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» Friday, May 09, 2003
They're Creepy and They're Oooky, They're Crawly and Not Spooky, They're Altogether Gooky, The Ant Families...
Sigh...ever feel like you've gone a step forward and then got kicked two steps back?
About 17 days ago, we found ants running around on the kitchen counter. I had to clear the entire counter, inspect everything I stored on the table for ants. James went to the store and bought ant baits and some white vinegar, which I read destroys ant trails. He also went outside and sprayed around the outside of the kitchen window (they looked like they might be coming out under the window frame). We packed boric acid powder all around the windowsill and around the edge of the backsplash. Three days later, before we went to the North Georgia Mountains for the weekend, I sprayed under the sink with Raid, especially the drainpipe.
This week I hadn't seen but the occasional ant on the kitchen counter, most of them dead, so as a surprise to James, I was finally going to put all the things still on the table back on the kitchen counter, after one more good scrub with the vinegar.
We've had three days of hard rain with creeks overflowing and people flooded south of the city. I guess the ants got displaced, too. When I went to get some dry milk out of one of the freestanding pantries (opposite side of the room from the counter and next to the sliding glass doors), what should I find among the bottles and boxes but at least two dozen ants milling about! I checked outside the cupboard and there were more in a nice little line, having evidently squeezed through what minute crack there was on those nasty doors!
So I spent last night cleaning out the whole stupid cupboard and throwing out any open packages. This I suppose was fortutious since there were a bunch of things in there James can't eat anymore and that I'm trying not to eat, but it felt so wasteful tossing it all. I wiped everything else down with vinegar, sprayed with Raid at the bottom of the cabinet and behind it, around the door where they were coming in, then wiped the floor itself with vinegar to destroy any scent trails. I also had to clean off the kitchen table because James was helping out by pulling things out of the cupboard but not noticing they had ants on them and they got on the table, too.
Now I'm worried about the other cupboard. I'm sure everything in there is containerized, and there are no obvious sign of a stream of ants. I did find one ant on one shelf, but he was dead.
I bought some new Raid ant baits today just for the cupboard. They smell like peanut butter. Hope the poison is as good as the smell.
Oh, James went outside and sprayed outside the door as well, also on the kitchen window again (this is no problem because it's so bloody hot we had to light off the A/C anyway). He said he did see ants climbing up the side of the house so it is possible they got in through the window frame last time.
Nasty little creatures.
This morning I went back into the kitchen to tidy a little more. Not sure if this was from the outside or one of the ants from last night, but I saw one at the other end of the sliding glass doors, near Willow's food and water. Just in case this was the "scout ant" I pulled the dog's bowls, wiped the food bowl down with vinegar, washed and wiped down the water bowl and refilled it, and moved them to under the kitchen table. Then I swept the floor in front of the glass doors and where the dog eats, washed it, and wiped that down with vinegar.
Now the quandary. Six years ago, when we had our other dog, Leia, this happened. They came in the other way since there was no cupboard there then and ants were just strolling in her food dish. We cleaned up the area, moved her food dishes for a week, and sprayed with Raid several times around the door. The ants didn't come back. I am wondering if I should do this again. But Willow spends more time near the door than Leia did and I worry about her. I even called the vet and asked what they use; they have an exterminator. Sigh. The vet tech did tell me she had this problem at home and she ran out of bug spray. She got rid of the ants with...get this...WD40!
I think the reason we are getting the ants again is that for the past five years we used the Ortho ant granules outside on the foundation of the house. I would put it out there as soon as I saw ants on the driveway, applying it once a month around the entire house. You put it down, you soak it, and the ants stay away. It came in a shaker bottle so you could get it really close to the concrete. (We used the huge bag in the spreader for the lawn.)
Last year every store quit carrying the shaker bottles. They have only the ant dust. I don't like the dust because it flies around when you apply it and gets on you and where you don't want it to be. If I had "Ortho'd" this year like I usually do we probably wouldn't be having this problem.