Periodically, around the farm we have problems with ants. Up until a couple of years ago, it was rare to even get ants in the dog food or cat food; and they were pretty easy to get rid of.
Rain always seems to make the ants build new homes. Unfortunately, the fire ants build giant mounds seemingly overnight. Ants are very industrious, but fire ants are also very aggressive. If you disturb their mound, they will be all over you in a matter of seconds. Their attack is very well organized and they wait until a good number of them are on you before they start to bite.
Fire ant bites are painful (as the name indicates) and they are particularly venomous. They are meat eaters and can reduce a small lizard to just a skeleton in hours. I have heard of some people becoming allergic to the bite of fire ants after receiving a large number of bites.
Around here, most ants are assumed to be fire ants and are either annihilated or avoided completely. I have come to appreciate the harvester ants who also make their home around the farm because fire ants will not coexist with them. It is worth putting up with the bare patches made by the harvester ants so as to not have so many fire ant mounds.
Other than sugar ants coming into the kitchen not even once a year, ants coming into the house has not really happened—until this year.
In the last couple of years, ants have been getting into the cat food at the barn. They proved nearly impossible to get rid of. Even though we stopped using chemicals around the farm in favor of natural products, I have found some pretty effective solutions for killing insects.
Products made with orange oil are extremely effective. Certain essential oils also kill bugs like ants on contact. Even so, several times out at the barn I was at my wits end for getting rid of the fire ants completely. I would kill them by the droves, and still more would come. Wherever I moved the food to the ants would find it. Needless to say, I was also getting bitten by those devils.
This year was no exception with the ants at the barn. A few months ago, we started finding ants coming into the house after the cat food and dog food. You would think that the cat food on the back porch would be more attractive to them, but they didn’t bother it there; instead they came in the house.
After battling them for weeks, we finally were rid of the ants scavenging the cat food and dog food. For several weeks, we were pretty much ant free in the house. Then suddenly, they appeared in our master bathroom. The ants appeared to be coming out of cracks in the grout at places around the sink top.
For several days we weren’t sure what they were after in the bathroom. After a few days of enduring ant massacres, the ants discovered the coconut oil that I keep in the bathroom for oil pulling. Reluctantly, I removed the coconut oil. I like to oil pull in the shower so removing it from the bathroom has been a major inconvenience for me.
But still, the ants kept coming. They got into my cabinet to feast on my homemade makeup remover and shaving oil. It is made with apricot oil and coconut oil. No matter where I’d move it to, the ants found it so I had to remove that from the bathroom as well. Now things are getting really inconvenient.
I am going to try adding some essential oils to my makeup remover oil to see if it will be less palatable to the ants.
As of today, the ants are still in the bathroom roaming around. The dead bodies of their compadres do not seem to faze them in the least. I am hoping that we will be able to get rid of them all this weekend since we can keep applying the ant killer throughout the day. I don’t think there is anything else in there that they could possibly want (I hope).
I have resisted trying to eliminate ant mounds in the yard, but this weekend we are prepared to do battle. Ants love sugar and carbs as much as people do, but it kills them faster than it kills people. For some reason, cornmeal is deadly to ants. We bought a box of cornbread mix to sprinkle on the ant mounds.
The advantage of the cornbread mix is that it has a little sugar in it which will make it simply irresistible to those buggers. They will take it straight to their queen. When she dies, the colony will cease to exist, as will all the ants who also eat the cornbread mix.
What I find so strange is that people from all over the country are reporting being plagued with ants as well. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a plague of biblical proportions, but it makes me think. What if it is a sign of the Christian revival predicted in the bible? But that’s all I’m going to say about that. I’ll leave it as food for thought.
Have a great weekend! If you are expecting cooler weather like we are, make the most of it!
Isaiah 1:27 Zion will be restored by justice; those who repent will be revived by righteousness.