Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Ain't No Picnic

If one were to have, for example, a colony of picnic ants who decided they had squatter's rights to your kitchen; what might one do?

I've looked around a little and as a costly back-up have the name of a recommended exterminator, but I'm wondering if we can find a happy medium where the ants and I can come to a mutual parting of ways. I'm thinking a little more involved than the ant "traps" that currently dot the landscape of my kitchen yet something short of burning the whole house down and building a new one.

My repetoire is about exhausted. Searching the internet I've come up with these gems:

  1. Clean your room and pick up food wrappers (My family or the ants? I'd take the ants 10 to 1)

  2. Essential peppermint oil (at least this suggestion *smells* good)

  3. Follow the ants to see where they live (and I thought I had too much time on my hands)

  4. Draw a chalk line (and what? dare them to cross it?)

  5. get TWO GALLONS of ant/bug spray and use spray your house (what, only TWO?)

  6. Refrain from storing any food out in the open (see below for my epiphany moment on this one)

  7. Sweep or vacuum the kitchen floor weekly (I don't know about you all, but in my house waiting a week to sweep or vacuum would bring in ants from neighboring subdivisions)

Some of you may remember during my college days, a few of us (you know who you are!) babysat for some people who held some, shall we say, alternative parenting/living/eating/etc...beliefs. One of the families had an ant problem, which we had been warned about as the *solution* they came up with was to (I'm not kidding here, people) write notes to the ants politely explaining the family's proprietory status in the house and requesting that the ants find a more suitable dwelling place. My then boyfriend/now husband suggested once that we write a note back to them, on behalf of the ants, explaining their point of view and how they would love to find someplace else, but with the cost of move and it being the middle of a school year and all...But then again, these are ALSO the same people who left little plates of food and drink out for their ancestors to eat.

Okay, wait a minute, I think *I* just solved THEIR ant problem...clearly they hadn't seen bullet number 6 above.

So, swell, the crazy people I babysat for 15 years ago are free of ants. And me? I think I'd better go sweep the kitchen floor again.


Cath said...

I used lavendar oil around ledges and across pathways they took. Never tried peppermint oil. But the lavendar oil seemed to help some. I also fed the ant hills in the yard a tablespoon of uncooked GRITS. Heh heh heh. The theory was they would eat them and implode but not until they ahd taken then into the heart of the hill to the Queen ant thus removing the whole ant colony. Dunno if it worked but I chuckled each time I did it.

patjrsmom said...

You are a sick and twisted Southerner, my friend. Clever, but definitely twisted. Where can I git me some grits North of the Mason-Dixon line, huh? ;-)

Anonymous said...

My grandmother used to pour either straight bleach or borac (sp?) acid to "burn their little feet". That's what she used to say. Me thinks that Cathy S. would like this solution too!!!!

Anonymous said...

Joan's Jive Juice left the burning solution btw!! Sorry my name wasn't attached. You probably figured it out already since we used to enjoy burning things in the mad mobile!! Glad I'm back in the blogging fold again!


A few years ago my mother had a WHOLE colony of ants living in the gears of her coffee pot on her kitchen counter. I've never seen anything like it! It was disgusting. Whatever method you try, good luck to you and good riddance to them!! :o)

Anonymous said...


You can grits at any grocery store here in Illois. They aren't just for Southerners anymore. I have bought them at Jewel, Cub, and Woodmans. It is shelved with the oatmeal.

Erin D.

patjrsmom said...

Welcome back, CC. I'm a little concerned about the number of friends I seem to have who enjoy alternately blowing up/burning things...

If nothing else, by comparison, your mom's coffee maker ant problem makes mine seem painfully small.

Thanks for the grits 411. I'll check at Jewel!


Anonymous said...

Hey Jane - I just came across this lovely entry you wrote - Why, you made many MMC babysitting memories come alive again! We had some good laughs... -Heidi