Welcome to my blog

If you enjoy finding a lot of different outlets for your creativity, then we may just be kindred spirits.
This blog is an outlet for my interest in miniatures, crochet, plastic canvas, and many other various arts and crafts.

I also love walking, taking digital photos, and most recently, have rediscovered an old love...bike riding! I purchased an amazing new bike, a comfy Townie by Electra this summer, and have been having a grand time exploring the area as though for the first time. It's like being a kid again!

If you enjoy any of these things too, pour a cup of coffee and tea, sit down, and join me.

Take care!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Humility and Ants

"The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah..."
Hurrah?   I think not.

Just in case I was feeling too good about starting a publishing company and self publishing my book, the ants came marching...straight through my side door, up my stairs, and into my kitchen...to feast on the little drop of creamer that I spilled this morning while pouring my coffee.

It seems I'm not the only one partial to French Vanilla.

So, OK, I guess I should have cleaned that drop up BEFORE having my morning coffee, but I was half asleep and I tend to make matters worse when I try to clean while half awake (trust me on this).

So I had my coffee, and the ants had their cream...and i guess those first few ants were scouts, and by the time I had finished my coffee they had gone back to their colony and told all of their friends.

If I could somehow generate as much interest in my book as that drop of French Vanilla creamer generated interest in a colony of ants...I'd be rich.  That ant scout must be one hell of a marketer ;-).

Now, the problem is that I hate to kill anything.  I think ants are neat...the way they have scouts and workers and a queen...the way they dig tunnels and are so organized...very cool.  I don't want to kill them, but I do want them out of my house.

So I googled "humane ant removal"...and read that the best way to remove ants is to not let them enter the home in the first place.  Well, geez...I wouldn't be looking up "ant removal" if I had managed to bar them entry in the first place, now would I?

Note to self:  if I'm ever asked to do an article on ant removal...do NOT...I repeat, do NOT tell the readers that they should have barred their entry in the first place.  That has nothing to do with removal, and it's annoying.

OK, so onward.  I read that ants HATE the smell of black pepper, and that if I pour a line of black pepper along their route, and if I follow them to see where they're coming in (the door!), I can just pour a line there too and they won't come in.

Nope...not my ants.  True, they don't seem to care for the pepper, but they soldiered on through it, dedicated to find food for their queen.

Back to google.  I read that they ABSOLUTELY HATE the smell of cinnamon and that if I pour a line of cinnamon....well, you see where I'm going with this.

I poured the cinnamon, which was of great interest to my dogs because they associate that smell with baked goods...and watched the ants.

Nope...they could care less about the cinnamon...they did seem annoyed, but they marched on.

I was annoyed too.

Back to google.  I read that ants ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY HATE baby powder.  You know what happened next, right?

So now the ants are marching one by one on a trail of black pepper, cinnamon, and baby powder.
My kitchen and entrance are a mess.
I'm annoyed.
My dogs are annoyed because the smell of cinnamon didn't lead to treats.

So now what?
I read that a line of chalk might work, but first I'd have to sweep up the pepper/cinnamon/powder trail...and in doing so, I'd kill the ants who are determined to keep going.

I did clean up the spill so there's no longer a French Vanilla drop...aka pool, to the ants.

I even sacrificed a brand new jar of honey...I opened it and put it outside, hoping to distract the ants.

If all else fails, I guess I could get a jar of earth and drop some French Vanilla in there to lure them in, and hope to trap them that way.

What to do, what to do?

A few days later:

It worked!  They swarmed the honey!

I accidentally killed a few ants by feeding them  honey...they went right in the jar instead of feeding from the surface, and they drowned.  I put a thin branch inside the jar and they started using that as a bridge, so there haven't been any more ant fatalities, thank goodness.  Every day I moved the jar a few inches away from my door, and the ants followed, until they were not near my door anymore.

My house is ant free!

They're still swarming the honey jar outside, and the honey level doesn't seem to have gone down at all, so I'm guessing the honey jar will last until winter.

I'll just have to sacrifice a honey jar to the ants every year to keep them out...maybe they're more an ant mafia than an ant army...I have to pay them to stay away, lol.

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