Saturday, November 12, 2011

Invasion of the Argentine Ants - Part Two

        First thing Monday morning, after killing off at least fifty ants in the shower, I called and left a message for our landlords that we had a terrible ant invasion, and could they please send an exterminator as soon as possible. Not hearing anything back, I also sent them an email that evening. I continued killing the ants as I saw them (every few hours), and I also removed everything from the bathroom cupboards because they were pouring in them, climbing all over our towels and soap - everything. Desperate to do what I could to get rid of them in the meantime, I saw a recipe for borax and sugar and water - they drink the stuff and it poisens them - I won't explain how. I put it in the bathroom cupboards and in the kitchen where they were congregating.
        The next day they got back to us, and said they would send one of "their guys" (we rent from a nursery) to kill the ants outside! I told them our problem was inside, but they said that should prevent anymore from coming inside. It will probably just drive more inside, I thought. It was Wednes before sending someone, and as I suspected, it just made the problem worse. They came pouring in, especially the bathroom cupboards, and I even found a few on our bed!
       I was beginning to feel like Leiningen Against the Ants. I started scouring the internet, trying to figure out ways to get rid of the enemy before they overtook the house :). I figured out that the kind of ant that we were dealing with was an Argentine Ant - they have about one queen for every couple hundred ant, reproduce very quickly, and are thus extremely hard to get rid of. I learned that peppermint oil and tea tree oil are supposed to deter them, and that the best way to kill them, organically without chemicals that is, is with something called Terro. Terro is basically a mixture of syrup and borax, with just the right formula to kill them slowly. They eat the stuff, take it back to their nests, and distribute it to the larvae.

I am not this talented of a photographer! Photo credits go to "Alex Wild Photography"
        Peppermint oil made the house smell good, and tea tree oil decided did not, but they did little to deter the ants. The Terro worked well - too well - it began attracting more ants from the walls or outside! Meanwhile, we called our landlords every day, letting them know that we needed them to come spray the inside of the house, as soon as possible. They assured us they would call the exterminator, but Thursday and Friday passed with no word of when they were coming.
       Friday I reached a breaking point. My wonderful husband said we should go stay the night in a hotel, so we could figure out what we were going to do. Getting away from the little guys, we decided that if our landlords did not send someone, our options were either to call an exterminator ourselves, or threaten to move if they did not send one and be willing to follow through. We both decided that we did not want to move - we have a good rent, Pete can walk to work, and live in the beautiful countryside-  and that if we had to spend money on an exterminator from the emergency fund, that would be ok. But we decided to give it a few more days for our landlords to come through.
     We kept calling them everyday. They told us that they were having a hard time getting the exterminators to call them back. Finally they called and said they would send them on Wednesday, the day that I had to get a wisdom tooth removed! We weren't taking any chances so we told them to come out anyways. The guy from Western Exterminators told us that he would have come sooner, but the nursery had owed them money that they just payed that morning!
     After getting my wisdom tooth removed, we had to stay out all afternoon so that the poison could dissipate. I got a lot of sympathy from people at Pete's Starbucks, where we hung out and waited. But we came home and I was able to sleep off the vicadine with a house free of ants!


  1. Whew! Thank goodness you got rid of them.

  2. You must live in a warmer climate. With snowing here we don't see much in bug line.

    One time we had this Ant and went a destroyed there home "big mistake" soon we had hordes of then moving in.

    Sound like it all came out even the wisdom tooth.

    Coffee is on.

  3. Ants can be a hazard when its their seasons. You are lucky to solve them without so much help.

  4. I'm gone to say to my little brother, that he should also visit this website on regular basis to obtain updated from latest news update.

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