January 30, 2008

go away, ants!

If you've ever lived in the SF Bay Area, chances are you've experienced ant invasions. The tiny, pesky ants travel indoors at various times of the year, causing much distress to many humans around the region.

I saw 3 little ant scouts today. Usually you see a few scouts, then a few more, and then, WHAMO! You wake up to hundreds of thousands of them crawling all over your garbage can. Or counter. Or all over the bathroom walls and counter (even our toothbrushes!) Actually, once they even had a massive trail into my freezer (yes, freezer) where they froze to death in massive piles the size of golf balls.

Last year, before I knew better, I finally had an exterminator get rid of the ants. Kind of a long story, but the guy told me the chemicals were safe once dry and that the treatment was so much safer than what they used to use. He found a very large colony under our deck (he told me it was the largest he'd ever seen in San Francisco). He annihilated them all. We've been ant-free for over a year (until today).

Before he came to spray I had tried many safer, kinder, methods. None did the trick. Our problem was too huge. There was no one entrance point. The ants would crawl from behind random switch plate covers one minute and a crack in the floor the next.

But like I said, the guy made them go away. At times I wonder how dangerous the chemicals were. But we were seriously at the point where either the ants left or we did. I like to pretend I didn't know any better at the time, but in truth I was just desperate.

So now that I see 3 new ants I wonder. Would I do it again? The spray was only meant to last up to 6 months, so they would consider us lucky. But I never planned on it becoming a regular thing. What is a green mom to do?


Mommy Bee said...

I wish I had an answer for you. I'm interested in safer bug-control options, too.

Anonymous said...

Try CM Powergard limestone powder. My husband used this with great success to make a barrier where massive amounts of ants were entering our house. I was ready to call pest control but after a few trial and errors we were ant-free. We live in Phoenix so that says a lot! We got ours at http://www.ecosafetyproducts.com/CM-Powdergard-Non-Toxic-Natural-Insect-Killer-p/c11-1200.htm
You can also try healthyhome.com
Good luck!

Mary Beth said...

We have an ant problem too. My husband will absolutely not use or allow any chemicals, so we just coexist. I'm not happy about it though.

Anonymous said...

I've read that you can use cornmeal to kill ants. Put out little piles of cormeal where you see the ants are traveling. They'll take it back to their nest and eat it and die because they can't process it properly. It could take longer for this to work if it's raining. Haven't tried it out for myself though since there are no ants currently crawling around my home.