Monday, July 15, 2013

The $7 Solution...I Hope

With all this wet weather we've noticed (and I'm sure you have too) that the ants have come to call.

We have teeny, tiny, ittie bittie ants here.  When we were up in Ohio, I noticed they were the big black ones.  Picnic ants we called them.

Anyway, we've always noticed the ants would come around during really dry or really wet weather.  They hang out for a few days and then mysteriously disappear.

I don't mind the little ones in the house but out in the yard I keep my eyes peeled for fire ants.  Those get a quick dose of poison and are outta here before you know it.  But the tiny little ants we have are more of a nuisance than any real issue.  Fleas are bigger than these ants.

This year though, with the heavy rains, I'm afraid that the ants are building nests in places where I don't want them.  Behind drywall and even up in the attic.

Neighbor H was out on his back porch as I finished up mowing one day.  I noticed a lady walking around with an Orkin shirt on and a spray can and nozzle spraying the foundation.

"Termites?"  I asked.

"Ants."  H replied.

Thus ensued a long conversation about ant infestations and the fact my neighbors on either side of me are spraying for them. 

"You're sure to keep getting them if you're not spraying."  The Orkin Lady pointed out to me. 

Rightly concerned with the thought of being the tempting Oreo cookie in the middle of my two neighbors I asked the stupid question.  "How much."

H answered.  "$70 a visit."

"But you'll need to sign up for a years worth of spraying."  The Orkin Lady chimed in.  "If you'll sign up today, H will get $30 off his next spray and I'll give you $30 off your first spray."

"Well, I'll think about it."  I replied dismissing the whole idea.  (Do they think I'm made of money?  Crap!  That's $800 bucks!  For ants!  Every freakin year!)

So I came into the house and relayed the conversation I'd just had to SM who just shrugged.  "They're just ants.  There's always ants around."

Not to be brushed off that easily, I googled about ants and saw tons of companies offering to spray for them and one message board that told a gal to just buy ant traps.

I guess with ant traps you let the ants come to you, they eat the bait and then take it back home to the nest where supposedly they die and kill the rest of their buddies along with them.

So the next time I went to Walmart I looked for bait traps.  There was a lady standing there picking one up and there were only a few left.  Seems like the rest of the world is having an ant invasion too.  I went ahead and bought the double strength kind for $7.


So I placed them around the kitchen as that is their favorite area right now.  We had a little trail going up a wall so I taped one in their path.  They promptly walked right around it.

"Should I spray these?"  SM asked observing the ant congo line.

"No.  If you kill them now they won't eat the bait and take it back to the nest."

After a while we noticed some of the ants going for the bait.  The next day, no ants.  Success!  At least I hope so.

Over the past week that the bait traps have been up I've seen a few sluggish ants here or there but for the most part they're gone.  Again. 

Could it really be this easy? 

And if it is that easy than why do folks shell out the big bucks to Orkin?

Do any of you have tales to tell about controlling ants at your place?
 

4 comments:

  1. We have had the ants, and a two or three roaches too, looking to come in out of the rain. We live in a mobile, and the back half is shaded, so it takes a long time to dry it out. Our landlord sprays inside once a month, but we still got some. I went to Family Dollar and for $5, bought a huge can of Raid Ant and Roach. So far so good, I think it works better than the stuff the landlord uses. The lady at the store said everyone is buying whatever they can this year, because the ants are just ridiculous.

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  2. We don't spray, we do use baits and vinegar to discourage visits.

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  3. We use borax mixed with honey. It is safer for us and the animals. The ants love it and in a few days are gone. If they won't eat it use less borax and more honey. I mix it about half and half.

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  4. I had many ant hills at our AZ home, and I found borax (20 Mule Team, from the soap aisle at the grocery store) mixed with sugar and sprinkled around the hills soon eradicated the entire colonies. Of course you'd have to be careful to keep it away from the dogs. I don't know why you couldn't make your own "traps" with something like an Altoid can with holes punched in the sides, filled with the borax/sugar mix.

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