Ital (eye'-tal): of or from the earth; vital; life giving; natural.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Ants Go Marching

When I was young and the weather began to get warm, my dad began his summer mantra:

Any kind of kid activity could potentially bring on the dreaded ants but dripping popsicles and ice cream cones were by far the worst offenders. We ate them outside...preferably in the grass. If any drips occurred on the concrete driveway or sidewalk they could be an invitation to a big ole ant party that could potentially find its way into the house. So the concrete would have to be washed down with the garden hose STAT. We were never told what would happen if the ants came...just that they would come. But the warning was enough for me. In fact it has followed me into adulthood and I frantically wipe down any sticky mess ASAP while exclaiming, "IT WILL BRING ANTS!"

Well, now I live in the tropics and ants are inescapable. We puny humans are on their turf. They are everywhere and they come in all varieties from giant red fire ants to standard black biters to the tiniest, busiest little ant ever.

I admit that I am fascinated with ants. I love to watch them...when they are outside. But like I said, they are everywhere here and I've been trying to be zen about them...I really am...but it's hard to shake the "IT WILL BRING ANTS!" mantra...AND I've finally learned what will happen if the ants come...they will build a nest in your CD boxes and invite all their next of kin to come over and rock out to the Wailers...

Breaking up such a raucous ant party is not much fun. On the one hand, I'm grateful that they were the tiny busy ones because they don't bite and they are actually pretty cool to watch. On the other hand, the tiny busy ones are super ambitious (not to mention industrious)...and just when you think you have them conquered they are right back to being busy...

I want to try this ant bait recipe to see if that will keep them at bay. However, borax (the essential ingredient) is elusive in these parts. Any one else have a tried and true method for keeping ants outside?


Anonymous said...

I keep hearing white vinegar. We have had ants every year since we have been in the house. They call the tiny ones 'sweet' ants. They gives me nightmares and I loose sleep- so I decided looong ago to just get the yellow can of raid for ants and live with my own guilt of using toxic chemicals. I spray it on every windowsill, on the outside, and the perimeter of the house....amazing stuff. Good luck!

Rae said...

here, you really have to hunt down the nest or provide the ants with some bait to take back to the nest to get rid of them. the chemical sprays just don't work...they always find a way around and are back the very next day. one could potentially use a chemical spray everyday and still have ants and that's just no good :(