White Dog could not hide her disgust any longer. "Momma, these ants are EVERYWHERE! Nothing we have tried works very long and BAM! they are back, creeping with no manners or regard for those of us who live here."
It seems once again we are facing a season of endless battle with the six-legged invaders. We have tried a multitude of herbal and spice combinations; borax, baking powder, gourmet ant gel...you name it. Each works for a short time and then the pests return...or appear in another spot.
We spoke with an entomologist from the University who quickly advised against poisons and who suggested the only real way to rid ourselves was to completely dig up the nest (if we could find it) including all of the access tunnels and move it to the wild. Then to replace the earth with a mixture less ant friendly. Problem is, he said, that area to dig up could be as large as your entire yard. We have heard from friends and neighbors that ours is not an isolated ant attack...although that provides little comfort.
The only thing consistently effective has been nearly full strength peppermint oil and vinegar sprayed over the area. Kills on contact and acts as a deterrent for several hours but will not harm the dogs.
But the "sugar ants" as they call them have crossed the line. Poor Puff spends much of her time resting quietly and lying on her mat. When we began finding ants marching through her furs, we assumed that they climbed on board when she went outside and sometimes sat in the dirt.
Not so. The mean spirited bugs have found their way to her bedding and swarm over her as she sleeps! Enough! "Now you deserve a war," I tell them. "Leave my Girl along!" I vigorously spray the carpet beneath and around her mat, all sides of her mat and her comfy blankie. It smells delightfully like Candy Cane Lane.
I gather my sweet Little Old Lady into my arms and use a soft brush to pull through her furs, squishing the running black specks as they emerge. Finally I spray a soft cloth with the mixture and gently wipe down her furs taking care to include her ears and around her eyes. She is not crazy about the attention but seems to understand my goal; She rests her head gratefully against me.
There are no illusions that the war is over; this merely a battle prevented. Steve has gone around and sprayed every bed and resting place. And now when the White Dog Army comes inside we check for illegal immigrants...it is hard not to feel outnumbered....and the season is JUST begun.