Friday, March 23, 2012

The Ant Wars

One of our friends here in Florida has been inundated with guests this year.  It's one thing when your children arrive with the grand kids for a week, quite another to have a constant line of in-laws and neighbors from the the north keep arriving to be entertained and fed for one week after another.  We, too,  have been bothered by unwanted visitors in our Florida home this winter.  We wouldn't mind a few human guests, but what we have is white footed ants.

White footed ants are an invasive species that hitched rides here from Japan thirty years or so ago.  The have now reached full on pest status here in Florida and definitely in our yard.  They live in colonies that can reach into the millions--yes, millionsss.  They appear to have no shortage of troops to send on scouting trips into the kitchen.  They love sweets.  Miss a cookie crumb, a tiny drop of orange juice, when wiping the counter and in they march.  Fail to rinse off a plate that served lemon pie before putting it in the dish washer...you don't even want to know.  Find and spray a colony and there are escapees who just set up shop in the next tree.

We have had the pest control people here three times now.  They did say it would get worse before it got better, and it did.  I have ant nightmares.  The pest control guy said, "Tell me about it!  I don't even have to be asleep to have those nightmares."  I am hoping we have turned a corner now.  I wiped the counters a dozen times yesterday, but I only had to sweep the floor once and I have yet to see an ant today.  (Fingers crossed.)

White footed ants don't bite or sting and they don't really do any structural damage, but boy, oh boy, are they annoying.  So even paradise has its problems.

Night blooming jasmine touching the outside wall is not a good thing.
It got a major haircut.

8 comments:

  1. Ants are very hard to control and the pesticides they use are very dangerous. Makes me wonder about the water table there if everyone is using these poisons and then throwing the containers away or having it washed away by rain.

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  2. Creepy crawlies marching single file into the house. Not a pleasant thought!

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  3. Those little ants can get into everything! My mother had a huge problem with tiny ants, and we've had trouble at the cabin on Whidbey Island. I hope you've got it licked!

    And your poor neighbor - human invaders!

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  4. Oh my, I never saw those when I was in Fl but we were ate up with fire ants. So far my area here is fire ant free but I hear they are marching up the state.
    Hope you have finally whipped those sneaker wearing sugar addicts.

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  5. We're dealing with mice right now -- I'll take ants any day. Anyway ... good luck!

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  6. This is so sad! Hard to share one's home with critters. Unwanted, I mean.

    We had carpenter ants in our old house. With 3 cats we couldn't treat it as completely as we should have.
    Then there are the aunts, who peeve me! While mom was dying one gave me a hard time. Nothing like illness to further destroy family dysfunction!!!!

    Greetings from Cottage Country!

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  7. I keep hearing that if you use sidewalk chalk around the perimeter of the house that the ants wont cross the chalk line? And it won't hurt the cats. I'm going to test this theory this year.

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  8. That sounds miserable! We have ants here too. They farm in my vegetables. It's very annoying.

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