Thursday, January 06, 2005

An Ant's Life

Remember that movie "A Bug's Life"? Remember all the cute little ants you rooted for to beat the grasshoppers, and when they won at the end you yelled "Hooray"? Is that the way you really feel about ants? I sure as hell don't. Especially after the rains brought an infestation into my kitchen this week. They creep me out to no end. I look at the minions scrambling around aimlessly to find a scrap of food (or a dead ant) to carry back to the colony and it gives me the willies. I certainly don't go "Hooray!"

Lily and I did a little research on how to rid ourselves of the heebie-jeebies, and we discovered that vinegar is a deterrent. And then through trial and error I found that it's not actually a deterrent as much as it throws their scent trails off; hence they don't make ant trails and gather. So after making a little playpen to contain them out of vinegar-soaked paper towels, I did some research on the web on how to make sure they didn't stick around.

Terro looked like the winner ant solution, so off I went to the local Ace Hardware to buy it. I also bought some traditional baits called "MaxAttract" just to make sure I covered my bases. Terro is some gel-type stuff that looks like the bottled hand sanitizing gel you might see people rubbing their hands with after getting off Muni. Especially the number 19 Polk. Terro gives you paper discs about the size of a quarter that state "PLACE TERRO HERE" so the ants will know where dinner is served.

Terro is to ants like shit is to flies. They circled around and on top of the globule I set out for them. And because it seemed so popular, I dropped a bunch onto the tops of the traditional ant baits as well. About 2 hours later there were probably 20 times as many ants in the paper towel pen as before. A day later, the ants dropped off to about 1/3 of the original bunch. I felt so proud that I'd done my husbandly duty of keeping the house safe from intruders that I showed Lily as soon as she walked in the door home from work. She said "aw". She felt bad that we had done this to them. I can't win. Hooray!

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