Okay so when we bought our home we had no clue, zero, that we were going to be living on an ant farm! One short month of clean up helped us find out really fast but they were, other than the random little ant that snuck in, outside. As much as I didn’t like them, they were tolerable. Then we moved in and the ants saw this as an open invitation to join us. So they packed their bags and welcomed themselves to my kitchen, specifically my pantry!
So let me saw I can handle most things of the creepy crawly nature pretty well. I’m not a fan of spiders but I can squash them. I don’t enjoy moths but I can get them out without one flinch. I even like bees. And I am known as the saver of snails among the walkers on our park’s walking path. However, since I was a little girl, I have never handled lizards well at all. I just panic. I come by it naturally though. I inherited the fear from my mother who in one lizard incident abdicated her role as mother in order to avoid dealing with one rather large lizard. After these last few weeks, I am sad to report that I must also add ants to my list of panic creep crawly vermin.
When we first spotted them, I politely informed my husband that our backyard was a terrarium and that he needed to do something! It may have come out a little bit more pleading than polite but I think I will stick with polite. Yep. Polite for sure. My husband lovingly spread pest killer over the yard. It worked…for a while. Then I began my obsessive mission on eradicating them because while it worked on the yard, they were now inside my home.
Did you know there are very few brands of pest spray safe for animals and humans ready available? In fact, I only found one as far as home solutions are concerned but be prepared. It is made out of rosemary and peppermint oil. To quote my son, “Our house smelled like bad pepto.” Not exactly the ideal pest control. But outside using the floral scent of Raid’s home solution spray on the perimeter of the home really didn’t smell any less toxic. So next I tried soapy water as I read it was a sure fire fix to keeping ants out…well until it dried. Then they did the unthinkable, unforgivable…they invaded my pantry and I did the only logical thing one could possibly expect…panic!
Yep panic. I yanked everything out and sprayed like a mad woman. There may have been a few unsavory words said as well. I found them in my carpet, coming from wall sockets, and base boards and I sprayed more. All the time it seemed to work but with in two short days they were back somewhere else. I got so frustrated and fed up that the next time they sneaky buggers invaded my pantry, I went on the offensive (well after a shamefully long meltdown and a call for reinforcements to my mother – yep not afraid to admit as a grown woman sometimes I still need my mother)! I bought silicone and started sealing every possible nook and cranny remotely near my pantry. I “made” my husband do a mass clean up of the ungodly mess left by the previous owners on our side yard next to the house. So I figured I got the best of them.
Boy was I wrong! Not even one day later, I was out doing weekly food shopping and I get a text from my son…we have ants coming through the sink cabinet. He sprayed and a panicked me hurried home. These pest were out of my control and each time I failed to solve my ant problem, the more and more panicked I became. This time I was so overwhelmed by them that I was not paying attention and slipped on the ant spray leaving me with torn tendons and ligaments on my right foot. I was at my wits end. I’d convinced my husband we had done all we could do and thankfully found Mike and ProCraft. They were due out on Monday…and the ants knew it!
Monday came and round one of the ants attack began…while on my morning walk, they invaded the kitchen and family room carpet stretching from one end to the other…I felt like a serial killer for a moment as I truly enjoyed spraying them and confident that the pest control company I had called would get rid of them for good. The ants retaliated.
As I sat on the couch waiting with my Yorkie for Mike to arrive, I saw an ant, then another followed by too many more to count…they were coming from the window and were on my couch!!!!!! So sprayed them again in between sending multiple panic text messages to my husband. Then Mike called and with great relief I said, “Thank God you are on your way. I’m being attacked. I’m on my second infestation today.” Then he said the unthinkable, “As hard as it is, go against your instincts and don’t kill them or try to treat them yourself.” Were my ears deceiving me…he wanted me to let them have free reign of my home…well that ship had sailed. I politely told him, “I panicked. They were on my couch.”
Mike arrived and here’s what I learned between his amazing education and my own attempts to rid myself of these stubborn pests.
- Raid and other over the counter pest controls don’t work – well that’s not totally true. They do kill them but as I learned they don’t last. It is a never ending battle if this is your chosen method of assault. As Mike explained to me, they are repellants. They leave an odor that ants don’t like but all this does is cut off survivors from the colony and send the rest to find another route. Hence, when I cut of their access to my pantry they tried my sink and my window.
- You want them to eat the poison, get it on them and then like any good virus spread as the unsuspecting ant transmits it to ever ant it comes in contact with. This is the only real way to get rid of them…and is why despite everything in me I couldn’t squash them when they were eating the bait (see picture below).
- Soap and water and other home solutions just waste time. You just get really clean ants. Seek professional help.
- Keep potential nest areas away from the house. Cut plants to be six inches off the side of the house. Make sure your grade on our yard is less than 3 to 4 inches from your foundation of bottom of your home. That way ants at least have to be seen as they invade.
- Vacuums and lint rollers work well for getting rid of the stragglers. I put this test on my couch and was quite impressed.
- When you panic, at least pay attention to where stuff was sprayed.
After Mike had sprayed outside and set bait around the house, he left. About 7:30pm that night (and of course when my husband was gone as he always was during the invasions), I turn to my window where there were multiple baits set and a large black moving dot was at the base. I had no choice. I called my husband to come home and keep from killing them…there were a few ant-icides as I was told I could kill the hitchhikers. But in my panicked and overwhelmed state of now a third invasion I was not sure I could control myself from mass ant-icide. As the picture shows, I let the ants eat the clear bait and my reward for going against all my internal screaming to slaughter them was I have not seen an ant since!
Danielle, the ant slayer, can put away her can for good.