Monday, October 15, 2012

Ants Are Like Zombies

They look fairly harmless.  Some people might shudder at the sight of them.  Imagine hordes of them.  In your house.  Every time you turn around.       
That has been our life for the last few months.  We've been living through Antpocalypse. 
Having been through infestations during particularly dry winters and long summers growing up, I know that poison never works.  I also grew up with parents who believed that every creature had a reason to be here - in the case of ants, they killed off fleas and bedbugs.  Is this true?  I don't know.  We grow up with so many myths that get passed down from generation to generation.  In the classroom, we frequently hear that pets can't sleep with you because if you swallow a hair, you will get cancer.  Not true.  But their grandparents are telling them this and the children are really afraid.  I would like to believe that ants kill fleas and bedbugs, but my cats and dog were scratching through the summer so I'm pretty sure we can cross fleas off the list.
As an adult, I live with a man (my husband) who believes that Humane Education should extend to all creatures that venture into our household.  Every spider is safely corraled and taken outside to safety.  He wasn't feeling the ants, though. 
First they cropped up in little places around the kitchen.  We're clean people.  I spray down the counters nightly.  But these little suckers could find any little crumb.  And they would swarm, voracious appetites devouring the crumbs tiny piece by tiny piece.
Like zombies, they are relentless.  You beat them back in one place and they crop up in another.  If the cats didn't finish the entire piece of food they took out of a dish, they were there.  If the trash wasn't taken out each night, they were there.  Anything sweet had to be ziploced or tupperwared.  Sealed.  Still, they would swarm if they caught a scent through the bag.  And they can fit through the tupperware seals.
Enter Google.  I searched for every home remedy to be found.  Let me save YOU, the reader, some time:
Cornmeal - Didn't work.  The whole theory that they take it back and explode?  More like a population explosion.  They loved the cornmeal - and they brought friends who brought friends who brought friends of friends.
Cinnamon - Sweet enough to draw the most picky of ants. 
There really wasn't a scent that they didn't like (bay leaves, vinegar, cloves, cayenne pepper).
Talc - Guests started asking when we had a baby.  And still the ants would come.
The best solution?  Tracing them back to their entry point and sealing it tight.  Caulk has become my new bestest friend. 
The second best friend?  Soap and water. 
First, we caulk.  Then, we spray the area like crazy with a mixture of method dish soap and water.  Finally, we wipe it down.  This erased any scent.
Like the folks on The Walking Dead, we're protecting our little home.  We're beating back the ants and sealing up the cracks to keep our residence safe.  Thanks to a little soap and water (and a whole lot of caulk).
What about you - are you having ant problems this year?  Have you ever found home remedies that work?

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