A month into moving into our new place and we find that we have little roommates. If the words "living with ants" doesn't give you the creepy-crawly-icky-all-over feeling then you need to come over and help! This post really isn't about Shio battling the ants. It's really about humans vs. ants. I ran the thought of training Shio to eat the trail of ants but Josh wouldn't have it. What? Don't judge me. It's protein. :)
The Shio versus portion of this blog is really about how we naturally battled the ant invasion so that Shio would not be harmed by our techniques if he stupidly decided to go around the living room licking everything on the ground. After searching the web, I found some try and true natural methods for ridding ourselves of the unwanted house guests.
First, it's important to understand ants. By learning how they operate, we learned the best way to thwart our invaders. We don't want to resort to killing them unless they are that stubborn about leaving our cozy abode.
Ants live in colonies and one class of ant within the colony is the worker/gatherer/forager. Worker ants make up approximately 10% of the colony and it’s their job to go out, find and collect food then bring it back to feed the rest of the colony.
Ants are mainly looking for two things: food and water. If it’s getting cold outside, they also like to settle in to find shelter.
Ants leave a scented trail for each other so they can easily find their way back to the jackpot (the food source in your home). Trails can be both visible and invisible to human eyes, but ants can follow the trails with ease. Washing away these trails will confuse them and make it more difficult to find their favorite places.
Second, we need to find a way to get the ants to bring poison back to their home to eliminate their colony and queen. Smushing the worker ants simply won't cut it because the colony is still there. I found many forums online where they list a 1:3 borax and maple syrup/honey mixture and decided to give this a shot.
We left this mix on the ground with a cover on the ground for two days. Our ants were nocturnal and came out at night and took the bait right away. At one point when I lifted up the cover I saw 30 ants positioned around my syrupy concoction like animals in a safari would around a watering hole. They were taking the bait! It took everything for me not to scream and spray insecticide all over them to kill them right away - good thing I didn't! The next morning I saw about 5 ants hanging around and a day later... no sign of ants. 3 days later and still no ants. It worked!
I love home remedies for this reason. They are so effective without the nasty chemical side effects. Oh, and it's much cheaper than going out and hiring an exterminator. :)
Shio on the other hand still has no idea that ants existed in our home and sunbathed as we battled the ants.