Friday, July 9, 2010

Ant Invasion

We have ants. Not, thank goodness, inside our house (yet), but they have taken over our back patio. And that patio is far too close for comfort to the house and the almost always open kitchen window.

Yesterday evening, both the Best Husband Ever and I have found (and killed) a couple of ants who penetrated the perimeter, probably via dog. This morning, upon letting said dogs out in the yard, I noticed a disturbing number of tiny ants tumbling over a corner of the patio. Scanning the rest of the area, I discovered that they seemed to have put down roots over nearly all of the patio. Ugh.

After doing a momentary panic dance, I roused the Best Husband Ever from his sleep earlier than he wanted and, with only a little groaning and rubbing of eyes (because he is the Best Husband Ever, after all), he came outside to assess the situation. He did not seem as worried as me, which is good since I was semi-seriously expecting the ants to swarm over the entire house at any moment (they didn't). They did, however, do a little bit of swarming over the Best Husband Ever's feet, chomping away with their insidious little mandibles.

Now, I consider myself a fan of nature. I like hiking, blue skies, and even think waking up on the morning of a camping trip to find a scorpion hanging out beneath your neighbor's sleeping bag pretty cool (and yes, that actually happened!). But I like the great outdoors to stay, well, outdoors. It was bad enough in my mind that these ants were only a foot away from the exterior of our home. But what if they got inside? I was all for any solution that would prevent this from happening.

"Can we spray?" I asked.

"I guess . . . " replied the husband. "But I thought you didn't like spray?"

"I don't like ants. Let's spray 'em."

Yep, in the face of a slim possibility of ants in the kitchen, I was all for breaking out the most virulent, vile chemicals possible. Thankfully, the Best Husband Ever suggested using boiling water first, although he cautioned that ants are very resilient and that the water probably wouldn't kill them all. But I had to do something, so I set pots a-boiling on the stove, ready to annihilate some ants.

Forty-five minutes later, the kitchen was terribly hot from the stove top and I had spilled more than a little water down my front -- but the ants were gone (sort of). I had at the very least washed the majority of them away, deluging both the patio's surface and any crevices between the stones that might harbor nesting ants with the boiling water. They'll probably be back, but I feel better. Plus, the dogs can now go outside and then return without coming in covered with ants.

Have you ever had an infestation of ants? What did you do to get rid of them?

4 comments:

  1. I have always had animals and children around my home and yard so I don't like to use chemicals. Luckily I haven't needed them for ant control because I have a never-fail method of getting rid of ants around the yard. When I share it, people are always skeptical but it has been working for me for 20 years now and I usually only have to do it once each summer.I use instant grits to get rid of ants. I learned it from a radio gardening show many years ago. I very liberally sprinkle instant grits (or cream of wheat) all over where I see ants. The ants take the food back to the nest to share with everyone, including the queen ants. Once they eat the food it absorbs moisture in their bodies and expands which basically causes them to explode. Because they feed the queen she dies, too so the whole nest is done. The entire colony is usually gone in about 24 hours. I know it sounds crazy but it's been working for me for the 20 years I've been in my house. It's clean, safe, simple and cheap.

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  2. I JUST opened my closet a day or two ago to see a whole group of ants congregated on my Manolos. Shall I just say, I was NOT happy. I never eat in my bedroom - much less my closet - so I have NO earthly idea how they got there or why they chose my precious shoes to attack!

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  3. yogiclarebear.comJuly 9, 2010 at 8:28 PM

    WOW! no, never had an ants issue to that degree. all the best beth! XENA ANT WARRIOR PRINCESS!

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  4. [...] is being taken over by ants.  Yuck.  At least the swarm is pretty small, unlike last time.  Last year’s mega invasion had me dumping gallons of boiling water over the unsuspecting creatures without much lasting [...]

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