My kitchen has become a little war zone. The countertops are covered with cinnamon, the corners and ledges lined with whole cloves. Under the cabinets is a smear of dish soap, behind the fridge some peculiar spray. My bottle of vinegar is almost gone, as is the Clorox GreenWorks.
I'm still losing the battle.
Sugar ants have attacked, and I can't get rid of them.
We've had problems with them before, but some home spray poison the apartment managers gave us seemed to keep them at bay just long enough for the ants to regroup and revise their attack strategy.
When we arrived home Sunday night after being gone for the weekend, I opened up the cupboards to see that our bottle of syrup had transformed into a miniature ant hill. Another cupboard revealed a nest of ants curiously shaped like our former honey bear. The boxes of tea, the Torani syrups, the bowl of oranges: all have fallen victim to the ants' sweet tooth, er, teeth.
Even though sugar ants are a far cry from slugs, they still get on my nerves. I admit that on Sunday night after I picked up the bread basket only to discover the ants having an early Christmas party, I might have screamed. Or squealed. Some high pitched sound of some sort.
My scream made the girls panic, so I was quickly demoted from active duty and put on toothbrush patrol. Of course, I found ants in the bathroom too.
We are fighting hard against the ants. Even Jules has learned how to spot them, and even brings them to me squished on the tip of her tiny fingers. My first line of defense was some pesticide the apartment complex gave me. Fail. Cinnamon also doesn't work. I woke up this morning to see ants doing a line dance through the cinnamon. They saw me, tipped their hats, and called out Good Morning. Seriously.
The whole cloves are only effective on the particular spot the cloves are sitting on. The ants won't walk on the cloves. But they will walk around them. Also particularly alarming about the cloves is that in my peripheral vision they look like monstrous bugs hiding in the corners. I can tell myself a hundred times that the cloves and just cloves, but in a moment of distraction I see those dark shadows and my subconscious tells me they are giant legless spiders. Or beetles. Or sharks.
My subconscious is a bit crazy.
The vinegar also doesn't work, and the GreenWorks only succeeds in killing, not preventing them from coming back. It's nice to have a quick spray that kills them since my index finger is starting to get a permanent ant-shaped indentation. I refuse to use bleach. Ever. With anything. I suspect it wouldn't work anyway since these ants have clearly built up an immunity to every home remedy.
This afternoon, the girls and I went to Home Depot where we picked up Terro (new phrase in Jules's vocabulary? "Ant poison"). So now I'm resisting the urge to kill every ant I see since evidently the ants have to make it back to their homes alive, bearing the unfortunate gifts. It's a great test of will power.
Hopefully the Terro works. And soon. In the time it has taken me to type up this post I've had an ant scurry across the keyboard and also found one meandering down my shirt. Ugh.
Any tactical advice you can pass on? Clearly the ants have refined their technique to include torture, and that's no good. At all.