Thursday, April 4, 2013

Spring ants invade!

photo by billy liar on flickr
Besides trees budding and daffodils blooming, I have another sign that spring is coming--ANTS!

Since moving to the country we have had to battle these tiny invaders. One day the counter top is clear (or the window sill, or the edge of the tub) and the next, there’s a line of small, black, moving hyphens. 

We fight back! Our arsenal has included outdoor killer grains--impotent. The bug man arrives in a large truck, and covers his feet with white paper booties and chooses an appropriate indoor spray to subdue them--temporary relief. Over the counter ammo serves up bait hidden in tidy white plastic garages--they turn their noses up at it. 

One friend decided that hair spray did the trick. Just aim, shoot, and freeze them in their tracks. Once the lacquer suffocates them, she wipes them up with a paper towel.

We’ve settled on a liquid called Terro. It attracts them in huge numbers. They surround a pool of this stuff and suck it up like puppies on the mother’s teats. Once they’ve had their fill, they reverse course and take it back to the mysterious, hidden nest. Supposedly they feed it to each other and die. I think it’s more like Romeo’s sleeping draught. They look dead, but then wake up to invade another day, another place. 

A most embarrassing moment: 
We once hosted a young Mexican pastor and his deacon. It was their first visit to an American's home. Bill prepared his homemade pancakes for their breakfast. (See the recipe at end of the blog.) They ate them and he offered more. They looked at each other and the pastor picked up the bottle of syrup. “Something-something-hormigas”. Hormigas? That’s ants! 

I grabbed the syrup bottle and put on my glasses. Stuck on the inside of the bottle were dead ants. We were horrified. I threw the bottle out the back door like it was an armed grenade, and apologized fifteen ways. 

Since the first sighting this season I’ve done battle on two fronts. 

It’s a temporary victory. 

What’s your best weapon against house ants? 

Pacific Rest Pancakes, Judy Waetjen

1 cup flour (we use half whole wheat, half white)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

combine and then add to dry ingredients:
1 egg
1 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk or sour cream
1 Tablespoon oil

1 grated apple
1 tsp cinnamon

Pour onto lightly oiled hot griddle. 

1 comment:

  1. We use grits. We sprinkle some outside the mound and/or places where they come to find food. The devils eat some and carry more inside to feed everybody else, including the queen. Next day, water well. Little buggers explode when they drink water. We've had success with fire ants and they are almost indestructible. Good luck!


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