The ants go marching…

They’ve moved into the curb bed. I stabbed the earth repeatedly with a rake handle. They revolted. I stabbed. They widened their search for their attacker. I fled the scene. But, like television teaches us, the criminal often returns to the scene of the crime. I did so, predictably. I did so with some poisonous potato chip crumbs (or whatever they are.) It rained down like sprinkles on a cupcake. Like leaves from a lately turning tree in a winter wind flurry. I left them to viciously scramble over the yellow crumbs blanketing their mound. I have little faith that it worked, but it felt good.

I have yet to check.

I have ants in my pants yet again. We’ve only been in this house a year and a smidge. I found myself shopping today. There’s a school over there. It’s interesting. Is it the right school for our little human? (Is there ever a right anything?) I’ll chalk these ants up to my third day of stomach bug making any vertical moves in the physical realm result in a sharp stick.

The ants go marching three by three, hurrah…hurrah…

I should water the winter sprouts. They’re in the shade, but it’s still 100 degrees outside. That, however, requires standing up.

(I watered the sprouts. And checked the ants. They’re still there. I poked them with a stick this time. And am eating crackers now – what a victory.)

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18 comments on “The ants go marching…

  1. What a great post! Fire ants are Satan’s spawn. If I need something fast acting, I dump boiling water on them. For general maintenance, I sprinkle coarse-ground dry grits (or polenta) around the mound. That seems to work.

    • plumdirt says:

      Thanks for the tips! Have you found the boiling water to damage nearby plant roots or no? They seem to enjoy setting up shop right by an intentional planting.

      • Yeah, I might be careful with the boiling water around other plants. I generally have those giant hills that pop up in the lawn, like those things on the Serengeti in a Nature documentary.

      • plumdirt says:

        Ha! I have yet to have a lawn eruption. I did find a small colony in the cardboard I had laid in a new bed…that’ll teach me to stop halfway through construction.

  2. Robbie says:

    We don’t have fire ants but we had to deal with them around the house this spring. Everyone in the area had problems with them getting in the house. I found those annoying-can’t imagine fire ants! YIKES!
    true-is there ever a “right” anything:-)

    • plumdirt says:

      Did you guys get a lot of extra rain this year? I know we did and Missouri did and I’m wondering if your ants were just trying to stay dry.

      • Robbie says:

        Yes, we got rain and I have only had to water my garden a few times this summer. It rained this morning but I am grateful no drought like California:-(

      • plumdirt says:

        Hopefully they’ll fill back up soon. It’s been a wake-up call for their agricultural watering practices though, that’s for sure. We’re closing in on recovery from our severe drought that peaked four years ago. I still think we need to get the conversation going regarding an aquaduct system. Transfer the rain from the floods to the droughts!

  3. Shannon says:

    The ‘bait’ types work for foraging ants only; workers take it it and feed it to the queen. You have have to have patience with Amdro and the like (and be careful that your birds don’t get to it first). Getting them in a frenzy just makes them go somewhere else — after moving the queen to a safe spot — and your bait is wasted. There’s another chemical for ‘feeding’ ants after disturbing the pile, but that stuff, however great it works (Ortho, a powder) is QUITE toxic and will be absorbed by the roots of edibles (Amdro probably is too).

    Try Polenta (corn meal) first. It is a great prevention sprinkled on invaded areas in the garden. To keep ants out of my septic electronics (pump, aerator) I grind up and soak grapefruit rind and pour it as a barrier. If poured directly on mounds, I agitate first because I want to coat them well!

    Sorry you’re feeling lousy. Hope you’re back to ship-shape soon and that babe doesn’t get it.

    School? Brick-and-mortar? You get what you get in the public school system until 3rd grade…then virtual like us! You’ll probably be a volunteering mom like me. Perhaps you can help with their ‘Go Green’ club. 😀

    • plumdirt says:

      Thanks! That’s helpful. She did catch it, and once it ended she caught HFM (again.) Oh, immunity building…
      I didn’t envision myself as a volunteering mom, but my husband has plans to do so!

  4. Shannon says:

    Ha! I’m seeing and commenting on this post again. This morning, the fire ants had come marching into MY KITCHEN (someone left out an avocado slice on the counter which they apparently love). So I brought out the vacuum cleaner for removal. Then I ‘baited’ their entry and exit holes and voila. No more ants…for now.

    They are shifty, persistent little guys.

  5. Shannon says:

    Found this at the Aggie extension. http://citybugs.tamu.edu/files/2015/02/L-5070-1.pdf What stood out for me was the last paragraph (which my local farmer recommended some time back, for organic solution) since I won’t put chemicals anywhere near my veggie garden.

    “Shoveling, which can be used to move fire ants from gardens, compost piles or other sensitive sites. Wear rubber gloves and liberally dust the gloves, shovel and bucket with talcum powder to keep the ants from scattering and to reduce the risk of stings. Once captured, the colonies can be dispatched by carefully dousing them with soapy water. Do not attempt this method if you are allergic to fire ant stings.”

    Happy ant-fighting!

    • plumdirt says:

      That last line is my down fall. Fire ants made me an epi pen carrier. Although, a 5 gallon bucket full of soapy water may make a neighborly appearance to the mound up front so all DH needs to do is scoop and dump…

      • Shannon says:

        Well you will no doubt enjoy watching them try to swim in soapy water…which they don’t do well. Sorry to learn of your allergy. 😦

  6. Alice says:

    Of course, now I have a silly song running through my head to accompany the ants running through my gardens.

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