I'm not sure when I outgrew my aversion to ants. I no longer get creeped out by them, and do find them fascinating to watch--the one's on my mom's willow trees actually kept herds of aphids lined up along the trunk so that they could collect the honeydew. It was funny watching them guide or carry the aphids around. And when Ted and I were hiking to Machu Picchu in Peru, we would see trails of them along the path dozens of yards long. Now those were huge ants.
Over the last week, we've been finding a stray ant here or there in the kitchen. "Sugar ants," my mom called them, a name she picked up from her grandma. "They're pretty teeny," I said. "I can't get all that worked up about them." They weren't like the carpenter ant infestation we had at our condo last summer. Now those were some big ants--as long as my thumbnail, so big you could actually make eye contact and know they were looking right at you. In comparison, these little guys at The Box House were not a big deal.
Until they got to the chocolate cake sitting on the windowsill. That was an act of war.
So I went to Lowe's in search of boric acid; it's what we used last year to get rid of the carpenter ants. It came in liquid form, and we squirted it into gaps in the baseboard trim where we suspected they were making their way inside. It took a couple of weeks of repeated applications, but eventually the scouts must have taken it to the queen and killed her off along with the rest of the colony. There haven't been any ants spotted since then.
Only, Lowe's didn't have any straight boric acid. I was forced to scout the shelf for a suitable substitute. The one I settled on--and don't make me tell you which one, because I left the box upstairs and I'm typing away in my basement office now--is good for pavement ants (a.k.a. sugar ants) as well as fire ants and carpenter ants. It's also good for little black ants (really? that's a scientific name?), acrobat ants (like a flea circus or something?), odorous house ants (who comes up with these names?), and crazy ants (based on the name alone, I certainly don't want to come across one of those). So, it should be just a few days until we have an ant-free kitchen.
But now that I have the bait set, I'm not happy with my decision to go the man-made chemical route. Has anyone tried any of the organic remedies kicking around the Internet? I know what I bought will do the trick, but if I can find an ant killer/repellent that won't be harmful to any canines or humans in the household, I'd feel better about using that the next time there's a problem.
At high tide the fish eat ants; at low tide the ants eat fish.