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Saturday, July 17, 2010

Out, Out, Damn Ants!

Oh, dear. I fear my poor housekeeping has caught up with me.

A few weeks ago, I forgot to give my counters a good cleaning before I left for Brazil. I must confess, my counter-wiping has gotten a little sloppy ever since I installed Venetian Gold granite countertops. I'm giving you the name in case other sloppy chefs want to ask for it -- unlike darker granites that show nearly every smudge, this one practically never needs to be cleaned! It is the kitchen equivalent of a silver car (also least likely to show dirt, according to my unscientific surveys).

Anyway, I guess I left some tasty remnants behind while I was out of town, and I returned to an ant invasion. Yuck. This was particularly unsavory because my friends Neil and Nate were due for a visit, and I was excited to make them some homemade treats. No matter how good your cooking is, no one wants to eat anything prepared in an ant farm.

I picked up some Raid traps but didn't think they did much. So, I did some googling and learned ants have an aversion to a few natural products, including bay leaves, cinnamon, baby powder and vinegar. Cinnamon was what I had on hand, so I sprinkled it liberally on the counters before bed. Eureka! The next morning I awoke, and it seemed to be doing the trick! At work, I mentioned my success to my cubicle neighbor Katie, and she noted yeast was another deterrent. I had that too, so I added it to the mix.

This was where things started to go south. The ants seemed to have moved from the counters to the walls, so I started dousing them with apple cider vinegar. Uh oh. I think that has some sugar in it (you're supposed to use PLAIN vinegar), so I think it actually drew them to the walls. And I wasn't so sure about the yeast -- they seemed to be returning to the counters since I'd added it.

So, I wiped it all up -- blech, what a mess -- and have now resorted to a spray bottle of Windex with vinegar. Just got out the duct tape to try and seal the hole where I think they are entering. Not sure what they could possibly be eating at this point, as I have literally cleaned up my act. Heavens! At least I don't have any more company coming.

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