The small brown ants crawling on the cabinet and stove top (what Mom always called sweet ants) started as less than a dozen. I suppose they were scouts. I cleaned and removed everything I thought they might be attracted to. (Too late, Sharon, they have your number. )
I thought - now they'll be gone. I don't like to use poison on anything...if there's any other way.
For a few days the ants were almost gone, and I forgot about them. That was my first mistake. Still not wanting to give in, I thought "I'll give the ants two more days (Two more days???? Why didn't you just hand them the keys to your house and move out?) or until my next convenient trip to town. In a couple of days this voice in my head was whispering, "You might want to re-think this strategy."
That was when I decided to go to Fred's for some Taro ant killer. I had thoughts of a wind chime that was advertised and on sale for $12. Fred's had six wind chimes and a couple of boxes of he six-pack ant houses left on the shelf. Apparently I wasn't the only one with ants. I bought the wind chime and one box of ant houses. (There had better be something about wind chimes that gets rid of ants or I am going to start to wonder.)
Fred's didn't carry Taro.
I placed two of the six ant houses from Fred's in the kitchen and thought that should do it. They'll be gone in a couple of days, I thought. In a few days the ants were in the small honey jar on the cabinet on the other side of the sink. (Was it the gingham curtains you hung in the windows of the ant houses that turned them off and caused them to head for the honey?)
They had ventured that far before, but I thought they won't go there because I've got the honey jar sealed tightly. But I was wrong! (I bet they unscrewed the lid.) The jar has a top like maple syrup jars you find in restaurants. You just push down the top and out it p0urs onto hot pancakes. (Please...you're making me hungry.) The lid was not sealed 100%. There was a tiny crack under the spout. The ants found their way in and to the honey. They were in ant heaven. (And you were in ant hell by then.)
The jar of honey had a dozen or so dead ants floating on top of the golden brown clover honey. (I've heard of chocolate covered ants, but not honey covered ants. So, how did they taste?)
The other honey jar, with the regular screw on top and a tight seal, went into the refrigerator. I kept the dishes washed and the cabinets wiped clean immediately after every meal thinking that would do the trick. Again, that small voice whispered "You might want to re-think this strategy."
A week passed and I had to give up on the ant houses. (I tell you, Sharon, it was the gingham curtains...)
The next trip I made to town I bought some heavy duty Taro. Dad always put out a little Taro ant killer in a soda bottle cap and placed it strategically around the kitchen. (So how many cats and dogs did Dad lose due to Taro poisoning?)
I suppose the Taro stopped a full-blown invasion for Dad, but honestly, it never eliminated them in 14 days like the label on the container said it would. In time, I am sure Mom learned to live with a couple of ants on the cabinet top. She would wipe up a few, like I do, and move on. I think she waved the white flag years before I noticed those soda bottle caps with Taro in them just like I have waved the white flag over the mole hills in the yard. And over the deer population too.
"Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." I whispered to myself. I don't know if there is a line somewhere about "fool me three times", but...I am sure you have already guessed what it was like the next morning after I put out the Taro poisoning. (I'm afraid to venture a guess. Doesn't sound good.)
The next morning the ants were back and they brought reinforcements. As I sipped a cup of hot tea, I watched the ants move in a steady stream up the wall in front of the kitchen sink and toward a small clay flower pot on the window sill. They had "moved in." (But not into the ant houses, because they could not stand the gingham curtains, eh.)
The entire bottom of that small clay pot was BLACK with ants. In case you have never had an up close and personal relationship with ants (Hope I never do...) and in case you do sometime in your lifetime, ants love moist dirt and they adore flower pots. (Had you put a few flower pots in the ant houses, they might have moved into them.)
I knocked off the ants from the flower pot and moved it to another room so the ants would not be tempted. A lot of good that did.
It has been six weeks and I am still dealing with ants although their population has diminished due in part to the Taro, but mostly because I have become combative with them. (Now that's the fighting spirit!)
First thing in the morning I notice them and the chase begins. They run like the devil is at their heels as I nail first one then another with my thumbs. They now know that this is dangerous territory and that it is already occupied. They know I intend to stand my ground.
This whole ant business is taking its toll on me psychologically though. I am becoming paranoid and imagining that the ants are only toying with me, wearing me down until I give up completely and let them have the run of the kitchen. (Don't give in, Sharon. Keep on keeping on. They are bound to give up eventually and go to someone else's house and honey jar. )
I can't seem to find the humor in all of this ant business. Or the moral of the story except maybe that everything is looking for a home. Everything is looking for a home around our place for sure: the ground hog; the opossum; the raccoon; the squirrels; the deer; the snakes; and the rabbits. They all behave like they own this piece of property too. Even the skunk thinks it has a stake in this place. She has moved in under our wood pile in the southeast corner of the yard...and I think she has babies. I guess I will just have to share this place with God's other creatures and try to be happy about it.
Your friend Sharon with news from
Down on the farm
(Maybe if you would try the wind chimes, Sharon....)