Monday, June 21, 2010

I win!

We had ants. Lots and lots of ants. They adored my kitchen nook. If I was an ant I would too. With 4 kids, one of whom is a toddler, no matter how I tried, I could not keep all the crumbs off the floor all the time. Even when I thought I got them all and would go to bed thinking I'd get up to a bug free kitchen, inevitably, they'd be everywhere in the morning, hunting minuscule crumbs for their queen.

We dropped pest control long ago. It's pricey and chemical laden and, while it seemed effective, I always was confused when I got my bill because I seemed to paying a lot for a little. I've beaten ants back before with vinegar and cream of tartar and chalk and dryer sheets. That didn't seem to work now. Husband sprayed outside himself but this group was a particularly tenacious bunch and just kept coming.

So I turned to the internet before I gave in and had the bug guy come. I saw lots of recommendations for vinegar, some for baking soda, and many more. But then I saw a suggestion for Borax. I have Borax for making my laundry soap and apparently if you mix a little bit in something yummy for the ants they will take it back to their queen and they will all eat it and go to their ant hill in the sky. Sounded like a plan to me.

I mixed some nice sugary maple syrup with a little Borax, put it on a canning jar lid and put it near where the ants were coming in (but where the kids couldn't see or reach it. It's not safe for kids to ingest that and I have a few kids that would have wanted to take a lick of maple syrup if they had the chance.)

And they steadfastly ignored my tasty treat, opting instead for the itty bitty crumbs.

Back to the drawing board. Next concoction: 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise to 1/8 of a teaspoon Borax. They key apparently is not to overload the treat with the poison or they won't touch it.

I put it down and waited, but I didn't have to wait long.

For 2 or 3 days they streamed steadily to the "mayax" and back to their home. Some died en route, and there was a nice ring of expired ants around the lid of death as well, which made me wonder if it was too strong, but I think they were just the weaker ants because plenty of others came and went.

And then there were none.

They just quit coming.

I've tested it out. Friday night I got home from Bunco and there were crumbs everywhere. I went to bed without bothering to clean it. I got up in the morning fully expecting to have to fight the cheeky little buggers again.


HA! I win! And it could not have been cheaper. You know how I love cheap.

So remember: 1 tbsp mayo and 1/8 of a teaspoon Borax and keep it away from your kids and pets. It takes a few days, but it's effective and cheap.

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