1. Sink Drains – Preventive Maintenance

A.  Run very hot tap water through the drain after each use. This is one way to keep a drain free of odors.  Try to avoid getting vegetable matter or grease in a kitchen drain. Try to avoid letting hair accumulate in bathroom drains. Treat any partially clogged drain promptly.

B.  Pour a handful of baking soda into the kitchen drain about once a week, then run very hot tap water through it. Or pour 1 cup vinegar or lemon juice in and let it stand for 30 minutes. Then run hot water through the drain. These steps will clean the drain of odors.

C.  Pour a strong salt brine down the kitchen sink drain regularly to eliminate odors and to keep grease from building up.

 2. Those Pesky Ants

ANTS. Little pesky ants. They march indignantly into your house and use it as their personal buffet. The most common ant in our area, especially common in the spring, is the odorous house ant (tapinoma sessile). When they find a good source of food, they get excited about it. Once they find food, they will lay down an odor trail so the other workers can find them easily. Here are some ideas for safe methods to combat ants:

  • Keep surfaces immaculately clean. Put away all food, wipe off bottles and don’t leave puddles of water about because ants are often as thirsty as they are hungry.
  • Empty garbage daily. A small amount of food can sustain a colony for a long time.
  • Spray them with soapy water. Common household items like window cleaners, furniture polish and 409 will destroy the ants but it is just as effective and cheaper to put a teaspoon of liquid dish soap in a spray bottle of water and spray the ants and their trails. Leave the dead ants there for awhile as a warning to other ants. Believe it or not, ants take hints.
  • Deter them from the outside. Coffee grounds placed outside near doors and windows can help keep ants away. If you find a nest outside pour boiling water into it and repeat if necessary.
  • Sanitation and physical controls should curb most ant problems, but keep some perspective. Tolerating a few ants may help you relax. In tropical climates ants have actually driven people out. Army ants eat everything in sight. We should be grateful we live here in Oregon.