multi-talented bay leaves keep pests away

Bay leaves are good at more than flavoring soups and sauces. They also keep pests away. A couple of summers ago, when we returned from a trip to the beach, we were dismayed to find lines of ants marching to and from food in our pantry, including a box of one of my favorite cereals (Peace Maple Pecan). We never had to deal with an ant problem before — and we didn’t want to douse our kitchen in chemicals — so we were open to a friend’s suggestion to use bay leaves as an ant repellent. After scrubbing down our kitchen, we placed dried bay leaves on shelves and under the sink. I don’t know if it’s a coincidence, or if it’s because we now store food like cereal in plastic containers (or if it’s a combination of both), but we haven’t had an ant problem since. I love it when green solutions work! –Michelle V.K.

More green pest solutions? See our info on fighting termites and rose bush mites.

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