Tuesday, October 9, 2012

F.Y.I.: Microwaves Don't Kill Ants

For the past few weeks or so, it's been a battle of me vs. sugar ants. What a pain in the butt they are!! You think you've killed the entire trail moving along your countertop, but really, you didn't. When you do that, you shock to colony into splitting up and creating multiple, smaller colonies! Yuck! I'm pretty positive the ants had colonized in my kitchen wall since I could never find a nest outside in the yard.

The day I really lost it and surrendered to the professionals was a cheery, bright Friday morning. I woke up and headed downstairs to make breakfast. Now I don't even remember why I opened the microwave door in the first place (we rarely - if ever - microwave anything for breakfast), but I did, and to my disgust, found a pile of ants chowing down on the smallest splatter of grease I've ever seen. I almost screamed out of sheer frustration, but instead tried to take my own revenge on them. I slammed the door shut and turned the microwave on.
When I opened the door, I expected to find something of an ant graveyard, but no. Sugar ants are way too determined for that. All I got was the sight of them retreating in their little army line back from whence they came: under the microwave, down and across the wall, and behind an electrical outlet.

I called around to a bunch of exterminators and found some good specials. But Joey insisted that he could get it even cheaper through someone he knows, so I didn't commit to anyone.

Saturday morning, I found them in the microwave AGAIN. I did try to kill them with more radiation, but alas, they survived yet again. Since Joey hadn't been able to get a hold of anyone at his place, I convinced him to let me schedule with one of the companies I had called. Of course, most of the exterminators I had called originally are off on Saturdays, so I had to wait until Monday to schedule my appointment. Sunday went more or less without incident, but Monday was the worst day of the whole ordeal. Joey and I came downstairs that morning, and on the windowsill next to the kitchen table (same wall as that electrical outlet from before [where they were still coming through!]) was a nest forming between the sill and the blinds. OH. MY. GOSH. It was probably one of the grossest things I've ever seen (in person, anyway). There were hundreds of them piled on top of each other and wriggling around! *gag*. Joey told me just to leave it there so the pest guy could see it when he came. Well, that sure was easy for him to say since he was about to leave to go to work for the day!! I ended up attacking them with my arsenal of Lysol (I had long since run out of Raid). That definitely did the trick. I took a couple pictures on my phone just so I could show the pest control guy when he came, and wiped up the remnants of the massacre.

Right when the clock changed to 9:00, I was dialing the exterminator's phone number. They ended up not being able to come out until the next day, but I figured that was better than never.

Thank goodness for that magical ratio of sugar and boric acid the pros have! I tried to do something like it at one point, but I think my proportions were off. Too much sugar and not enough borax. If I hadn't been close to the end of my rope at that point, I probably would have tested different amounts. As it were, I had found a place that was running a special offer: the initial treatment was free and $75 quarterly treatments. It was an awesome deal, especially since we've been on such a tight budget lately. Oh yeah, and they bragged a bunch about how environmentally friendly their treatments are. I'm certainly not complaining; the fewer chemicals we breathe in every day, the better. I was just more concerned with killing the little buggers for as little money as possible, and, well, free was the golden ticket!

Since then, I have seen some here and there, but nothing nearly as horrifying as "the nest." Does anyone else out there have insect horror stories? Any recommendations for future at-home/green methods?

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