Aardvark Art Glass

First ant of Spring
March 1, 2010, 2:02 pm
Filed under: Bloggidy Blog

Look who it is! It’s the first large, black ant to appear in the store this year. Ants are not a sometimes pest for me-we have little red ants year-round in our bathroom. Maybe because of the global warming and maybe because the joint isn’t getting any cleaner. Anyway, were this particular black ant a character in the Kurt Vonnegut novel “Galapagos”, he would have an asterisk next to his name indicating that he was going to die within the next 24 hours (or 5 minutes, as was the case.) RIP, first ant of Spring. You were documented and enjoyed.


9 Comments so far
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I don’t have a clue if this is true but they say if you sprinkle baby powder around the outside of the building they won’t come in??? Worth a try.

Comment by Tracy

Hey Tracy-
I think it’s Borax, you know, that cleanser stuff Ronald Reagan used to promote? That repels ants.Don’t know about baby powder though, never having successfully repelled anything, I could be wrong about both of those things.

Since it’s still really cold outside, I think that the ants may be coming from INSIDE THE STORE rather than crawling in through cracks. The most fun and dramatic solution, I believe, would be to introduce a predator into the mix. Like a hedgehog or a heard of them. Finally earn their keep for once, those hedgehogs. Except, now that I think about it, T-Bone and the ants share a room at home and they seem to be getting along just fine. So maybe something bigger would be better–like an aardvark or a bear. Or maybe I could just stop leaving snacks out. Not out of options yet.

Comment by cathylybarger

Borax, yes.
Maybe — works for cockroaches, might work for (some) ants. There are so many different ants that there might be some that like borax.
They likely are coming from inside the house/store. Which means you need to carefully check the woodwork — framing and so on, and inside the walls for carpenter ants. They like Madison. And can cause serious damage. (If you see winged ants inside the house/store this spring, you definitely have Issues.)
An aardvark would be good, or a pangolin. If you don’t mind them ripping up the walls to get to the ants.

Comment by phil

Pangolins are bad ass. I would love one of those.

Do those ants really only eat wood? Like, if I left a cupcake out they wouldn’t go after that? I think I’ve seen them hovering around food before. I ask because except for the floor in the office-cave and the front door, there isn’t any wood here. It’s all cement, like a bunker.

Comment by cathylybarger

No, not eat wood, but they make their nests in damp/moist wood. Like a lot of the structures in Madison. (Prof I worked for there had a condo just west of campus. Got a **major** carpenter ant infestation. Huge nest.)
Lack of wood helps. Is there a basement? Look under the floor for frass — fine “sawdust” — from the nest-making.
Cupcakes … real ones or Dolly Madison fakes?
They might like the real thing, I’d have to look into that.
One ant is no issue. Repeated ants now … anything from an issue to really fascinating.

Comment by phil

On the ant vs. termite issue (or Issue, assuming you have frass), I have some decided opinions. Here in the sunny south, we don’t have basements because we DO have termites and ants. You want concrete between you and the earth, because those bad boys will tunnel till they hit wood. So, we’re advised not to have shrubs or plants up against the house. I agree with all of Phil’s words of advice. Well said, Phil.

Comment by Nancy

Phil is a wise man. He’s the go to for all bug questions.

Ant update: Found one dead in the toilet. Less work for me, since they’re taking their own lives.

Since I’m cement building on cement slab (no basement), I don’t foresee the ants becoming a huge problem. I hope. Of course, predictions about the future that are contingent upon my doing something (like remembering to not leave cup cakes out) seldom come true. Knowledge is power, though. I thought those little buggers ate wood. I’m going to have to hide my food now that I know we are after the same thing.

Comment by cathylybarger

Ant deaths in the toilet. Now I am worried. Ants are tough critters, and your toilet is killing them?
Sounds like the beginning of a new Hollywood SF disaster flick.
“Look, damn it! Dead ants! All over the city, there are dead ants in the toilets! My god man, don’t you see what this means!”

Comment by phil

We’ve found their Achille’s heel. At last a justification for not cleaning the toilet today.

I just scooped a box elder beetle out of the toilet at home. I think box elders are cool looking and I like watching them. Though, now that we have a black and white checkerboard floor in the kitchen, when they’re walking around I only get to see them half as much as I did before.
But back to the mysterious shop can- as unappealing as my toilet is to me and everyone with the misfortune of using my bathroom, it does seem to be kind of a draw for shop vermin. I don’t know why–there aren’t any cupcakes in it…at least not the conventional kind. YEARS ago I found a live mouse in there. It was probably right after that that I started looking in the bowl before I sat down. Good thing, too, because I wouldn’t have anything to talk about if I hadn’t seen that ant.

Comment by cathylybarger

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