February 18, 2006

So, the Deal with Ants is,

if you can't figure out where they're getting into the house—and you don't want to overuse the ant spray—there is this desperation measure you can take: find a spot right on or by the ant superhighway, and place a drop of honey there. Wait half an hour, and soon the part of the line that had been diffuse will be well-defined with busy, productive little ant bodies. Find the entry point, spray that with ant spray (or block it off with powder, or sewing machine oil) and then wipe the rest of the critters up in a grand moment of speciesist bigotry.

But be sure to mop up that little honey drip very thoroughly, or you'll have company again, and soon.

For more household hints, PayPal me $50 tonight and I'll think of others so fast it'll make your head spin. Don't doubt me on this.

Posted by Attila Girl at February 18, 2006 09:57 PM | TrackBack

I had no idea you had ant issues!

We have excellent ant problems down here.

And of course, not to blow my own horn TOO loud, I am really very good at killing them off. A few years back I even killed our entire neighborhood infestation of the dreaded Vietnamese White Footed Ants (aka *SE Asian Ants*, *Levitating Ants*, etc.) You have NO idea how hard it is to kill those suckers. Then they bring out their dead and stack them up. I saw one spot where there were at least a billion. I mean, it was this stack, several inches high and a couple feet long, like a black snowdrift of tiny black ant bodies. With teensy little white feet.

Where was I?

Ah yes! Now: When you say *powder* do you mean insecticide? Or boric acid powder?

Because I can probably tell you how to fix this, and boric acid powder is what you need.

Clearly, your particular problem species loves honey. This makes it much simpler.

Get yourself some boric acid powder. NOT the kind sold as ant-killer! You don't want extra ingredients. (Or extra costs. The plain powder is very cheap.) Just plain old ordinary boric acid powder, ok? They usually have it at Walgreens.

Mix a mild solution of powder to water. I use about 1 tbsp powder to 2 cups water. It takes a little while to dissolve. I use a jar with a lid and shake it.

Add honey. Since your guys like it so much, I'd use a lot of honey, as much as 1 c honey for every 2 c water. Less would probably do, though.

Now put THAT down, and watch the suckers come & get it.

Putting any boric acid based powder down for them to WALK through doesn't work. Supposedly that *dries them out* or some such ignoramus notion. Bull.

You need them to EAT it. It blocks their little respiratory tubes and they can't breathe. After a while, they suffocate. Since this is a mechanical action - like, say, burning them with a blowtorch would be - they can't build up a resistance to it.

The problem you get with critters returning is because they're not taking the *spray* back to the nest. Of course not, how could they?

You want the queen killed off, okay? That's imperative. Until she dies, she just keeps laying more eggs, which hatch and come back in your house.

To kill the queen, you need to make a boric acid solution that's strong enough to kill ants, but not so strong it kills them before they take it home to mama and FEED IT TO HER. See? They have to stay alive long enough to bring it home. They'll feed it to the other stay-at-homes, too, like the nursery tenders. And you want it to taste like something they'd want to eat. Say, honey.

A 2% solution will kill most ants. As you see, the one I spelled out here is a lot stronger than 2%. You may have to weaken it some to get the best results. Experiment a bit. I figure, the chemistry bit you won't mind too much. The ant bit is probably not your favorite thing in the world.

To make cleanup easier, I usually put the sticky stuff on a piece of plastic or foil, or inside a little plastic *dish* like a jar lid for a pill bottle or a soft drink bottle cap. If it's too far away for their little antennae to detect, lay a short piece of string with one end in the solution and the other across their trail. They'll follow the fuse. Really.

It's absolutely wonderful to watch them tell all their little friends, and see everyone come running up all excited to eat their poison - YUM!! YUM!! it's the FOOD! The Food from HEAVEN!!

and then they go home, and soon they're in sick bay, and their little friends say, oh, *I* know what'll make you feel better! some of that great new FOOD! here, let me run go get some for you, you just stay there and rest, I'll be right back...

Posted by: k at February 19, 2006 09:31 PM

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