New Critter Foe

First there were fruit flies. Then came the mouse invasion. Now another intruder has entered our home. This is the most disgusting one yet.

With so many creepy and icky crawlers around in the past year I feel I must confirm that we do not live in squalor! We have a nice little house, perfectly sized for two, thank you. But this summer we’ve been visited by carpenter ants. In and of themselves they are not the grossest things on the planet. They’re big and bulbous and they can run like the dickens.

close-up of a carpenter ant

It’s the remedy that’s disgusting. My News Director aka best boss ever, Scott, has been through this war and emerged victorious. So he advised me on the creation of little bait battle stations. They involve small plastic, lidded containers the size of a cream cheese tub. Inside you mix three parts sugar to one part Borax, add water, and stir in a spoonful of peanut butter. Make holes a half-inch above the mixture, the ants find the stuff, they cart it back to the colony and the Borax exterminates them. At least, that’s the idea.

I woke up the morning after setting out my bait stations to four drowned ants inside it. My entrance holes are exactly as specified and yet the ants are ending up in the mess and unable to get out. Despite knowing that they are dead and inside a container from which they cannot get out, and knowing that the container is well away from any food we will prepare or consume, I am still grossed out by the look of it. And I’m going to have to take the blueprints back to the drawing board because at this rate the colony will keep sending scouts out to drown. That’s not how it’s supposed to work! If they’re living in the house – the thought of which has made my skin crawl off my body and run out of the room screaming – they could be gnawing away at the wood. This is not good.

So if you have any experience with ridding your home of carpenter ants, I’d desperately like to know what I should do. They are always showing up in the same general area of the counter and that was proven by the body count from one night. I want them out! Help me?

3 thoughts on “New Critter Foe”

  1. I had to hire a pest control company, once a year for the last four years you have to kill the queen to stop the ants.

    1. Ugh. I was hoping to avoid that. My ant guru has suggested that I make a thicker mixture with honey instead of sugar and water so that’s what I have done and replaced the icky containers with fresh, new icky containers! Here’s hoping.

  2. Well, IF you have to resort to pest control, at least you don’t have to worry about any pets getting sick.

    Sorry I don’t have any answers; we usually get ear wigs in the summer, or flying daddy-long-leg thingies in the fall. (grown up grubs) Not an infestation, thankfully, but I hate when they get in the house. (shudders)

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