July 10, 2008

The Ants Are Marching In...

It started a few days ago, several ants here and there that were easily squished and swiped away. Yesterday morning Ted calmly woke me up at 5 a.m. and asked if I planned to go by Walmart on my run. "Why, do I need to?" I asked.

"Well, ants are swarming the honey jar."

He wasn't kidding. I have never seen so many ants on one small counter in my life. I quickly ran 2 miles and grabbed some ant traps from the neighborhood Walmart on my way home. I guess I should have grabbed some spray, too, but I really hesitate to spray on our kitchen surfaces.

We set out the 4 ant traps and Ted headed to work. Later, the kids and Ted's mom found where the ants were entering the house, so we moved three of the traps outside. By this point the counters were clear of stuff, so the ants had nothing to swarm onto. Activity was dying down, and we were hopeful that the traps would do their job. The honey jar went through a complete cycle in the dishwasher, and we decided not to refill it until we were sure of the ants' demise.

Ants are not stupid. This morning at 5:15 a.m. they had already determinedly made their way back to that honey jar. There was a moving trail between the phone outlet and the honey jar on the counter on the other side of the sink. Would you believe the empty honey jar was full of ants!

Tobin has been a great Ant Warrior. This whole adventure has fascinated him. He has delighted in killing many of the little pests. In fact, he even (unbeknownst to me) turned on one of the gas burners to incinerate some of the more ambitious insects who were venturing beyond the honey jar. (Don't worry--I have admonished him that he is NEVER to turn the stove on again unless we are with him!)

I'm just thankful we have an ant problem and not a cockroach problem! At least ants aren't germy. And they seem fairly harmless, but I will be very thankful when I enter the kitchen early in the morning and find that my counter is not moving.


Krista said...

Ew, ew, ew! We have had an ant problem every spring. However ours are not sugar ants so usually we're okay. They do like fat though so if I've dripped anything off the stove or missed the garbage there's a little trail...
When they swarmed a couple weeks ago I was majorly disgusted. We had been gone and I came home to find literally a pile of dead ant carcases in front of my sliding glass doors.
I'm feeling your pain!

Bob & Claire said...

This must just be a bad "ant" year--we've had a terribly time with them too. We've gotten a couple each year, and Bob would spray and they would go away. This year he sprayed, and it didn't seem to even faze them! We've resorted to the traps as well, and we are finally seeing some improvement. The boys are having a great time killing them as well! I guess they are protecting us from these invaders, LOL!

ski said...

We also had an ant problem that started while we were in Disneyland. Luckily our didn't make it all the way to the kitchen they stayed by the sliding glass door. There was a crack between the door and the floor and they were getting in that way. Clint put some ant killer, a powder down the hole and then sealed it with calking. No problem since. Good luck.

Tina (www.the-miles.org) said...

Oh I'm so sorry, I HATE ants. I blame two things, the fire ants in TX and on seeing one of those B horror movies of giant ants attacking the town. It was from sneaking out and seeing what the babysitter was watching--my own fault, but to this day, ants give me shivers.

The Litwillers said...

We had stupid ants in San Jose. They never went for the food. I think Matthew's highchair alone could have sustained several colonies, but they just swarmed around aimlessly near the door. Rob used oregano to try to stop the problem. It succeeded in making the floor look green.

Here in Wisconsin, we have every type of creeply crawly imaginable. My favorites are the ladybugs who like to play in our bathroom.

My mighty hunters went after an ant with their shoes today. It took them three tries to kill the poor creature and it was so funny to watch them!!

And, hey, ants are better than mice!!!