The Ants Go Marching

By Leah
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Does anyone else out there have an ant problem? I am totally infested with the little guys. I used to like ants. As a child, my Daddy helped me make an ant farm with an old fruit jar and black paper. Fill the jar 3/4 of the way with dirt, find ants to add, put a lid with holes on the top, and cover it with black paper. Feed the ants twice a day with sugar, fruit, almost anything really, and after a couple of weeks, you can take the paper off and see all the tunnels they have made creating their new home.

Ants are fascinating. They are a whole community with workers, street sweepers, a queen, a nursery complete with nurse maids… In the wild, they will catch aphids, bring them home, put them in their ‘milk room’ and milk them like cows to feed their young. They even make a room strictly for trash.

I teach Sunday School, and I once did an entire less on Solomon’s sage advice to one of his sons: Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise – Proverbs 6:6. Solomon obviously did not have an ant infestation, or he would not have commended them to his son. It is one thing to be a wise and willing worker, but another to become a terrible pest!

I have them everywhere. In the kitchen, in the bathroom, in the garden, in my greenhouse! I really want to stay away from chemicals because of where they are congregating, and because I have pets. DC, the infamous Siamese, loves to find a line of them trailing across the floor and just settle down and lick them up as fast as they come. But no matter how many he eats, there are always thousands more.

I wash my counters and floor with bleach. I keep dishes washed, food in air tight containers, and still they appear magically every time I cook or open a container. By the time I get my honey, cream, and tea in a cup, they are climbing up the sides headed for a watery grave.

Last week, I saw on Facebook where someone had taken sugar and borax, mixed it in hot water, soaked cotton balls in it, and set them out for the ants. The theory is that the ants will come for the sugar and take the borax as well, poisoning the entire nest. So I tried it. I didn’t have any cotton balls, but I mixed it in a saucer and set it near the sugar bowl.

SUCCESS! In no time at all the bowl was full of the little critters. Many drowned on the spot. Others made it out alive and headed home with their new found food source. I still have some, but they are diminishing with each foray. Now I shall hit the greenhouse and bathrooms.

One of my favorite childhood songs which I have taught all five grandchildren is The Ants Go Marching One by One. Now I may have to add a last line to the song. The ants go marching 10 by 10 Hurrah! Hurrah! The ants go marching 10 by 10 – they took home borax and didn’t come again. Hurrah! Hurrah!