cinnamon essential oil and spray it in areas where there are a lot of ants. Either way, you'll deter pests because they detest the smell of cinnamon. 

5. Boiling Water. 

Here's an easy way to destroy an entire ant colony. Boil a pot of water and track the trail of ants back to the colony. Slowly pour boiling water into the hill or hole the ants are crawling in and out of. You'll eradicate the colony at the source. Now, sprinkle some diatomaceous earth around the hole to clean up any stragglers that return to the colony and you'll be rid of the entire bunch of them. 

 

How to Survive When Your Boss Is a Jerk

jerk boss

 

We've all worked for a jerk at least once in our lives. Some of us are working for one now, while others have managed to escape, but have all sorts of horror stories to tell. From flaunting their authority to sexual harassment to taking all the credit for the work other people do, bad bosses can really make life difficult on their employees.

Things may seem hopeless while working under the heavy hand of a horrible boss, but there are a handful of tactics that can be used to ease the pain. Call off the overpriced team of ninja assassins you just hired and try these things first. If they don't work, you can always rehire the assassins. 

Let the Little Stuff Go

When you hate your boss with a passion, every little thing he or she does or says will drive you up a wall. Small things you'd normally let go will make your skin crawl and you'll be consumed by anger every time your boss talks. If this describes the way you feel right now, it's time to take a step back and reassess your feelings. Sure, you can't stand your boss, but is your dislike of the way he or she treats you really worth the extra stress and being miserable all the time. 

Let the little stuff roll off your shoulders and try not to let it affect you. If you're grumpy all the time, the only one who's going to suffer is you and your boss and his superiors will take notice. Try to smile in the face of diversity and, in the words of every kid who's seen the Disney movie Frozen, "Let it go...Let it go!"

Take Control of the Situation

It may feel like you're powerless when an overbearing boss is making your life miserable, but there are certain things you have ultimate control over. For one, you control your emotions and have the final say in how your boss makes you feel. You also have ultimate control over what you allow your boss to do to you.

If you're working for a boss who is doing something illegal or is making you feel uncomfortable in the workplace, let him or her know how you feel. If nothing changes, take it further up the chain of command. This tactic should be saved for the big stuff like sexual harassment and blatant breaking of the rules (or the law). Upper management isn't going to want to hear how you feel like you're overworked because your boss asked you to help out on a project you think he could have finished himself, but they'll likely be very interested in hearing about a manager who's asking employees to cover up illegal activities that could get him and/or the company in deep trouble. 

Prove Your Worth

When faced with a boss who takes credit for everything you do, it may feel like you're never going to get noticed. Don't allow this to kill your desire to do good work and let it affect your production. Instead, work harder and continue doing the things you need to do to get ahead. Upper management will eventually take notice of the work you're doing and they may even realize your boss isn't living up to his end of the bargain.

I once worked for a boss who handed off all of his work to me. I did his work and my work for a couple years, while learning his job inside and out. The boss got in trouble and ended up getting fired and I sat down with management and made a great case as to why I should be hired to take over the vacant position. Management agreed and I went from being a 23-year old worker being paid minimum wage to being the boss and making three times that overnight. 

Wait It Out

This one's a tough one because you could spend years working a dead-end job under the auspices of a boss you hate. If there's a clear path for promotion for you or your boss and you're pretty sure you won't be working for him or her forever, you may be able to wait a bad boss out.

Once the boss (or you) is promoted, you'll have a new boss and things might get better. Then again, they might not...Certain companies create a culture of distrust and anger and seem to be a breeding ground for bad bosses. Make sure you know what you're in for if your boss gets promoted or you transfer to a different department. You might come to realize the boss you had previously isn't as bad as you thought. 

Do Something About It

I hear from people all the time who hate their jobs. They've often been working there for 5, 10, 15 or even 20 years or longer and have hated every minute of it. When I ask why they haven't looked for another job, I'm usually met with a blank stare or hear the excuse, "I've been there a long time. I'm comfortable there."

If you're truly comfortable at your job, stop bitching about your boss. If you hate it as much as you say you do, start looking for another job. The nice thing about looking for a job when you already have one is you have the luxury of searching until you find a good fit for your skills. If you don't think there's a good fit out there, it may be time to update your skill set. A few courses at the local community college or a trade school can work wonders. 

 

How to Become a Nicer Person

acts of kindness

 

Nobody sets out in life wanting to be a mean person, as it isn't human nature to be mean. As children, we go out of our way to be nice to our friends, family and everyone around us. As we get older and experience what life has to offer, many of us allow our ability to be nice to slowly but surely erode until we're bitter and angry shells of the amazing person we used to be.

It isn't a conscious decision. People don't wake up one day and say, "Screw this! I'm going to stop being nice to people!" It's more a gradual dissipation of our manners, our propensity to saying kind words and our ability to stay positive in the face of diversity. The good news is this is a learned behavior and it can be unlearned. It won't be easy, as it's going to take a conscious effort to be nice until it becomes habit, but there are a handful of tricks you can use to help yourself along the way.

Be Nice to Yourself

People who have a negative self-image are more likely to reflect the way they feel about themselves onto others. If you don't like the person you've become, it's going to be very difficult for you to like anyone else. Those with deep-seated self-loathing should seek counseling, while the rest of us can try waking up every morning and saying something positive to the person we see in the mirror. Don't just think it. Say it out loud and keep saying it every morning until you start believing it. 

Read more: How to Become a Nicer Person

5 Ways to Lessen the Stressin'

stress-free zone

 

We all tend to stress over the little things in life, while forgetting all about the big picture. Minor bumps in the road may look like major life events while they're happening, but in the grand scheme of things, most bumps are short-lived and lead to bigger and better things. Even stressful events like the loss of a job, the ending of a relationship or losing a house to foreclosure (I've experienced all of the above) can be put behind you and will soon be fading away in the rear-view mirror as you put the pedal to the medal and accelerate forward with your life.

Stress is a dynamic emotion and the response to it varies from person to person. That's why one person is a nervous wreck while stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic, while another drives with the serenity of a Buddhist monk. Some people are born with the ability to regulate stress and thrive under fire, while others break down at the first sign of trouble. This begs the question whether some people's brains are simply wired differently or have they unlocked the secret to reducing the body's response to a stressful situation?

I've got good news for you. Even if you're the biggest stress case on the planet, you can learn to manage stress. Reducing stress isn't a one-size-fits-all approach, so you need to figure out what works best for you, but having the following 5 stress reduction techniques in your bag of tricks will definitely help.

Read more: 5 Ways to Lessen the Stressin'

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