The first thing I do every morning when I climb the stairs to our kitchen is peek around the corner to see if I can see ants in the floor and then flip the light on and check the sink and counters for more intruders. More mornings than not there are at least a few scrambling around somewhere. A good day is a few. A bad day is a full sink. Or a trail coming down from the ceiling. That’s happened too.
If they’re in the sink I just flush them down the drain and watch as their on-counter companions retreat in droves for the nearest tiny exit hole. Probably one I’ve already sprayed or plugged with bait half a dozen times.
You see, that’s the thing about the ants here: they don’t care. I spray them with poisons (even one type of poison outlawed in the United States because of its effects on humans); the first few die and the others climb over their fallen comrades and continue their raid. I spread tasty Combat-brand ant bait around all their favorite entry points; they eat it and say “thank you” and continue on their way after my garbage disposal. I use traps; they ignore them. I scatter piles of ground cinnamon on the window sills (because I’ve been told by many that that works); it doesn’t; it just makes my kitchen look dirty. I squish them, stomp them, vacuum them and drown them and they just keep coming!!! Short of burning the house to the ground, I don’t know what else to do.
We’ve determined that they mostly come in after water, since I do keep the kitchen clean and the sink mostly empty. But we haven’t had good rain in months and they mainly congregate around the faucet so that has to be what they want.
Which brings me to the following confession: I am learning to live with ants.
There are always a few scattered on the kitchen counters, but as long as they aren’t directly in the way of me preparing food, I leave them be (my rule of thumb is about 15. More than that and I bring in reinforcements). We also have ants downstairs in our bedroom that come in under the window every night at around 9ish and follow a set path underneath the dog kennel, in front of the bathroom door and underneath our entertainment center, where Meera has lost a few bits of dog food that I just can’t reach with any cleaning utensil known to man.
I was going on a tirade every night around 10, vacuuming and stomping and spraying until nobody could breath in the bedroom and everything with more than four legs was deader than a door nail. However, that gets really old after a while and, like everything else, it doesn’t work. So I’m learning to just step over that particular line of grout where they walk and go about my business while the tiny scavengers go about theirs. They’ll get what they came for and be gone by morning anyway.
It’s gross, I know, but sometimes things have to be sacrificed in the name of personal sanity.
So, do you ever just throw up your hands and let nature have its way or are you a fight to the death kind of person?