Ants Use Webs Too
No, not the sticky, takes-ages-to-get-out-of-your-hair webs; I’m talking about the World Wide Web.
I’m convinced they’re hacking my wireless broadband connection because my last post was about how I was winning the war against the ants in my garden. No sooner had this been published on the web than they started plotting against me. The very next day, a new hole had appeared in the mortar around our back door and a dozen new flying ants had appeared. Gits. I’m sure they must have been thinking the following:
Hah! That will teach the human for mocking us on a global stage! We shall unite once more and emerge in our most irritating form, ready to prove we are still here. We shall not, we shall not be moved! We shall not, we shall not be moved.
To rub it in, a couple of them flew into the house too. They obviously knew when it was most inconvenient for me too – emerging right at tea-time when both Katrina and I are needed to be serving dinner and getting Lucy ready to eat. They also deploy some distraction techniques too – some crawling ones scatter as the flying ones emerge. This poses an obvious dilemma – which ones do you kill first? The flying ones are harder to kill once they’ve left the surface, but the crawling ones are quicker at getting away.
I’ve already mentioned it was tea-time when this happened. To help in the eradication, I sacrificed the boiling water which was going to be used for the instant gravy and poured that into the cracks and crevices. It kills them on the spot – good for a quick solution, but doesn’t solve the long term problem. So then I squirted another half ton of ant powder in for good measure.
So why has it taken so long to blog about this if it happened the following day? Well it’s because I didn’t want to prematurely disclose my next part of the plan.
You may not know this, but ants are very good at harvesting aphids. As the aphids babies develop, they produce a sweet substance, which is perfect food for ant colonies. The aphids then mature and start devouring the rest of my already sorry-looking garden. So net result is I’ve got a well-fed (and hence expanding) ant colony in my garden, plus a serious insect problem.
I discovered this by accident – I happened to notice a load of ants running along a branch on a tree in the garden. I followed them along until we got to the fresh new leaves, where there was a few ants harvesting the sticky by-product of the aphids. The ants would then walk along the branch, down the trunk and across the soil to a nest somewhere in next door’s garden.
I put a small bait station right next to the ant trail at the foot of the tree and waited. Now in view of the last resurrection mission, I didn’t want to disclose the fact that this was a poison next to their tree until after it had gone to work. Thankfully, it has now cleared the tree of both aphids and ants and I can reveal my success to the world.
Another reason for failing to promptly blog was that I was psychologically scarred for two days afterwards. I couldn’t close my eyes without seeing ants crawling around the doorframe, and every 30 seconds I thought I saw an ant scurry past me in my peripheral vision. Every time a hair on my leg or arm became itchy, I assumed it was an ant.
You try getting to sleep on a night-time like that.