For much of the past two weeks I’ve been in armed combat with tiny, dark brown ants. It seemed like there was at least a million of them. I discovered them one afternoon in my kitchen.
They were scurrying in and around the microwave oven above the stove. I turned the microwave on for 30 seconds, but the ants didn’t seem to mind. They were also on a counter top and the cookie jar.
I squashed several with my forefingers and thumbs but the dead ants were quickly replaced.
The ants scurried around. So did I. They seemed to know what they were doing. I didn’t.
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I panicked, but then vaguely remembered I had a half-full, trigger-operated bottle of bug poison in the garage. I hoped to use that to stop the ants before they went any farther. That was a dream.
Our last previous ant attack was a year or two ago. They streamed up out of the ground, climbed a few inches of exposed concrete-slab and then disappeared into the back wall of our house.
Now I planned to squirt the insecticide all along the crease where the house foundation meets the dirt.
But nothing is simple. A low hedge of leafy bushes grows along much of our house’s back wall. So I found my pruning shears and butchered any hedge branches that touched our back wall or came near it.
I then aimed my bottle of insecticide at the crease where the house foundation emerges from the dirt. Next I squeezed the trigger as fast as I could, while moving along the wall. Pretty soon I had sprayed the dirt and foundation along most of that back wall.
But I was almost out of spray. And I hadn’t seen any trace of ants. So I decided to inspect the rest of the house. Sure enough, I found this year’s ants were invading under a front corner of the house. So I saturated a few inches there with my remaining poison.
Then I went back into the kitchen and used my small vacuum cleaner to suck up all the ants I could find. I then put the vacuum cleaner out on the patio in case any of those ants had survived.
The next morning I saw only few ant stragglers in the kitchen. I mashed them and felt very satisfied.
But the next day more ants showed up. And in a few more days there was another full-scale ant invasion.
Still, I’d learned my lesson. I bought insecticide in gallon jugs with attached sprayers.
I cleared a strip around the house’s entire foundation. Then I generously sprayed insecticide wherever the ground touched the foundation.
Since then I haven’t seen even one ant in the house. I’ve also washed the cookie jar and I frequently wipe the kitchen counters.
But please don’t take my word on this. I’m not a pest control expert. I’m probably only lucky. I just want you to have hope. There are ways to control ants. Expert advice can help.