Monday, July 30, 2012

Infestation of Ants!!!

Ants!!!  Argh!!!

A long line of ants trooped in through a centimeter wide area of linoleum flooring that had come away from the door frame (due to settling of the house) that I had never noticed, since I don't really use the front door.   Then they paraded through the entry way, the living room, the dining area, the kitchen, and all the way to the one point worth reaching: the 4 gallon trash can under the sink.

I had found some spray foam, which was great for such a wide area. I immediately sealed the crack, then went about cleaning up the ants that were still inside the house.  I pressed the foam in as it started to harden, in order to reduce the unsightliness of the bright yellow mass.  Then I went off to get rid of all the armored intruders that were still inside using my preferred weapon:  a scalding hot washcloth.

Problem solved, I thought.

Three hours later, they were back.  My antagonists had discovered a new entry point about an inch away from the sealed area.  It was a minuscule crack in the door frame.

Knowing that silicone based caulk is resistant to various temperatures and isn't as prone to cracking and warping as other types, I decided to switch to that, and I caulked that area... along with everything else that could possibly end up being an entry point for those intelligent little creatures.  I saw no ants, so I figured everything was finally sealed off, and breathed a sigh of relief.

That evening, they were back.


Apparently, their intelligence was greater than I thought.

Examining the trail yet again, I discovered that they had actually managed to get in through the doorway itself.  They were coming in through an area that I couldn't seal.  The floor was uneven in that location, and the door was actually raised off of the floor.

Not only that, but the nest appeared to be located somewhere within the wall.  There were no ant trails outside the doorway.  Double whammy!

This time I chose to use cucumber peels.  

I know, it sounds crazy.  The thing is, though, that cucumber peels release a chemical called trans-2-nonenal, which ants apparently find abhorrent.  I'm still trying to find the science behind this (there's a surprising lack of studies within easy reach), but I think this holds some truth.

This is mainly because I used a cucumber peel to draw an invisible circle around two ants that were parading on my counter top.  After doing this, the ants began walking in a circle, following my invisible barrier, yet never crossing it.

Invisible barrier, made visible for your enjoyment.

Giddy, I peeled more of my cucumber and placed the peels along the entry point.  I was glad that I have cucumber growing within my edible garden!

Then I went to bed.  It was way past my bedtime!

Tomorrow I'll let you know the results.  Stay tuned!

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