Monday, August 23, 2010

Chalk for Ants in Your Pants?

"While it might be tempting squash the ten-odd soldiers that take a wrong turn onto your kitchen sill, live ants are actually attracted to the scent of dead brethren and will come running by the dozens to come collect the carcasses.

Try instead to work toward an ant-free home with these everyday practices:

-- Store food properly: Store staples in airtight containers, wiping down countertops; seal up and immediately storing leftovers; regularly vacuum up pets' food niblets; don't leave dirty dishes in the sink.

-- Manage your waste: Take out the trash frequently (every day, if you can) and rinse recyclables before storing.

-- Seal up openings: If you see an ant column (a line) of ants, follow it to its beginning, and seal up the entry point, and any cracks and crevices around it, with caulk. No caulk? Use petroleum jelly. Then vacuum up the workers with a cleaner equipped with a HEPA filter.
Vacuuming (as opposed to squashing) prevents ants from releasing the chemicals that alert other workers to their demise. Safely dispose of the bag immediately. Wipe up leftover chemical trails (just go along where they were walking) with a mild soap-and-water solution.

-- Block the perimeter: Draw a chalk – yes, chalk – line around windows and doorways; ants looking to invade from the outdoors won't cross the line.

-- Find a nest: Bait a pill-bottle cap with a dab of peanut butter, jelly or bacon grease. Stand watch and follow the critters back to their lair.

-- Guard the pantry: Dip a few bay leaves in mouthwash, let dry, and place haphazardly on shelves to repel ants and keep them from raiding the sugar, flour and paprika.

Clean countertops: Use a vinegar-and-water solution (mix one, equal parts, and store in a spray bottle) as your go-to multipurpose surface cleaner; ants despise vinegar and it's a powerful all-natural disinfectant.

Doing these things meticulously and relentlessly for three to seven days should reduce the numbers of workers marching indoors to forage for sustenance.

Keep in mind that ants are inclined to follow chemical trails laid down by other ants who've found food in the past. In time, trails will go cold." 
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For natural solutions:


How to tell ants from termites:

Termites have a thick waist and ants have a narrow waist.
Termites have straight antennae and ants have elbowed antennae.
Termites have four wings that are all equal in length.
Ants have four wings however, two are larger and two are smaller.



I dug around here, and found another flat screen monitor that works.  I hadn't fooled with it before as the picture is so faint.  It took a lot of adjusting, but at least I can use my desktop again.

bicycle_lawnmower_thumbnail_0 dog-lawn-mower_thumbnail

I didn't even hear him do it, but Ray must have mowed, so the 'wispies' are gone again.  I like to leave the wispies for a while, as they have the grass seeds in them, to strengthen the lawn.  But mine is a mulching mower anyway, so the seeds go into the ground.

I really needed to take the cargo trailer wheel into town to get the new tire mounted, but as it was 24 hours since Pepper and Maddie had their baths, it was time to apply their Revolution. (

I was just getting it ready, when a man called wanting to come and look at the AC I have for sale.  He said he would be here in 15 minutes!.  Well, I took an extension cord out to where the AC is, so I could show him that it worked, then I bundled up the trash, put in a load of clothes, and was just going to leave a note on my gate, when the guy arrived an hour late!  He bought it, but it knocked me all off schedule, as I missed the trash man, and it was too late and hot to go into town.  It was going to be 100 deg. here for the third time this year.

Jim, the mechanic, came by and took my van to try to find out the cause of it overheating.  It could be several things.

So I hopped in the Puddle Jumper and drove down to Claudia's with the Revolution, and my trash, as the man hadn't got to her place yet.
Then she told me that she hadn't wanted Maddie clipped, she wanted her to grow out her Yorkie coat.  It was Jay who wanted her clipped, as he bathes her, but doesn't brush her first.  Jay has a nose like a bloodhound and can smell a rat turd in the next block!   He always says Maddie smells, so he is constantly bathing her.   My bad, I should have checked with Claudia!

Now it is thundering, and pouring down rain.   It has cooled off a bit, but with my van gone, I can't go anywhere today.


pidge said...

Penny, your blogs are always so interesting. I have used vinegar for years. It really works on shower doors and or windows of any kind. Love the byke mower.

Gypsy said...

I have never heard of dipping bay leaves in mouthwash for repelling ants in the pantry. I'm definitely going to make a note of it.