For years I have seen hundreds of those industrious and ubiquitous little black ants creeping about my asphalt driveway, on my deck, on the roof of my back porch and often snaking their way along a garden hose when I was remiss to dispatch it to its coiled resting place after watering the garden.
I never found ants in the house so I didn’t think I had a problem. That is until I replaced a window and discovered that the sill was sinuously networked with tunnels and holes, once a home to a colony of carpenters.
So I began to monitor the travels of these six legged beasts only to discover that they indeed were making a home within my house. Since they were not paying rent, it was time to evict these pests. I found them to be very wise and cognizant of my presence. When they saw me coming they would slip between the cracks of the decking and wait in hiding until they thought I was gone. By sitting still, I could play out a transparent charade of pretending I was taking no notice with elaborate nonchalance into favorable positions for a quick drop of the heel.
Stepping on them one by one was not going to cut is so I next assailed them with an assortment of poisons which seemed to work well for a few days. At least on the workers who came in immediate contact with the spray I bequeathed. I also tried barrier powders and they worked well except that the colony simply found another location several feet away to gain an alternate access. These methods were merely “tummy tucks” and “Lidocaine” injections.” They masked the symptom but didn’t solve the problem.
I finally discovered a nifty product at my local grown-up toy store – Home Depot. It is called Terro. It is a sweet liquid bait designed to attract and beguile the ants to feast upon it, then they would delightfully transport the poison back into the colony’s nest where they would share their bounty with the other workers and most importantly, with the queen. In moribund reconciliation, it was important to resist the urge to squash them on sight in order to follow through with my plan of permanent eradication. Bwahahahaha . . .
Within a few days I was ant free. At least, my first battery of Terro was sufficiently seminal to have a huge impact on their population. About a week or two later I noticed a smaller, weaker, somewhat dessicated looking batch of carpenter ants wandering around in one of the areas I had poisoned. I surmised that these little buggers were from the eggs which had since hatched and this crop of young didn’t have any adult ants to feed or care for them. So I ingratiatingly complied to appease their hunger. Within a few days, I was once again ant free.
About three weeks later I was sitting on my back deck and I noticed an ant carrying an egg heading straight for my house. There were actually several of them processing in single file while maintaining a seemingly safe distance between themselves. They discovered that there was a vacancy in my home and were preparing to move in. Having none of that, I followed their trail through my yard, careful to step on and squash every ant I strafed. The trail led me straight to a rotting tree in the woods not far from my property line.
I laid out a “Terrotian” feast for them and then raked and washed the yard where their trail once was in an attempt to eradicate whatever scent they laid out as a road map to my house. I’ve been free of them ever since.
Terro is a wonderful product which works very well. You just have to remain vigilante and keep an eye out for future waves of wood munching scouts in search of human shelter. Thanks Senoret Chemical Company and Woodstream Corporation.