Battling Ants: Installment Two

Early last month we had a major ant invasion in our bathtub and bathroom sink. It was unlike other ant invasions I’ve experienced because the bathroom is on the 2nd floor and I couldn’t figure out how they were getting in. They weren’t coming in through the window or any holes I could find under the sink or behind the toilet. They would just be there, suddenly. Usually around midnight or later when all I wanted to do was go to bed.

I had been using a non-toxic method involving wiping up the ants and wiping away their pheromone trails with diluted biodegradeable dishwashing detergent and water. It works fine for very small problems, but this was way beyond a very small problem. Each day it seemed to get worse. After about a week I finally resorted to bait traps—actually, my husband did. The traps took care of the problem, but I felt pretty lousy about using them.

A week or two ago, I found a nice marching line coming under the kitchen door and heading to the cat food bowls (this is their favorite entry point and favorite destination). That time I cleaned them up using a potent soap and essential oil solution I got off of—Dr. Bronners and tea tree essential oil (others work, too). But I was lazy and only sprayed in the house. The key, according to antcolony, is to spray outside around the ant entry point.

So…when late last night I found the marching line had returned, I got serious. I did the in-house cleanup and then went outside and sprayed the whole door frame. Interestingly, the ants weren’t coming from the patio, but down the side of the house, from the direction of the…bathroom. Who knows where in the walls they might be hanging out?

I thought they might be back today because we had some rain, but so far so good. I’m feeling confident that spraying around the door is the key to keeping them out of the kitchen, and that will definitely be my first course of action next time the little critters pay me a call. Stay tuned for ant updates…

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