I was gone for a few days at Thanksgiving, and found trails of ants downstairs and around my outdoor spa. (They seem to be going for water, as well as small, dead bugs.) Put down more lines of diatomaceous earth around the edge of the exterior of the house, and vacuumed those inside. Got this from my Texas cousin regarding my last post1:
The piece on killing ants was so funny! We had just gone through the same experience a couple days ago after a soaking rain. Also, my little spiders, who are located about every six feet from the bathroom throughout the den, got eaten by our cousin’s dog. It was funny watching this little black Yorkie, who would gently pick up the tiny spider in his mouth and then release it on the floor and chase it and pick it up again and so on. Eventually all my ant eating spiders were gone. So I figured that all these ants now had free reign without the spider defense. The ants were swarming and marching along the line of rug on the tiles and so I put down boric acid, which they avoided by changing their path. So I, too, started smashing the ants and then brought out the vacuum. I then put diatomaceous earth in and around the mound outside and sprayed orange oil into the weep hole. That seemed to stop the ants. I did have pause about the ants in the vacuum, worried that they would find their way out.
I think the ants now are gone inside, although I do worry they are holed up in the inside wall, destroying the wires and wood.
Teeming out of electrical outlets and short-circuiting electronics, the tiny reddish-brown crazy ants … can be so tightly packed together they are initially mistaken for dirt. Then they move.2
I think mine have burrowed under the house. Hope their tunnels will hold up the house. But since I’ve been squishing them individually, mostly in the bathroom, I’ve started to distinguish personalities, rather like the author in the Times article, noted in my last blog, did. Some ants strike off on their own, while others run in packs. Some are social, stopping to schmooze with others. When I start assassinating them, some run for cover, some keep on plodding, while others frantically run around in circles.
Speaking of personalities…
But first the backstory. Continue to have problems with rotator cuff tendonitis. A week and a half ago the doctor gave me a shot and a prescription for physical therapy and told me no exercise, gardening, or yard work. Difficult with my house on the market. Vacuuming with my left hand is difficult, soo… thought of that Roomba friends have. Borrowed it until I leave for Christmas.
Love it. Lots of cat hair and seeds (must be from the cat rolling in the dirt outside) under my bed. But in the guest bedroom only raked the top 1/4″ off the carpet. So next day set it to work upstairs. Didn’t realize it did tile floors too; had thought it only did carpet. Did great going between my Persian rugs and the tile.
But it has a way different personality from my Mint robot, Buddy3. First of all, the Roomba is loud and pushy. (It is a vacuum, while Buddy just picks up dirt from my tile floors on a pad, wrapped either with a washable or disposable cloth – although I have caught him hiding dirt under a rug, or pushing it over the edge of the stairs.) Buddy is quieter and has plaintive or cheerful beeps that make you think of the kid at school that always gets picked on. The Roomba got stuck under a Breuer chair and tried to go over the chrome bottom. It promptly got stuck and screamed for help. Buddy, being square and smaller, cleans under them, no problem.
Buddy is methodical and cleans in straight lines, rather like my mother would. The Roomba is scattered, vacuuming here and there, so that you don’t know if he’s covered the entire room. Luckily, neither falls down the stairs.