Posted by: canthold | August 27, 2008

Ant Rant

As you may have noticed by now, I’m afraid of spiders. I killed a creepy black one tonight, but let a giant cellar spider live. It was only that I couldn’t get to it in its conveniently inconvenient location. Which was, I might add, right under the cabinet door to the garbage where I always use my foot to open the cabinet. I’m wearing flip flops. I didn’t have a choice.

It’s hot here.

Very hot.

But not that humid  hot that we had in the Caribbean. I can handle this hot. Except that I baked today for our Back-to-School night. Don’t you just love using the oven when it’s 95-degrees out?

But I’m not going to write (anymore) about spiders or how hot it is – or even that today is the third day of school and I’m so happy that it has finally started and my kitchen floor is sticky. Nope. None of that.


When someone close to us gave my daughter an Ant Farm for Christmas last year, I thought I was going to die. I tried very hard to embrace the scientific benefit to this gift and actually got to the point of feeling badly when I killed them off because the Ant Farm was a total and complete failure. The full-fledged ant problem we ended up with in our bathroom eventually went away. I don’t even think I did anything to help it along except wipe them out manually. I had to.

Then that Carpenter Ant Scare that I had this summer freaked me out. What I have learned about ants is that certain things work for certain kinds. There are things that will work for carpenter ants that will not work for Argentine ants, which are the most common. We killed off our carpenter ants with – brace yourself – carpenter ant bait. I taped the little plastic poison centers  to the areas where they were swarming and where they were coming out. They seemed to work. (I was desperate!)

Little by little, I’ve had another ant problem go from little to pretty doggone BIG. We could see the little hole they were coming from. My husband put the carpenter ant traps nearby, but they didn’t work on these ants. They must be the plumber ants from Argentina. If I keep my kitchen clean, they aren’t bad, but then again, that’s not my style. I might be a homemaker, but I’m more of a home-un-maker by nature.

When we got back from vacation, about six battalions of these ants had managed to get into my air-tight canister of sugar. Those are some determined, albeit now dead, ants. Let me tell you.

I’ve just had enough. My tolerance is long gone and I’m now methodically working on the solutions to evict them once and for all. I started with the hole from whence they came. I got my can of Fill-Up-Foam, which fills up cracks, and sprayed it all along the bottom of my kitchen window, because apparently there was a gap along the entire bottom of that thing. They didn’t like that and some were stranded away from home, aimlessly wandering trying to make their way back. My sponge almost felt sorry for them – for a second.

Then, they started coming out a hole along the side  of my window. There must be a gap all the way around. I didn’t think I could just put it there as easily as I had done before, but I reserve the right to try again at another time.

Today I went to the hardware store and bought a puffer of diatomaceous earth. It’s supposed to be a very earth-friendly alternative to pesticides, which are simply NOT used in my neck of the woods. (Don’t tell anyone about my carpenter ant baits, please. And DE cannot be used on them, which is why I didn’t at the time.)

So, I puffed it into the side window crack. Since it takes 24 – 48 hours to work, I’m not expecting to see results tonight. I wasn’t, however, expecting to see a couple of brigades of ants crawling from under my counter into my garbage can either. I immediately went to get the puffer and – like an idiot – didn’t take proper precautions against inhaling it and I think I inhaled some. It doesn’t sound like emergency-dangerous dangerous, but it’s not good for you either. I’ve got that going for me. (Cough, cough, sputter…)

And look. It’s my bedtime. I must get a good night’s sleep so the dog will get his walk and I can try losing this floatation device that I’m wearing these days.

So there’s that…



  1. don’t get the DE in your eyes, it’s basically ground-up fossils and the dust is very abrasive. And try not to breathe it in again too.
    i hate ant and spiders too but at least its not cockroaches…eeeeeewwwwwwwww

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