About two weeks ago I noticed that I had Sugar Ants in my kitchen. I've seen them before, the first summer we lived in our home, but didn't see them at all last summer--go figure *shrug*
Everyday it seems in the warm(ish) afternoons I have a parade of small black ants to watch. It does not matter how clean my kitchen is, they come anyway. I have to admire their determination and hope they represent. They are determined to come in my house and hope to find food. I know how ants are. They release pheromones as they walk around hoping to find food, they 'taste' the air, ground, and other objects for edible particles. If the ant happens to find a food source they will leave a different trail of pheromones on the way back to the colony to 'tell' the other ants where to find the food and what kind can be expected. The other ants then follow the trail back and --Viola-- they continue to come in increasingly alarming numbers, even if you have cleaned every crumb up off your counters. They still come. I've tried breaking their pheromone trail but they seem to be able to follow it even after I've just bleached the counter. Trying other household cleaners was just as ineffective.
I am a very soft hearted person towards animals, yes, even insects, spiders and bugs. I do not allow the killing of anything in my home, even spiders (they get 'escorted' out the door via a cup limo). So usually I would not wage a bloody battle against any insect in my home. In fact I've had spiders take up residence in my shower, they seem to enjoy the humidity and keep the mosquito's off us in the summer (or maybe that's not it at all, maybe they like the 'view'? LOL). I also enjoy watching cute Jumping Spiders hunt while in my house, they are my very favorite spider!
So, you get the point. I'm nice to creepy-crawlies. But these darn ants...I just cant stand them anymore!!!!!!!! They have to go. I did a Google of "how to get rid of sugar ants" *Lord Bless Google* and came up with over a million hits of different means of extermination. Boric Acid seems to be the very best thing for it. Today I picked up a bottle of it at the Pharmacy and mixed it with some strawberry jam. I smeared it on the outside of my house and waited with glee for the carnage to begin! He he he. I feel a little evil about that.
So I started checking the smear every half hour or so and after about two hours I suddenly found about 25 of my little victims all crowded around gorging themselves. They reminded me of cattle around a large feed trough, they were pretty cute all lined up. I felt a short pang of guilt about it, but, gosh they just have to go!! I also noticed as they started getting full the ones that were moving off were staggering around like little drunk sailors. If you listened carefully you could just about hear them hiccuping and calling out to their friends that they were going home to sleep it off. Ok my imagination is running amok. LOL. I touched a couple of them and they certainly didn't scurry off like normal so I knew the Boric Acid was having the desired effect. Hmmm or was it??
I realized that the whole point of this is for them to take their full stomachs back to the colony, share it with the others and ultimately feed some of the poison to the queen, thus efficiently dooming the entire lot of them. Without the queen, no eggs laid, no eggs laid means no more increased population. But my ants were already feeling high from their meal and I stated to see them freeze and die almost immediately. I over dosed them. I needed them mobile enough to lug it back for the others but and at the same time not kill them right away. So back to Google I went to ask: "recipe for sugar ant killing, Boric Acid". Right away I got a 2/1 sugar-water ratio with 2 Tablespoons of Acid per two cups of water. Wow my original recipe was a Tablespoon of Strawberry Jam to a teaspoon of Acid. Uh yeah, mine was too strong *roll eyes*
Boy does killing ever require a lot of thinking. Sheesh!!
Tomorrow I'll go out and remove my strawberry jam mixture and replace it with a proper sugar water solution. And hopefully this will be the final battle of this war dramatic ant war.