Battle Royale: Me versus the Ants

Posted by kdow on May 19, 2014 1:43:35 PM


A story of how my weekend went…

Last Friday evening some colleagues and I decided to have a few drinks in the office to cap off a busy & productive week. We stayed a little longer than we usually would. The extended stay caused us to clean up & depart the office for greener pastures.

Two DJs and several hours later I was not the picture of sobriety, but I wasn’t a wreck either. Consuming bottles of Bavaria (they were cheap!) got old fast, and after a few hours I went home.

The return home

In order to avoid me being totally drunk when sleeping, I decided to walk some of the way home. By the time my legs were getting tired & I wanted a taxi, of course, there were none in sight. I tried to hail some going the opposite direction (into the city, while I was walking away from the city) which proved impossible.

Eventually I got a Hailo cab & at around 5am I was home.

I put my keys into the door and unlocked my house. I stepped in the front door to the familiar beep of my alarm. I bashed the numeric requirements for the beeping to go away, shut the door behind me and flicked on the light…

The discovery

I was shocked to find a large stream of tiny ants crawling their way from my front door towards the kitchen. I should also point out that my kitchen is unusually at the front of the house, rather than the rear.

The ant trail lead to the kitchen wherein there were hundreds, if not thousands of ants wandering around seeking food. I’ve never sobered up quicker.

It was as if I was roofied and it only kicked in when I got home. When I left the house the previous morning nothing was wrong. But now, 24 hours later, my house was infested. I grabbed some water, went to the living room (at the back of the house) and discovered no such infestation. The ants only got to the kitchen.

It was time for some intense Googling.

The solution

As it turns out, this is a common problem. Ireland recently has an average temperature of 12 degrees, so the weather is warming up for all of the bugs. But the fact that these bugs found themselves setting up camp in my house was worrying.

Google provided a lot of remedies for this issue. As it turns out, ants hate a lot of household goods. So, as a temporary fix for this solution that would free my mind to go to bed I did the following:

  • Vacuumed the fuckers up.
  • At the entry point (at the front door) there isn’t enough sealant to block them. The house is relatively new, but there are some cracks around the edges showing that it was thrown up with speed in mind rather than care. It was at the entry point I put flour down. I also put some flour at the entrance to the door.
  • I covered some of the flour with cayenne pepper — another thing ants hate (due to the smell). Flour works well but talc powder is far better if you have it.
  • I then threw a mix of cayenne pepper & flour down on the ground and vacuumed that up. This kills the ants in the vacuum cleaner.

The next day

Saturday still showed signs of the night before. There was still flour & cayenne pepper around the hallway & kitchen. Moreover, there were still a lot of ants. Nowhere near as much as the previous night, but still enough to be worrisome.

I spent most of the day upstairs in the office; a nice refuge spot. Whenever I went downstairs I would kill any ants I could find. Further Googling found another way to solve for this problem.

  • Dampen a cloth & add to the dampness with vinegar.
  • Wipe down and murder the ants that are on the path with the cloth. The water kills them, but the vinegar removes the scent that the ants are following into the house.
  • Hoover the remnants up & strengthen the walls built in flour.

Sunday

And on this day I wasn’t hungover. So I got tactical. There were still enough ants roaming around to be worrisome, so I cleaned out the vacuum cleaner (it’s a Dyson style one) by removing the filter, the central column & everything associated. I cleaned everything. There was a slight spill on the floor of dust — which is fine, I was doing this to get more suction from the vacuum. It looked like an ant mass grave.

With a strengthened vacuum I sucked everything on the ground up. I even moved the fridge out of the way to vacuum behind/under it.

It was then that my master plan (that I found from some website) came into action:

  • Create a solution of medium temperature water with bleach & vinegar. The bleach was to… well, bleach-wash the wooden floor and the vinegar to remove any ant odour.
  • Clean the floors down.
  • Crack a window to air it out.

Once I decided to leave the house I saw a few ants coming towards the front door. I’m not sure where exactly the nest is, but it’s somewhere between my house & the neighbours’. I laid down some flour outside of the door to block them from even getting to the house. As it turns out, chalk also works to block them.

Then, Ireland kicked in to help out. The ants trying to get to the house were being lead astray by my flour. Furthermore, I had peppered some vinegar around to block their scent. And then Ireland delivered buckets of rain to kill the strayed ants.

Monday

Monday rolled around and at 6am I was up to do my usual pre-work regime. Mercifully there was only one ant in the house and it wasn’t moving particularly vigorously (I assume because it was dying).

I think I won the war. Hopefully there isn’t more of this as it consumed everything I did over the weekend. I had to dump food and get concerned. Thankfully my landlord is now aware that our fridge is a magnet for ants (it’s old and a bit shitty) and the front door is in no way, shape or form sealed up properly.


So that was my weekend, how was yours? If you want more updates from Antopia in my house follow me on Twitter via @kev_d.