|Photo: Maksim Shutov
THE ANTS GO MARCHING ONE BY ONEWe've got ants.
Judging by the army of ants, you'd think we'd hung a plaque on the front door that says "Welcome Y'all" as is customary with many Kentuckians.
Our kitchen is under siege. These ants are perfectly camouflaged—their black bodies blend with the dark granite countertops. So, how does one fight them? We tried ant baits.
By now you've realized that I am not a fan of ants, but let me throw in that I equally abhor spiders. It's possible they could help with the ant invasion, but they're not allowed in the house either. No arachnid is going to share my living space, despite the fact they eat ants.
There is nothing funny about ants, unless we cover the funny-sounding word shpilkes pronounced: spill-kees. Shpilkes is Yiddish for “pins and needles” or in other words, being fidgety or feeling anxious, like having
That's about as funny as it gets with ants.
My husband set out new ant baits, but these did not combat the enemy. So, he resorted to spraying Raid insecticide (a great product name when you think about it because a raid is defined as a hostile and surprise attack). But after the hostile and surprise attack, the ants were for the most part unfazed.
We were losing the battle and figured it might be time to call an exterminator.
Before surrendering and calling in the big guns, I goggled homemade bug killers and found that a 50/50 solution of water mixed with white vinegar is supposed to stop ants in their tracks. Easy enough. Mix, aim, and squirt. Time will tell if this simple tactic will work.
You might think this blog is giving ants a bad rep. I mean, all they've done is crawl on the kitchen floor. They haven't gotten into any food. They haven't bitten us. And they amuse our cat Ozzie.
The Old Farmer's Almanac states ants can be helpful: "Most ants nest in the ground, digging a labyrinth of tunnels that allow air and moisture to get to the roots of plants. The leaves and insects brought into the nest decay and fertilize the surrounding plants. Many ants are predators and feed on insects that attack lawns and gardens, and in the process of gathering food, they often pollinate flowers and distribute seeds."
After learning about the benefits of ants you might think I'd feel guilty about the way we've treated them. But these benefits take place outside—in the lawn or in a garden.
And definitely not in the house. If ants could read, I would put little signs on the deck by the kitchen door informing them to Bug Off! That might seem a bit harsh, so I would put up one more sign in the garden that would say Welcome Y'all! That way, we'd come to a truce. We'd all be happy. These itty-bitty creatures might be inclined to accept the invitation and make the great outdoors all theirs.
À la prochaine!