Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Travels with My Ants

The ant problem in the apartment appears to have solved itself. I received much advice for dealing with the pests, advice for which I am grateful, but none of it seemed to work for these ants.

I had tried ‘ant-traps’, from which, I could see, the insects had taken food - and, presumably, poison - but they didn’t have much of an effect. Baby-powder was suggested to limit their movement, but the wall through which they were passing is lined by the hot-water pipes for heating, so they could simply crawl up and along them. Corn-meal is supposedly tasty to ant appetites but impossble for them to digest but this time, I think they just loosened their belts like uncles after a Christmas dinner and carried on. Orange oil was put forward as a deterrent. I sprayed enough to win a spot in an Anita Bryant commercial, and though it seemed to slow them down, it did not end their invasion.

Nature seems to have brought its own solution. Since I moved into the apartment, I have had the odd six-legged visitor. Mine is one of those semi-subterranean flats, half-buried; not quite basement, not quite ground-floor, so I expect the occasional ant or spider. This does not bother me much. Come the end of July, however, and the ant nests start sending out colonists to found new settlements. It’s an exciting time for ants, and features the winged variety hoping to fly off to new worlds. It was this time, and those ants, that were causing me annoyance.

Now, I think the colonization season is largely over. In the last few days, I have seen only one or two ants. I may be overly optimistic; I may be seeing the entomological version of the tide being drawn out to sea before a tsunami strikes. But with the the autumn approaching, the ants are calming down naturally, and keeping closer to the nest. I hope my problem is finished, at least until next summer.

As domestic difficulties go, it was never a big one, but even so, I think Renn is relieved. Right, my big boy?


  1. We're glad your ant problem seems to be resolving itself. Some years are bad for them, though we had not a one in the house this summer, for perhaps the first time ever. (Or at least in some years! Though we've had another type of insect/bug invasion, no idea what they were.)

    Anyway, if you have access to your own patio area and can get away with it (other residents not fussing), next spring try putting down some food-grade diatomaceous earth along the foundation, patio area, etc.

    We hope, though, that you won't have an further invasions in years to come.

    Purrs and peace. :-)

  2. I am glad your ant problem has improved. We had an invasion of flying ants about a month ago which also has disappeared mostly on it's own, but with the help of a bit of spraying of ant killer.

  3. I'm glad to hear your ant problem is somewhat resolved. Perhaps they have moved onto greener pastures.

    Good luck!

  4. I'm so glad to hear your ant problem seems to be resolved. I haven't had ants in my apartment, but I have had other bugs on occasion. Since I am very entomophobic, I don't know which variety comes to visit, but the cats thoughtfully deal with them for me.

  5. I'm grateful to never had ant invasion in all the years of living in my house. I used diatomaceous earth for slug control (they get everywhere here) and it really works to keep them at bay. It's super cheap and safe for the other animals. I know it works for fleas, might work for ants too, not sure.

    Thank you for your kind words about the passing of my Buddy.

  6. So glad your ant invasion has calmed down. Your posts always make me smile! Great photo of Renn.

  7. Ants...ugh! I had tons of them earlier in the season. Did the test to see if they were protein or sugar seeking ants. Then I was afraid to make the borax bait appropriate to that particular ant because I was afraid my cats would eat it. I read that natural ant agents work by disrupting the ants sense of smell. I poured some weak smelling but long lasting perfume at the ants entrance and exit area and let it dry. It worked well. I reapplied as needed.

  8. I have never had any luck with 'natural' ant deterrents.. I'm glad they are abating for you.