Yes, the ants have been driving us crazy around here. There have not only been a lot of them outside, but also inside. It’s time to get rid of the ants!
Near the beginning of Spring I went into one of the local Home Depot’s looking for some pesticide to kill ants with. At the time it was mostly little ants that were roaming around outside around the foundation of the house and the sprinkler timer, singing little marching songs, eating stuff, etc. They can have the yard if they want, for now, but the house is ours!
For some reason going into the insectiside aisles of the home store, they always feel more dimly lit and I somehow feel like I am about to commit an evil crime of some sort. I imagine it’s the same way that a vengeful lover feels when going into a gun-shop, on the seedy side of town, with so many different and exciting weapons to choose from. (Although with killing bugs you get to skip the whole prison dating scene!)
The first thing I bought was sprinkle on ant killer granules. The packaging is always less than exciting and reads like lawyer talk. They could make it a bit more exciting but, well it is what it is I guess. The sprinkle on stuff, to be specific was ‘Spectracide Ant Shield Home Barrier‘. This worked pretty good on the little ants, it comes in a little bin with a flip top and you just shake it around the base of your house then struggle for another 5 minutes trying to get the flip top to stay closed. Most of the little ants abandoned their nests, or more than likely exploded inside of them to the terrifying screams of the other ant comrades. Ethyl!!! Ethyl!! They killed Eth.[..Pop..]
Unfortunately this was not the last wave of ants, it was but the first. I can only suspect the black ants sent the little ones in as a distraction, perhaps to lul us into a false sense of security. The black ants were finding their way into the kitchen, and even after scrubbing down every surface as best as possible to remove trails, and anything remotely tasty or otherwise, they kept comming. You’d napkin one on the counter, then open the cabinet door, and one would be eyeballing you from the top of a can of soup, you’d napkin that too, and see a third one darting off towards the pantry. The kitcken was spotless by this time, so I can only imagine they were after the tasty wood of the kitchen cabinetry.
I went out to the gun-sho…. insecticide aisle at one of the local home centers again to see what else they had. In this case I bought some Ortho Home Defense MAX.. (note, it’s not Max.. it’s <BIGNESS>MAX</BIGNESS>. It claimed to pretty much kill everything you sprayed it on, or make it suffer and not want to risk coming back to your place.
The Ortho HDM worked pretty good. The built in pump/sprayer thing worked neat too. I sprayed it around the door frames, window frames and the sill plate of the house the first time. Outside stuff only. It worked for a couple of weeks and then we got a big rainstorm. I guess that washed all the HDM off because the ants came back almost immediately.
I went to spray the second time and that neat stupid #$%@# gun jammed. Seriously, the little pump in the included spray-gun thing seized up and it wouldn’t move any fluid. I swear I heard little-ant feet applause at that moment. I had to go to the hardware store again and buy a ‘professional pump sprayer’ jug. Then I sprayed a second time and again the ants vanished.
This was all kind of annoying because the home defense max stuff isn’t all that cheap. Finally the third time the ants came back another few weeks later I decided to test the indoor properties of the Ortho Home Defense Max. The bottle claims it’s good for indoor/outdoor use, I just didn’t like spraying it inside. Additionally, it says it will be washed off outdoors, but can last up to 12 months indoors. I just sprayed again indoors and the ants have once again dissapeared. Hopefully this will be the last time I need to repeat this procedure.
Conclusions: I’m not certain that I am actually killing the ants, it’s quite possible they’re building up a resistance to this stuff and just come back to get their latest dose. At one point it may end up like a 60’s horror movie and we will be swarmed by these things one night and gnawed down to the bones. I hope they’re being killed though, I really hope! The Ortho Home Defense MAX seems to be doing the job, I just wish it lasted longer outside, but hopefully the indoor application will be better. I was thinking it would be cool if ants were smart enough to realize ‘bad things’ happen if they come near my place, but then I realized smart ants wouldn’t be such a good idea, considering how annoying they are just on pure instinct alone.