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Annual kitchen saga resumes: when sugar ants attack!

I'm pleased to say I finished our taxes, because now I can apply all my spare time to ant war. Ant war is a never-ending battle that resumes like clockwork every spring. When little sugar ants (don't let the size of the ants fool you) attack our kitchen by the quadrillion (in case you are unfamiliar with this number, I assure you it's very large. Like infinity plus one.)

This year I tried something new. A spray made by Victor that uses mint oil ('nature's neuro-toxin'!). According to the lid, it 'kills in seconds' which my 5-year old reads to me every time I get it out. In two weeks' time, we've already gone through a spray bottle. I thought I was being very smart by finding the line of ants trailing into the house from the exterior foundation. It does kill the visible ants (in seconds!). Problem being, there are usually several million ants hiding out of site, just waiting to ambush once we have taken our mint oil spray out of the trenches. In its favor, this is no question, the most delightful smelling bug spray I've ever encountered. Perhaps it could double as an air freshener after baking fish? I do like that this spray is non toxic and natural, but so far, it hasn't made much of a dent in the ant invasion.

So I've resorted to my old standby, which is the borax-sugar solution called Terro. You put little drops of it on cardboard squares, and the ants come and lap it up like its happy hour in ant-ville. The workers take in a small amount of borax that doesn't kill them right away. Allegedly, they take the poison back to the queen, with the hope that the ant colony will ultimately perish. The only problem with this stuff is that it's sold in tiny 1 ounce bottles, and my theory is it takes at least 2 gallons to knock out the ant colony and queen. So you need a whole lotta this stuff and even more patience to win the war.

Usually I give up after a while. Or maybe the ants stop pestering us in such terrorizing hordes after the intense spring period. Although, I've never really tried just talking to them. Maybe that's what's needed. Some diplomacy. Here goes… "Ants. We've got to arrive at a new understanding. What is it you want? All I want is an ant-free zone in my kitchen. I promise, if you stay outside, I'll leave you in peace. Deal?" Let's hope that works. The 5-year-old is starting to think of the ants as pets.


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