October 30, 2021
Last month i entered a war with two colonies of ants.
The invading wave of insects coincided with a concrete patio that i had poured around my house.
i believe that their habitat was so disrupted that they sought out my home as a new foraging field.
Other factors were involved.
The ongoing drought was making the ants’ source of water scarce.
i had grown a bit lax when it came to thoroughly cleaning kitchen and bathroom surfaces.
The sudden onslaught of two different colonies did coincide with the patio construction.
In some ways the ants are not so different from humans.
If a human settlement is attacked, the humans will retaliate.
If human resources are diminished, we will seek out the resources elsewhere.
In any case, i was besieged.
In the past, i have used Ortho Home Defense perimeter spray to keep insects out of my house.
An outdoor application around the base of the house and around all the window and door trim is said to last 3 months.
My experience has been an effectiveness of 6 months to a year.
If ants (or other insects) were found in the house, i simply reapplied the barrier.
This time was different.
Lines of ants from two different colonies kept coming.
Medium sized black ants found the food in the cupboards.
Tiny black ants swarmed over any greasy surfaces.
I reapplied the outside barrier.
There was no effect.
The patio construction had forced the ants under the foundation, bypassing the house perimeter.
They were making their way up through the walls and into the house from the baseboards.
I turned to organic sprays such as peppermint, eucalyptus and vinegar.
These sprays drove the columns of ants away only for them to return from another part of the baseboards.
Next i used RAID.
Have you ever looked up the symptoms of ingesting bug poison?
Even breathing RAID is a form of ingestion.
The symptoms include:
erratic behavior, nausea, headache, sore throat, inflammation, convulsions, coma and death.
While the RAID effectively killed on contact, the ants would return in a day or so.
Finally, i turned to the military.
i called Orkin.
The Orkin exterminator laid down a perimeter outside as i had done.
He sprayed the interior baseboards with a bait which combines an insecticide with a food attractant.
The ants bring the bait back to the nest and it kills other ants and the queen.
i was assured that the bait was so dilute as to not harm people or my cats.
The next day there was a surge of ants, coming back for more bait.
Within a few days there were no ants at all.
The incursive ants were completely wiped out.
Genocide of the two colonies was the definitive battle.
The last battle of the war never happened.
There are numerous ant colonies on my property.
The Orkin man offered to exterminate them too.
These colonies are not interested in my home and poise no threat to me.
i told the exterminator to let them be.
This was their home before i invaded it by building my house.
i decided to end the war with a truce.