Ants: The Saga Continues

Remember my ant problem? The one where the little buggers invaded the hummingbird feeder and fouled the nectar to the point where no self respecting hummer would go near it? If you recall, the first attempt to solve the problem was the use of a cup at the top of the feeder that held a few inches of water, thus creating a moat the ants dared not cross. I think there are actually some species of ant that can form an ant bridge with their bodies and allow the rest of the colony to cross. But my ants weren’t that smart. I did try to find some tiny moat alligators with a Google search, but found nothing.

The water moat worked fine as long as you remembered to fill it every day or two, a feat way beyond my abilities. Once the water evaporated, you were back to square one. Then several brilliant readers suggested using corn meal. Corn meal of all things, and it worked! Who would have guessed? Who figured that out? Did some guy in a lab start with say, flour and then rice, and then after years of frustration and failure  hit upon…corn meal. Must have been it.

Worked for me, for about two weeks. when I noticed the hummers weren’t coming around anymore. The stinkin’ ants were back. Not only that, but most of the corn meal was gone. Whassup with that?

I tried again with fresh cornmeal and yet another batch of sugar water. Two days later a hummer approaches, slams on the brakes, does a U, and heads down the street in search of finer dining.  The ants were in the corn meal like a day at the beach, back and forth, back and forth. I’m pretty sure a couple of them had little lounge chairs and were working on their tans. No doubt, I had witnessed a sort of ant genetic mutation, an adaptation to the environment, a perfect example of natural selection, or dare we say it, evolution? No, check that. You can’t use the word evolution in Oklahoma because as Dave Barry says, “The Christians will come after you with machetes.”

Clearly, the situation called for a new bold and daring plan. I’d filled the moat with water, then corn meal, but what about…ANT POISON? Of course! Not even Super Ant could swim across industrial strength Acme Ant Poison, and that’s exactly what I went out to buy.

I filled the moat and waited. In minutes the invasion was re-organized as the ants began to make their way down the tether that held the feeder. “Halt!” the first ant screamed. “Go back, go back!” But for some it was too late. The more foolish forged ahead, took one step into the liquid, and… hee hee.

At the end of the day, I counted ant corpses. There were less than I’d expected, only 5 or 6.  Obviously, the ant intelligence network was on high alert. Somewhere, red flags had gone up and their poison hotline flooded with calls. I’m sure that ant tunnels in the entire neighborhood were bright with flashing warning lights, DANGER AHEAD!

Today, day three, the moat lies still, undisturbed with nary a ripple, the five decaying bodies in plain view as a warning to all who dare follow.

As solutions go, I got a really good feelin’ about this one, but let the record show that on the first day I see those little bastards swimming laps in the Acme Ant Poison, I’m moving.

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Published in: on August 15, 2013 at 3:51 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Corn gluten does work on some pests. I’ve recently had some ants in the house and cannot use poisons for health reasons. I have found that peppermint oil works well as a deterrent. I just put a fair amount of oil on a folded paper towel and set it next to the place where the ants are visibly entering my space. They go away but do come back a couple days later if I forget to add a bit more peppermint oil. Makes the kitchen smell nice. After nearly 3 weeks of keeping this up, the pests seem to have gone away once and for all. I am wondering if planting peppermint outdoors might be effective.

  2. I like the having the picture of the ants talking to each other.. Kind of like a cartoon

  3. funny story….but won’t chemicals i.e. ant poison keep the hummers away too? Heard not to spray the yard spray in the evevning (to keep away the skeeters) because it kills honey bees, so am back to just spraying myself. What about vinegar and …started to say baking soda, but that just foams up. Oh, a drop of dishwashing liquid keeps the skeeters from being able to hatch and the grown ones from being able to fly back up after they alight on the water….would it work with ants?


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