Posted by Jon Roth - 2010-06-17
Every spring we get these ant infestations along the edge of the cement walk in our back yard.Tens of thousands of the little buggers mass at the edge of the grass and build their highways, tunnels, and hills. They're not a terrible nuisance, but they do seem too numerous for our small yard; plus there is the thought that they may decide to extend their parade into the house. That I don't want.
I've tried a variety of remedies including standing there with the garden hose blasting their earth works to smithereens. That pisses them off, but doesn't get rid of them. It's also quite a waste of water. The ants set right to rebuilding their colony, seemingly with more resolve.
I've also used nasty chemicals in the past. That tends to work after a while, but then there's the bit about spilling toxins into the ground. Growing up I used to think nothing of it, but I've come to a much different opinion of that now after educating myself just a little. Toxins in ground = bad. Plus you have to go buy a can of the stuff (it's not cheap), and stand there scratching your chin over the list of noxious ingredients trying to pick the least dangerous, yet most effective one (huh?).
This year I realized that I could try a different approach. We've got hens pecking around all day on the ground in their chicken tractor. I wheeled them over to the ants the set them partly over the sidewalk where the colony was established. Talk about a dedicated staff! Who says you can't find good help these days? Those girls made quick work of it. I came to check on them about fifteen minutes later and not an ant in sight!
It occurred to me that perhaps the ants got scared (Tyrannosaurus Rex’s closest surviving relatives running around above you frantically trying to munch you up with a lightening quick jackhammer? Okay, I can see it) and went under ground. Later I moved the hens to a new spot. The ants still have not returned, so maybe they went the way of so many snacks.
No chemicals, no need to go out and find the latest ant-killing compound, just good old fashioned henergy.