Ants! Ants! Ants!

Last night we came home from my parents’ house rather late. We’d been at my grandmother’s 85th birthday party, a family gathering that only lasted till 9 for most of my extended family, but we stayed till 10.

We arrived home at 11 something, discovering to our disgust that a large number of ants appeared to be having a carnival on our kitchen counter.

After the initial frenzy of ant smashing, we managed a more careful analysis of the situation. The good news is that the ants are not carpenter ants. Kristen’s seen carpenter ants before and I’ve been interested in insects for much of my life so we’ve at least got the necessary background knowlege to determine that.

What’s not good news is where the ants were.

They chose to congregate in exactly the spot where our dishes sit when there’s no room for them in the dishwasher. In short, they’ve identified a food source.

While we’re not particularly horrible housekeepers, dishes do sometimes sit on the counter for a couple days. It’s easy to imagine ants discovering them. In fact, despite rinsing our dishes before placing them there, we’ve sometimes found one of our cats licking our plates at night.

After putting the kids to bed, Kristen read up on ant problems online. Then she drew chalk lines on the counter (we have plenty of chalk). Ants apparently have a hard time crossing chalk lines.

Then she mixed yeast and honey into a paste and put them on bits of paper in the areas she’d blocked off. Why? Yeast eats sugar and lets off gas. If it does this inside an ant, the ant dies.

We found several dead ants this morning. After church, we bought ant traps. Hopefully they’ll finish the job.

3 thoughts on “Ants! Ants! Ants!”

  1. The anti-ant solution in West Africa is to leave grains of rice scattered around on the counters. They’re Queen killers, because the workers take the rice to the Queen, she eats a grain, it expands inside her from contact with moisture, and voila — no more Queen. In theory. I never saw any exploding Queens myself, but it seemed to help curb ants.

  2. That’s something to try.

    Funny how both the yeast/honey paste and the rice solution involve exploding ant digestive systems. I can’t help but wonder if ants are particularly vulnerable to this or if it’s just vengefulness.

    After seeing the ants on the counter last night, I find that I love the idea of exploding ants.

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