Do you know what these are? They are peonies. (This pic is from a year or two ago–this year’s batch hasn’t even leafed out yet.) Do you know what loves peonies? Ants. Ants adore peonies. If you look closely at peony buds, you’ll notice ants crawling over them like travelers over little white globes. Aren’t they busy, busy little things. Folk wisdom says that peonies need to be worked by ants so they can bloom. But apparently that theory is horse twaddle. Ants like them because they like them–not because they do peonies any favors. DO NOT BE DECEIVED. ANTS ARE EVIL.
I despise ants. It’s not that I don’t want there to be ants in the world. They have their function in nature. They break down…things. They carry off…things. They eat…things. The world is full of things for them to break down, carry off, and eat. So why do they show up in my kitchen every year?
Two years ago, on top of the regular kitchen crew, I found some in the dining room. I discovered that Favorite Son had been eating pretzels at the piano. 🙄 I didn’t know this until I found a string of ants were moving from the piano, over the top of a china cabinet, down the china cabinet and into the kitchen. There was probably some ant train siding where some of them were getting off to feed their queen or something. But I couldn’t tell. Once the pretzel was removed from under the piano, the ant population decreased significantly. Though they hung around all summer and into the early fall.
They started early this year. Because of the warm winter, I saw a few scouts in the late days of February. Then we had a break with some colder weather and they temporarily disappeared. But last night, I picked up the animals’ water bowl and found an ant convention beneath it. *shudder* I have a strong visceral response to seeing insects and spiders in the house.
We are not dirty folk. We don’t leave crumbs on the counter, or in the cabinets. We don’t even leave dishes in the sink. But we still get kitchen ants. It feels like some kind of moral failing to have ants in my kitchen. Near our food. In our sink. WTH? The empty sink?
There’s a raised deck outside behind the kitchen, but it’s not raised more than a couple of feet, and the deck is wide, so there’s no opportunity to spray that area or to find out where they’re coming in. So we must do battle indoors.
I’ve tried ant traps, vinegar, and spray bottles of soapy water. The vinegar destroys the trail scent, but I have to do the counters several times a day, and that gets old. Chemicals aren’t an option because kitchen.
There are many, many suggestions online for getting rid of them, and some are pretty weird.
-Pepper and vinegar
-Cream of Wheat (unprepared)
I could go on, but you see where this is heading, right? Madness.
When I found the party beneath the water bowl last night, I grabbed the first thing at hand. They got thoroughly Windexed. And as one website says, “Wet ants are easier to clean up than dry ones.” Amen to that.
So, assuming that I’m not the only person on the planet with kitchen ants, please share your safe, ant-killing ideas. I suspect I’m not the only one who could use the advice!
March 30th Words
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Long fiction: (Edited 120 pages)
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Exercise: 45 minutes exercise bike
2 thoughts on “The Ants Are Coming!”
Ortho Home Defense Max sprayed around the outside foundation of your house. Spray along the deck where it meets the house. Plus – even though it’s your kitchen, spray it around the baseboards and under the sink, as well as exterior wall baseboards in other rooms. Obviously, you don’t spray counters. The goal is to stop them before they get to your counter.
Almost zero smell and very effective. You can get it at Walmart, Lowe’s, or Home Depot for cheap. Don’t bother with the battery operated one. The regular one with the pump action sprayer works just fine and costs way less. I also spray it along the edges of my sidewalks where I have an annual “running of the ants” when the babies hatch. Gone. Usually one spraying is enough as it has residual action.
Trust me on this (I’m a Master Gardener), all those home remedies are messy and worthless.
Yes–That’s a great product. I use it all around the house but haven’t in the kitchen. Given it’s April 1, it’s time to get out and do it, I guess. We also get these creepy little worm-like things that come in on the garden side of the house. Need to get there, too.
Hope you have fun plans for your garden this year! I’m going to replace a butterfly bush that has gotten old and leggier w/ every year. I’d like to do a lilac, but I just don’t have the space because of all the surrounding plants.