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St. Kitts-Nevis Public urged to reduce use of plastics

St. Kitts-Nevis Public urged to reduce use of plastics

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts, Jul. 12, CMC – The government  has urged the public reduce their use of plastics in their everyday lives as plastic pollution is one of the biggest environmental challenges  with negative effects on human, plant, animal and marine life.

“We are realistic and we recognize that plastics have become an integral part of our lives and so what we are doing is creating awareness of the need to reduce the number of plastics that is generated, especially single use plastics,” said Assistant Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Diannille Taylor-Williams.

Taylor-Williams who was speaking on a local programme on Wednesday touched briefly on the initiative of a “Plastic Free July”, while at the same time encouraging persons to be more aware of their plastic use.

“…where we are today, there are some plastics but they are used multiple times and we all know about the durability of plastics and their flexibility. Plastic is even used in making clothes, and more and more vehicles are being manufactured using plastics but a vehicle is not a one use item,” she said. “That is why there is such a thing as a plastic-free July. Not that it ends in July, but this is where we heighten the awareness of the need for us to end plastic pollution.”

Vanessa Webbe, Tourism Officer in Nevis, shared similar sentiments and noted that St. Kitts and Nevis can succeed in its quest to reduce the use of plastics.

“I want to say assertively that we can eliminate the single use of plastics and I think overtime, reduce plastics. So let us continue the discussion and encourage each other and remind each other to go plastic free,” she said.

Last month, St. Kitts and Nevis joined the rest of the world to observe World Environment Day under the theme: “Beat Plastic Pollution”.

The Department of Environment uses the month of June annually to promote environmental awareness in schools, and among the general public.

This year an outreach focus for the month of June was on the timely international theme of reducing the global dependency on plastics.

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Best practices for FAD Fisheries being finalized for Caribbean and Pacific SIDS

Best practices for FAD Fisheries being finalized for Caribbean and Pacific SIDS

 

Wednesday, July 4, 2018 — BELIZE CITY, BELIZE, MONDAY, 2 July 2018 (CRFM)—The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) has been working along with United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to develop a set of best practices for small-scale fisheries centered around Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) in Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The best practices are being documented following a Pacific-Caribbean Nearshore FAD Fisher Exchange with representatives from 7 SIDS in the Caribbean and the Pacific who recently participated in a study tour in Barbados, Grenada and Dominica.

Fishers and Fisheries officials from the Cook Islands, Samoa, Vanuatu and Tonga were in the Caribbean for 12 days, up to the end of May, on a mission organized by the CRFM, in collaboration with the FAO Subregional Office for the Pacific Islands (FAO SAP) in Samoa. They met with fishers and representatives of fisherfolk organizations in the region; government officials and policy-makers; exporters, processors and vendors from the private sector; as well as residents of fishing communities. Gaining knowledge about the use of FADs in the Caribbean will help the Pacific to fulfill the mandate of the 2015 Road Map for Sustainable Pacific Fisheries, which calls for the supply of tuna for domestic consumption in that region to be increased by 40,000 tonnes a year by 2024.

CRFM Executive Director, Milton Haughton, said,

“The study tour was an important opportunity for fishers and fisheries officials from the Caribbean and Pacific islands to exchange information regarding their experiences in FAD fisheries development and management.”

The Pacific delegation had their first information exchange with fishers, fisheries officials and private sector vendors and processors in Barbados, where small tethered FADs (called ‘screelers’) are used to attract flyingfish. Next, they traveled to Grenada, where they met the Minister responsible for Fisheries, Hon. Alvin Dabreo. The Minister expressed his country’s commitment to strengthening collaboration with the Pacific SIDs and promoting the development of sustainable FAD fisheries.

During their visit to Grenada and Dominica, the Pacific delegation teamed up with local fishers to make fishing gear which they used to harvest tunas and other species that had aggregated around the anchored FADs set near the coastline. Grenada operates a vibrant small-scale FAD fishery, which it introduced from Dominica, a leader in FAD technology and operation in the Caribbean. The participants explored and discussed the role of the fishing cooperative in promoting and supporting the development and management of the FAD fishery in that country.

The study tour was a critical part of the collaborative and consultative effort by the CRFM and the FAO to facilitate the exchange of fishery-specific information, as well as to collect, synthesize and analyze data PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE and information on the small-scale FAD fisheries in the Caribbean and Pacific SIDS. During the tour, participants conducted an analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT analysis) relevant to the FAD fishery, to derive a set of best practices that would support sustainable development and effective management of small-scale FAD fisheries in the Pacific and Caribbean.

Back in 2012, Vanuatu introduced a FAD design based on the Caribbean model, which was modified to adapt to maritime conditions in the Pacific. 

ABOUT THE CRFM
The Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM) was officially inaugurated on March 27, 2003, in Belize City, Belize, where it is headquartered, following the signing of the “Agreement Establishing the CRFM” on February 4, 2002. It is an inter-governmental organization whose mission is “to promote and facilitate the responsible utilization of the region’s fisheries and other aq

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Clarification – Montserrat’s volcano at risk of imminent eruption? – 22 June 2018

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RODERICK STEWART • MONTSERRAT VOLCANO OBSERVATORY

TMR: Bennette Roach: June 29, 2018 – As a result of that article, On March 16, 2018 we front paged the following “UK newspapers endanger
Montserrat”. https://www.themontserratreporter.com/uk-newspapers-endanger-montserrat-again/ We noted: “It wouldn’t be the first time that UK Newspapers have distorted and published information that turned out unfavourable and detrimental to the Island…Following the publication on 7 March 2018 of two articles in UK newspapers members of the public have expressed concerns about the current status of the Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat (SHV)…The newspaper articles are misleading and, in the case of The Express, alarmist!”

The following article comes three months later and will help to restore some credibility… we would like to hear from ‘The Guardian’, who earlier had, according to sources, refused to recant.

The Expess: On 07 March 2018 we published an articled headline “Montserrat’s volcano update: Is the terrifying volcano at risk of imminent eruption?”.

The article said that the volcano was showing signs of intense activity. The article was subsequently amended on 03 April 2018.

The article claimed that ‘Montserrat’s dormant volcano last erupted in 1997, when the fiery mountain reared its ugly head after a two-year-longperiod of activity.’ This is incorrect.

The eruption started in 1995 and has continued ever since that date, with five “pauses” in the surface activity.

According to the Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO) the volcano is currently in such a pause, which started in February 2010.

Inflation, earthquakes and gas characterise these pauses. The first paragraph said that volcano-tectonic earthquakes in February had ‘sparking fears of eruption.

The MVO state that nobody in the Monserrat government, or scientific community has developed a fear of an eruption because of these earthquakes.

According to the MVO five earthquakes in a week is not unusual for the Monserrat volcano because the average weekly rate since February 2010 is four.

One week recorded 62 such earthquakes.

This type of earthquake activity, known as a “swarm”, is considered to be perfectly normal at this stage in the eruption.

The article also said “But volcanologists monitoring the volcano have noted increased volcanic stirring underneath Montserrat.”

We have been asked to clarify that the MVO has regularly reported on activity and that since 2010 there has been gradual inflation of the volcano and the entire island due to the influx of magma at depth.

Professor Neuberg had been re-examining some of the data in a quest for an alternative explanation and concluded that there is no reason to change MVO’s interpretation.

The rate quoted of “35 cubic feet of magma building up beneath the island every seven seconds” is a new estimate, but remains the average rate since 2010.

Consequently there has been no “increased volcanic stirring”.

Since February 2010 the advice from MVO has always been that the eruption is not over and that surface activity may restart.

https://www.express.co.uk/news/clarifications-corrections/978179/Montserrats-volcano-clarification

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Earthquake jolts BVI

Earthquake jolts BVI

EARTHQUAKE

TORTOLA, British Virgin Islands, Jun. 25, CMC – Sections of the British Virgin Islands were rocked by a minor earthquake shortly after 7:00 am (local) time on  Monday.

The Department of Disaster Management (DDM) reports that the 3.4 magnitude quake had a recorded depth of 48 miles.

The epicentre of the tremor was located 19.8 miles north-northwest of the capital, Road Town.

The territory was last rocked by a significant tremor of 4.7 on  April 6.

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Magnitude 5.3 earthquake rocks Trinidad and Tobago

Magnitude 5.3 earthquake rocks Trinidad and Tobago

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Jun. 22, CMC – Sections of the twin island republic were rocked by a magnitude 5.3 earthquake late Friday.

The Seismic Research Centre (SRC) at the University of the West Indies St. Augustine campus reports that the tremor that occurred at 9:54 pm (local time), was felt 94 kilometres east of Carupano, Venezuela, 98 kilometres west of Port of Spain and 118 kilometres northwest of San Fernando.

It was located at latitude 10.78 N. Longitude 62.39W and at a depth of 78 kilometres.

In recent months, Trinidad and Tobago has been experiencing a number of earthquakes and earlier this year, a senior official of the SRC, Seismologist Dr Illias Papadopoulos,  warned the country to be prepared for a major quake.

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CARICOM and Cuba to strengthen relations in key areas of cooperation

CARICOM and Cuba to strengthen relations in key areas of cooperation

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Jun 14, CMC – The Cribbean Community (CARICOM)  and the government of Cuba have both pledged to continue to strenthen relations in matters related to trade and the arts.

This was the outcome of talks between CARICOM’s  Assistant Secretary General, Human and Social Development  Dr. Douglas Slater, and  Cuba’s Vice Minister  Rogelio Sierra Diaz, when they met at the CARICOM Secretariat on Wednesday.

The issues related to a Disabilities Project, the extension of Art programmes at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Jamaica, and trade.

In the discussions on the Disabilities Project, Slater, who spoke on behalf of CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque,  noted that a tri-lateral  Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), among the Government of Guyana, the Government of Cuba and CARICOM had already been signed.

He explained that there was a decision to implement the Project in phases and outlined that a Centre has been constructed by the Government of Guyana and a  team from Cuba is already in  Guyana working on the Project.

He said when the initial phase was completed in Guyana and there was a clear way forward, the Project would be extended to the other CARICOM Member States.

In response, Diaz said firm steps had been taken and there was a lot to be thankful for. He said it was now important to acquire the equipment needed.

In relation to the phase of the Project that would extend it to the other CARICOM Member States, he said that the CARICOM Secretary-General and staff would play a key role in achieving the goals of that phase.

Both parties agreed that there were still some details that needed to be refined between CARICOM and Guyana.

The Cuban Vice-Minister also gave the assurance that Cuba would provide support, knowledge and training, but emphasized that the project belonged to CARICOM.

Turning to the matter of the extension of programmes in the School of Art at the Edna Manley School in Jamaica, the Cuban Ambassador said the Government of Jamaica had been contacted and the areas in which Cuba could provide assistance were identified. He explained that it was being proposed that there might be some additional infrastructural requirements for the project to move forward and various options to address this challenge were being explored.

Slater expressed an interest in further engagement on the matter and also gave an assurance that the CARICOM Secretariat would engage with the Edna Manley School to explore the available options.

Assistant Secretary-General, Trade and Economic Integration, Joseph Cox who was also present, spoke about a trade and economic partnership agreement that had been regionally applied in 12 Member States and highlighted that Haiti had now expressed an interest in joining the agreement.

We have commenced our engagements with Haiti in this regard and we will have further engagements with Cuba regarding their inclusion and that should happen in the very near future”, Cox said.

In relation to a Joint Commission in which the second protocol was signed in November 2017, he advised that Member States needed to accelerate their efforts to satisfy the legal requirements to be party to the Commission.

Under the agreement, more than 300 Caribbean products would have fees removed for export to Cuba.

The Cuban Vice-Minister said he understood that there were legal protocols that would have to be addressed, but implored CARICOM not to allow them to create further delays.

The goal of the protocol is to improve trade relations between CARICOM and Cuba.

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CARICOM countries to benefit from new Mexico-FAO initiative

CARICOM countries to benefit from new Mexico-FAO initiative

SANTIAGO, Chile, Jun 15, CMC – At least 14 Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries will design multiple projects to mobilize resources from international sources allowing them to improve the resilience and adaptation of their agriculture, food systems and rural communities to change climate.

The projects will be funded under a new initiative created by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (AMEXCID).

FAO Director General, José Graziano da Silva, and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, Luis Videgaray, signed the agreement that creates the fund with an initial budget of US$500,000.

They said that the money will be used as a pre-investment resources that will mobilize millions of dollars for resilience and adaptation projects.

“Thanks to the support of the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation, 14 CARICOM countries will design 27 projects to mobilize resources against climate change,” said the FAO Director General.

“We all know that the Caribbean is one of the region’s most vulnerable to climate change. We saw it in the last hurricane season, when the islands of Dominica and Barbuda were practically destroyed,” said Videgaray during the signing agreement in Rome.

The countries that will develop the projects are: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

Ten of the projects will be presented to the Green Climate Fund, 12 to the Global Environment Facility and five to various European Union mechanisms. They will focus on vulnerable rural communities facing climate risks.

The fund between Mexico and FAO will also support CARICOM countries develop their institutional and technical capacities for planning, decision-making and project management, to enable them to better cope with natural disasters and extreme weather events, the FAO said.

Mexican experts and specialists from FAO will work side-by-side with their Caribbean counterparts in the design and implementation of the projects.

“The fund is a combination of financial resources and human resources,” Videgaray said.

Both the FAO and Mexico say building resilience requires improving the quality of infrastructure through actions such as rectification and strengthening of river channels and burying power lines, but these are expensive investments and the Caribbean countries do not always have the necessary capital to implement them.

“That’s where international funds come in. This initiative from Mexico and FAO will allow countries to obtain much needed resources that are currently available but that many times Caribbean countries cannot access, because their projects have to improve from a technical standpoint,” Videgaray said.

The Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico explained that the fund signed between FAO and Mexico is an agreement open to other countries.

“We already have the good news that the government of Canada is going to come on board with resources. And this is key because the challenge is enormous. We must recognize that the Caribbean is not generating climate change but that it is one of the most affected regions, so we all have the responsibility to contribute, ” Videgaray added.

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EU promises assistance to Caribbean in developing biodiversity strategy

EU promises assistance to Caribbean in developing biodiversity strategy

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Jun 15, CMC – The European Union (EU) has reaffirmed its financial support for regional sustainable development while acknowledging the need for the development of a Caribbean biodiversity strategy over the next 5 years.

Chargé d’Affaires at the EU Delegation in Guyana, Layla El Khadraoui, told the participatory regional workshop for the development of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Biodiversity Strategy that Europe, which has been a “reliable friend” to the region is hoping “that the exchanges throughout this workshop will guide the discussion towards a concise Regional Biodiversity Strategy for the next 5 years.”

Chargé d’Affaires Layla El Khadraoui at the
EU Delegation in Guyana,

Describing the EU as “the world’s largest contributor” to cooperation for development and climate financing, she said it increasingly integrates climate change into its broader development strategy.

The diplomat said much work she noted has been done with the UN Environment “to build a strong regional approach to the conservation and management of marine and terrestrial biodiversity in the Caribbean, focusing initially on Cuba, Haiti and Dominican Republic” with a budget of Euro 3.5 million (One Euro=US$01.29 cents).

She said with an additional budget of Euro 40 million, the EU will also be providing support to 12 of its ‘overseas territories’ through a regional programme focusing on resilience, sustainable energy and marine biodiversity.

She described climate change as “burning priority” of the EU for which it is using 20 per cent of the funds from the contributors by 2020 for projects and programmes related to climate change and disaster risk reduction.

El Khadraoui said those financing priorities are with the knowledge that the Caribbean Sea region is particularly sensitive to natural and climate related disasters.

“Each year hurricanes are a risk for many of the islands, and they are expected to become more intense in the future because of climate change.

“Various Caribbean countries are fringed by mangroves, sea grass meadows and coral reefs, all of which form an interrelated ecosystem that is not only important to the economic and social well-being of the islands and countries, but they are key elements for adapting to the countries’ increasing vulnerability to these more intense natural events associated with climate change.,” she said.

She noted for examples that the mangroves, sea grass meadows and coral reefs not only provide well-documented protection against strong waves and storm surges during tropical storms and potable groundwater supplies, but they provide food, shelter, habitat, important nursery grounds and reproductive areas for many species.

“Mangroves and sea grasses also capture significant volumes of CO2 released into the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels,’ she said, while underscoring the critical importance of proper management of biodiversity.

“Most tourists appreciate the beauty of landscapes and seascapes like healthy coral reefs, beautiful beaches and other ecosystems that provide a broad range of essential services that would be either expensive, or impossible to restore or replace once they are lost.”

Therefore, she added, “investing in protecting and building the resilience of nature´s free services on the land and in the sea is a necessity for the well-being of the islands’ and countries’ future generations,” El Khadraoui told delegates.

Meanwhile, the Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat says it is resolved to present to the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) by year’s end, a CARICOM Biodiversity Strategy (CBS) that will guide the protection and sustainable use the Community’s natural resources.

Assistant Secretary-General of the Directorate of Human and Social Development, Dr Douglas Slater, said this effort is collective and timely to accelerate progress in achieving regional commitments under the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity (CBD).

The CBS is an output under the Caribbean Hub sub-component of Phase II of the Programme for Capacity-Building related to Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.

The process has been funded by the European Union under the 10th European Development Fund and has received implementation support from UN Environment, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), CBD Secretariat.

The Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI) is aiding the development of the CBS for the CARICOM Secretariat and is also facilitating the workshop here.

Dr Slater noted that biodiversity and the regional economy are “deeply interconnected.”

He said the natural ecosystems of the region provide the people of the region with essential goods and services such as food and nutrition, medicine, recreation, fuel, storm protection, and climate resilience.

He said for those reasons, it is critical to “pause and take stock.”

The CARICOM Secretariat, in collaboration with UN Environment, has therefore coordinated the preparation of a progress report titled State of Biodiversity in the Caribbean – A review of the progress towards the Aichi biodiversity targets which will be released shortly.

Dr Slater said CBS will allow COTED to advice on the post-2020 biodiversity priorities for the Region and establish linkage to the Small Island Developing States (SIDs) agenda as well as the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

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Campaign to combat childhood obesity launched

Campaign to combat childhood obesity launched

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Jun 15, CMC – Barbados has launched a campaign aimed at addressing childhood obesity and the government has said it is examining the feasibility of restricting foods high in salt, fat and sugar from the school environment and from being marketed to children.

Health and Wellness Minister, retired Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic, speaking at the launch of the Childhood Obesity Prevention Campaign, cited a report by researchers at the University of the West Indies (UWI) showing that in 1987, only 8.5 per cent of Barbadian school children were obese.

However, by 2010, the percentage rose to 32.5 per cent and it is now projected that the figure could increase to 50 per cent by 2030.

“Childhood obesity is harming Barbados through its impacts on the health and social fabric of the country. Not only is the burden of obesity in children large but it is projected to continue growing unless we take decisive action,” Bostic said.

He said that the impacts of childhood obesity on health encompassed issues such as increased risk of adult obesity and increased risk of non-communicable diseases, depression and anxiety.

The campaign, an initiative of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Barbados, and dubbed “Stop! Yuh TOO Sweet,” will initially focus solely on the support of policy change to ban the sale of sugary sweets in schools.

Bostic gave the assurance that the government was committed to addressing the issue in several ways including working in partnership with a variety of agencies.

Other initiatives include promoting breastfeeding as an integral part of early child nutrition; supporting the monitoring of growth and development in early childhood; and encouraging regular physical activity in school-aged children.

He said that the Ministry would be engaging the food industry on reducing the production, manufacture, distribution and marketing of energy-dense and high-salt foods.

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Ant

Get Rid of Ants Cheaply and Naturally

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Home Remedies for Ants

Search online for “ways to get rid of ants,” and you’re likely to turn up page after page of results, but which ones work and which ones don’t? It’s not so easy to decide. Save yourself the hassle of sifting through the lore, and give these cheap, natural and science-based ant remedies a try.

 

  • 01

    Vinegar

    Ant
    •••

    Wipe down your countertops, cupboards and any other places where you’ve spotted ants with a 50-50 mixture of white vinegar and water. Repeat the process throughout the day to maintain the efficacy. In addition to repelling ants, vinegar is a great all-purpose cleaner.

    Why This Works: Two reasons, really: ants hate the smell of vinegar, and it removes the scent trails that they use to get around. Observe ants for a little while, and you’ll see that they all follow the same path in and out of your house. If you eliminate their scent trails, it will give you a serious leg up in the battle.

    Warning: Vinegar is not safe for natural stone countertops. If you have granite, marble, quartz or some other type of stone countertop, use your regular spray cleaner to wipe down your counters instead. It’ll still help with the ants

 

 

 

  • 02

    Chalk/Baby Powder

    Chalk pieces
    •••

    Draw a line of chalk in front of the spot where the ants are entering your home. It’ll act as a barrier that they won’t cross. Refresh your chalk line periodically, so it continues to work.

    Why This Works: No one is really sure. Some people think it’s because ants don’t like the calcium carbonate in the chalk. Others think it’s because the chalk line interrupts their scent trails. Whatever the reason, it seems to do the trick. Try it, and see for yourself. This is one time you could even put your kids in charge of the pest control.

 

 

 

  • 03

    Borax

    Borax
    •••

    Mix together equal parts borax and either syrup or jelly (borax and sugar also work). Then, place the mixture where the ants will find it. If you have small kids or pets, be sure to put it out of their reach. It may be natural, but it’s still toxic.

    Why This Works: Once consumed, borax damages both the ants’ digestive systems and their outer skeletons, which means certain death for them.

 

 

 

  • 04

    Herbs/Spices and Essential Oils

    Cinnamon
    •••

    Sprinkle cinnamon, mint, chili pepper, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cloves or garlic in the area where you’ve seen the ants. Then, treat your home’s foundation in the same manner. Placing bay leaves in cabinets, drawers, and containers can also help to deter ants.

    Certain essential oils have also proven to be effective against ants. Place a few drops of peppermint, citrus, eucalyptus or cinnamon oil on some cotton balls. Then, stick them in problem areas. Replace them as the scent wears off.​

    Why This Works: Many plants – including the ones listed – give off a strong scent to repel ants and other insects in the wild, and they work just as well in your home. Use something other than peppers, if you have pets or small children. The capsaicin in the peppers can irritate mucous membranes. Essential oils should also be kept out of the reach of children and pets.

  • 5

    Coffee Grounds

    Coffee Grounds
    ••
    Are you a coffee drinker? If so, get in the habit of sprinkling your used coffee grounds in the garden and around the outside of your house.

    Why This Works: Ants are repelled by the scent given off by the grounds; and incidentally, so are cats. This makes them great pest control. Since coffee grounds are full of minerals, like potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium, they also happen to be great for the soil in your garden.​

  • 06

    Cucumber/Citrus Peels

    Cucumbers
    •••

    Leave cucumber or citrus peels in areas of known ant activity to send them on their way.

    Why This Works: Cucumber and citrus peels are toxic to the types of fungi that ants feed on, so ants do their best to avoid them. If you’re battling ants in your kitchen or bathroom, switch to cucumber or citrus-scented cleaners. For the best results, look for products that are scented with actual citrus or cucumber oils. Synthetic fragrances won’t have the effect you’re after.

 

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