Sunday, June 23, 2013


For some reason, this summer I'm being harassed by ants. Big ones, small ones, red ones, black ones -- they love me. The feeling is not mutual.

ANT TRAUMA #1: Piss Ants

It started with ants in the kitchen. Every summer, without fail, we get ants in the kitchen. You know the ones -- little, tiny, black, annoying...the ones we in the South lovingly refer to as "piss ants." Yes, I'm sure some of the cause is the occasional dish in the sink that's stayed too long, but for the most part, it's the fact that there's some caulk that needs to be redone on the counter which grants the little buggers access.

So I wage war.

Our friendly exterminator said not to use any type of bug spray on the ants because it interferes with whatever it is that they use. So, I use counter cleaner. Hose 'em all down. Clean and clean and clean. Hose 'em down. Clean. Repeat. Doesn't make a bit of difference - every morning, more ants.

So with a little research, I came across the fact that ants apparently hate bay leaves. Sounds like a bunch of hooey to me, but I'll try anything at this point because I'm clearly losing the war. So I put 2 little bay leaves on the spots where the caulk is cracked and I believe the ants are getting in. I checked back over the next few hours and found a few here and there, but my assumption is that those guys were already out and about.
Tiny (yet effective) ant fighters....

Over the next few days, nothing. Nada. Not one single ant. Even when Jack started leaving Coke & beer cans next to the sink again, NOTHING!

Who knew? 2 tiny bay leaves. Done!

ANT TRAUMA #2: Red Bitey Bastards

So, in all my brilliance, I was hanging out by the pond the other day when I saw one of my lovely tomato plants growing outside it's cage. So, forgetting I was in flip flops, I immediately go to fix him up, and find a giant pile of big red bitey bastards living in my garden (oh yeah,  I stepped right in it!). Now, we're not super organic gardeners -- but we try as much as humanly possible to not use chemicals near our veggies. We use coffee grounds, egg shells, fireplace ash, leaves, etc etc -- so putting ant killer smack in the middle of my garden wasn't super appealing.

Your ant fighting arsenal.
So after a little research, I learned that ants don't like cornmeal. Well, they like it, but there was something about it expanding in their stomachs, tiny ant explosions, you know...that sort of thing. So I figured if corn meal was good, Jiffy was even better (theory being the sugar in the mix attracts them, and the cornmeal does them in). So I did some poking with my shovel and stirred them up (while wearing more appropriate shoes), dusted the general area with Jiffy mix, then came back later that night and did it again. It took a few repetitions, but eventually, they went away -- or maybe they all exploded? Who knows.....but the end result is the same! :)

Boom! I win.

Next up.... squirrels!
If anyone knows how to keep them out of my flower pots & beds away from all my bulbs, I'd love to hear it!

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