Monday, May 19, 2008

Save the Planet; Kill the Ants!

So lately (and if you follow my Twitter -- and you should -- you may have noticed my complaints) I've been finding ants in my house. I'm generally a gracious hostess, but ants just have to go. Seriously. It's frustrating. At first I couldn't seem to figure out where they were coming from...and I still can't completely. I'd find a random two or three here or there. Everywhere. At first they were mostly in my kitchen in random spots -- a few on the countertop, a few on the floor...I even found a few random ones in my master bathroom. The bathroom was a real mystery since it's at the opposite end of the house from where the majority of the rest of them were (my kitchen).

So anyway, I was doing what I could. I'd smash the random few I found at any given point and end up finding some more in another place later. Then, yesterday, they were out in abundance...all over my kitchen counter. There would be three or four and I'd deal with those only to have three or four more replace them a short while later. Even with me sitting and watching the countertop they just seemed to be appearing out of thin air...but I think I finally figured out that they are coming from somewhere behind our dishwasher. I ran the dishwasher and I haven't seen any since. It had been a while since the thing had been turned on...and I guess the ants just flat out don't like the heat, noise or vibrations generated by the dishwasher. I haven't found any in the kitchen since.

This morning Adrien wanted me to play with him in his room. I noticed an ant running along a base board beside his bed. Upon closer inspection, I found quite a few ants. Once again I couldn't figure out where they were coming from. Damn things. One would be running one direction while another was going some other way. I told Adrien to stay out of his room. He kept saying "Room -- ouchie." [He's come to thing all bugs are "ouchie" and refers to them as such. When he was younger I'd just point out bugs and says "Those are ouchies, don't touch" so that I wouldn't find him playing with one of the lovely poisonous spiders or chasing one of the many wasps we have around here. So now, even lady bugs are "ouchie" to him. Fine with me.]

So I remember seeing a sign outside of a local organic lawn supply store the other day that was touting organic insecticides. I looked them up online and gave them a ring. I drove straight over to buy the stuff.

Apparently there's an organic orange-based household cleaner that is an ant deterrent. I also picked up some outdoor insecticide to spray around as well so that we could find the ant mounds outside and kill them there. Together I was out only around $30, which in my opinion is well worth it. Both are dillutable and so they should last quite a while. I came straight home and mixed some of the orange cleaner up and started attempting to clean Adrien's room so I could wipe down the base boards. By the time I got home all the ants were gone, so who knows where they went or where they came from, but hopefully they won't come back. Upon moving Adrien's bed, I did however find a nice little culprit -- a half eaten chunk of cereal bar...although there weren't any ants on it.

The orange cleaner also does a great job at cleaning the countertops! Since I was having an issue with the ants in the kitchen I just went ahead and wiped down all my countertops with the stuff.

I'm super excited about the outdoor insecticide as well. In addition to killing and repelling ants, it also works on spiders and a host of other nasty little creepy crawlies. I do so hate the creepy crawlies (namely ants and spiders). It will also be safe to use on the little container garden my Mom got me. That'll be nice since I found some rather large red ants trying to invade my planter a few days back.

And I'll leave you with this cute little picture of Adrien taken yesterday afternoon. We play barefoot in the backyard daily, so I just don't want any harmful insects tearing my baby's tootsies up. I also don't want any nasty chemicals out there.


Sogeshirtsguy said...

yeah ants and bugs in general i am not fans of. I know they are supposed to have their little place in the ecosystem but I really don't care. Any bugs I find in the house are executed on the spot. Especially mosquitos who have absolutely no point. Cute pic of your son and good job keeping him away from the ouchies.

Kelly said...

I feel your pain. Last summer we had ants everywhere. And Jack too wanted me to play in his room one morning and I also noticed a few ants on the baseboard, then some in his buckets of action I had to investigate..where are these little buggers comin' from? I moved his toy chest thingy and they were pouring out of the electrical outlet in record amounts. I threw up in my mouth it was so gross. Lemon works wonders..Justin rubbed a fresh cut lemon all over the counters and appliances and we didn't see one for months. God riddance little bastards..mwhahhh!!!

p.s. tea tree oil mixed with h20 in a spray bottle works good too!

Missy said...

Oh my goodness lawnmower man!

My sister just told me that cornstarch kills ants...I have not looked into it. I am glad to see that their are organic options to try! It is STILL too cold here for ants, but I will be ready for them!