The hotter summer weather is welcome by many, but what isn't all that welcome are the creatures that creep and crawl towards our living spaces. Here's how I simply cleared a recent ant incursion into my living spaces.
Ants get everywhere, whether you're enjoying a BBQ, making lunch in your work kitchen or just relaxing with a cooling beverage at the end of a busy day. Just before heading away on a recent road trip, I noticed a thin line of small black ants in one of my kitchen cupboards. On the plus side, they weren't spiders (I'm notably arachnophobic) or termites (they don't play well with ants). Still, I didn't particularly want to open my kitchen up to a bunch of freeloading insects. It's a common problem, as with the recent run of extremely hot weather, insects will seek out water and food sources at greater distances, setting up nests as they go.
So I did what many folk would do, and picked up a commercial ant killing product; the type you leave, attract a bunch of ants and, in theory, return to an ant-free existence within a couple of days.
Upon my return… well, the pictures tell the story.
So, what to do? Ant extermination is a subject that Lifehacker has covered in the past in some detail; you could try spices or petroleum jelly, for example. I had a few friends suggest a mix of borax, sugar and water as a trap, but I have to admit I wasn't that keen on that, largely because I've got kids and (relatively stupid) cats, and I'd worry about what might happen with a standing solution.
A little online research suggested that one of my favourite cleaning solutions might do the trick, using vinegar to destroy the ant scent trail and clean up the mess. Firstly, though, I vacuumed up the ants; while I was initially concerned with the prospect of ants emerging from the cleaner the next time the carpets needed doing, the bagless vacuum I used proved quickly effective at killing even a large number of ants. Getting the image of thick grey ant paste out of my mind may take slightly longer, however.
Vinegar is my preferred cleaning solution because unlike harsher chemical cleaners it doesn't muck up my breathing, evaporates quickly and makes the house smell like a chip shop in the meantime. So far, so good. There's still a few ants around — because this is an inevitability — but I haven't had to cede control of the house and provide journalistic support for their workforce in the sugar caves just yet.
Which ant removal recipes do you prefer?