Wednesday, March 28

the ants are marching

We have an ant problem.

I'm not used to ants. Here in New York City, it's much more common to hear stories of cockroach infestations, or rats or even bedbugs. But ants are a little foreign, somewhat wild or rural seeming. But they came with the apartment, our little roommates under the floor boards.

When we first moved in, we noticed them around the cat food. We put out some ant traps. They disappeared.

But after our party a few weeks ago, they seem to be everywhere. Or maybe we're just more aware of them. I've studied them and I know where they come in. I know where to look now if I think they might be gone.

We could put cinnamon around their hole to repel them. The problem is that there are a lot of holes in our floor, so putting a little spice around one hole won't keep them from finding another hole. I'm also tired of watching them drag large crumbs across the floor. The day after we've had a snack on the sofa the ants can be seen picking up our mess. So we've decided to wipe them out.

Being a good environmentalist, and a pet owner, I don't want to do this with real poison. If you search the internet you can see that ants can be killed by a number of common household ingredients. The problem is, we can't tell if it's working since the nest is somewhere under our floor and there seems to be a limitless supply of ants.

We started with a mixture of Borax and sugar. Christopher made it into a paste and put it near their nest. They couldn't have cared less. Then I read that Cream of Wheat works. They eat it and then it expands and they explode. I put some out and the ants were SO excited. They were swarming over the Cream of Wheat and it was gone quickly. I put out more and that was also carried away. I thought we had done it.

Of course, then we had a snack in our living room and shortly thereafter the ants could be seen toting home our crumbs.

So today I tried option number three: bread soaked in a Borax and sugar-water mixture. The ants once again loved it, unti l had doubts that it would kill them and I dribbled some more Borax-sugar-water on the bread. Then they all abandoned the bread and left.

So we'll see. Maybe they are growing fat on what we feed them.

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