The little Apple tree is springing into life. This is the time of year when you can gauge what type of crop it will produce in 5 months. This apple tree does have different yields. Sometimes too much fruit. Sometimes hardly any fruit. This year looks like an ok year.

Sometimes you can get a feel for what a day is going to be like by just looking at the first few minutes.

Dragging myself back into the house after the early morning workout. Desperate for that first warming brew of the day. A particularly zombiefied version of exercise today. Very tired today. So nothing better than entering the kitchen to find ants. Lots of ants. Reaching for the ant poison is not an option with pets. Especially with our big boy cat who is the cat version of Ozzy Osbourne. Any substance is getting sampled. So out comes the one part lemon, one part water spray. Apparently ants don’t like lemon. If that doesn’t work then it’s time for the pepper and the inevitable sneezing cat. A few years back ants was no issue. We had a lovely but psychotic girl cat. The ultimate apex predator. Only creatures with a death wish came in the house. But now it’s up to me to sort this issue out.

So by the time schools version of homeschooling started – I was already feeling like it was way past my bedtime.

Then within minutes the first school crisis. Son has failed to submit a project in time. To be fair to him he was not in the lesson when it was given out to the class. That’s not a valid excuse for school as the child or parent should check the school emails and online files for assigned tasks. We did eventually find the relevant document hidden away in a random class file. To be fair to us – it was like searching for a needle in a haystack – when your not aware that a needle has gone missing. The teacher has granted a couple of days extension but that means son will have little free time this week. At least it gives me another excuse not to start any DIY projects. Not that I need much excuse these days.

The rest of the school day passed in a groggy haze. Trying to explain the vagaries of the English Language and working out why so many marks have been deducted for spelling mistakes. Trying to fathom out why a subject is seemingly asking questions about a completely unrelated area. And finally trying to understand what precisely is the teacher wanting the class to do. I think there is still a lot of merit in putting the questions at the end of a document. The teacher referred to 9 questions in the text but after much searching, we could only find 5.

So it’s back to the kitchen and THE ANTS. Clearly our ants are immune to lemons. So now I must resort to using up my dwindling supply of salt and pepper as weapons of ant destruction. Failing that then it’s testing various other kitchen supplies as ant repellents. Curry Powder, Chilli flakes and Turmeric. Let’s hope ants are not fans of spicy cuisine.

113 thoughts on “Ants

  1. Well, not able to sleep at 4:00 a.m., and unable to stem the flow of tears that are the byproduct of the angst that is a result of the state of the nation I once believed in, I turn to my good friend Gary for either humour or beautiful pics, and I get a bonus! Humour, beautiful pics, and … I learned some things! I had no idea that apple trees had good years and bad, good days and bad! I also did not know you could get rid of ants with lemon juice! Like you, we cannot use pesticides because of our moggies, and I wouldn’t likely anyway, for I have more respect for most critters than most people. I would more likely let the ants crawl onto a sheet of paper, then gently take them outdoors. Anyway … that said (I tend to ramble at 4:00 a.m.) it seems like the schools in both of our countries would have been better prepared for the current crisis. From talking to friends with school-age children here, I find ours is no better than your own. And who suffers? The children, of course! Bah HUMBUG! Hugs, my friend … need that coffee oh so badly.

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    1. Vinegar works well but our dog loves the stuff so that’s not an option. We have a load of ants in the garden. We have a deal,if they stay out if the house then we live in peace. We get these declarations of war once a year. At 4am I was venting my spleen on a post about our schools. Going to rewrite it when I have calmed down. Apparently it’s safe according to government advisers for kids to go back. That was on the same day it was announced the medics are tracking new isolated cases of child fatalities due to potential Corona complications. AND that inspections of schools won’t happen when schools reopen as visits are not deemed safe for inspectors…..

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      1. A dog that loves vinegar??? That’s a new one on me! I used to have a dog who loved beer, though … if you set one down, he would turn it over and lap as much as he could before you noticed!

        My friend, the more I see and hear, the more I am convinced that it is not the coronavirus that will extinct the human species, but our very own stupidity. ‘Tis the same here … they want to open everything when the 24-hour death toll most days is still in the thousands, and new cases have not even slowed in many states. It’s not about safety, not about our children, not about We the People … it’s about the wealthy who are seeing their Q2 profits go down the tubes. I’ve got news for them … this isn’t going to go away just because they choose to ignore it, and we aren’t going to be spending what little money we have frequenting their businesses or buying their products! Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Hang in, my friend. You know what you’ve got to do to keep your son safe, and other than that, letters to the editors of the papers is about all I can think of to make your voice heard. Sigh.

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      2. Yes, I think both our governments are driven by something other than the desire to help the people in our countries. Sigh. And I’m not sure how we stop that and turn things around. We need some REAL leaders, not these Bozos we have now. Curry??? Whew … even I can’t eat that!

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      3. Certainly not your side of the pond. Starmer might be if he can keep his parties nutters in check and finds a way of overcoming the media bias. He seems switched on, caring, sensible. But is he media friendly enough for the masses?


      4. Since there is little hope left for my own side of the pond, I shall keep my fingers crossed that Starmer rises to the challenge! Much as I support a free press, I sometimes think that the media have entirely too much power over the masses, they almost seem to control how people think.

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      5. All of them, or just some? For here, there are outlets that do the same with Trump, but there are also some who hold his feet to the fire. It is those that he is always denigrating and calling “failing” and the “enemy of the people”. I rely heavily on The Guardian on your side of the pond, for their reporting has always seemed honest … am I wrong?

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  2. When you have managed to deter the ants, put talcum powder down at point of entry, if you are aware where they are coming in. This helped to stop future ants coming in for me, while I wasn’t able to put any other stuff down stronger to kill, while I had my cat.

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      1. At least it won’t harm. But I would try that until you find something else and distract the cat. It was my best preventive that I put down every year, after someone recommended.

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  3. The easiest way to get rid of ants is to lead them back outside. Put a piece of fruit such as apple or pear (the riper the better) down. They’ll be attracted to it. Gradually move it nearer an outer door, until the fruit is outside along with the ants. We’ve done this before and it worked. Keep any fruit in your kitchen covered. Hopefully, your blackbirds will spot them … blackbirds feast on them.

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  4. We use an ant bait to get rid of the occasional infestation. It is a sweet sticky liquid that the ants take back to the nest as food, eventually killing all the inhabitants. According to the label, it’s non-toxic to mammals and has a foul tasting additive to discourage them from stealing the bait.

    The worst part of it is that it really attracts the ants, and for a few days – up to a week, depending on the size of the nest – the ant trails become solid black lines. It pays to place the bait along known trails but as far away from food as possible.

    If I had known about the lemon and pepper tricks, I could have used those as a barrier, allowing the bait to be placed closer to food, especially if the ant trail isn’t obvious at first. Unfortunately all you’re doing is creating a temporary deterrent and you can guarantee they’ll return as soon as the opportunity arises. This is one case where I’m convinced annihilation is the only option.

    It can take a month or more to wipe out a nest, but once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. The brand we use includes several bait stations that need topping up daily, or more frequently for really large nests. The stations are designed so that bees cannot access the bait as it’s toxic to all insects.

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      1. No. No. Mind you.. you ain’t shared a home madey for a few days…. (We need the evidence to give the verdict here……. …………….. . ……………………………………….)

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  5. Funny you should mention ants…… try dried chrysanthemum petals. They work. We had the damn things indoors last years, found the tip on the internet and dried the flowers out when they died. No problem after that, though the little blighters have eaten my radishes!
    On the lookout for a bunch of ‘mums now to start the process again.

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  6. Homeschooling has its ups and downs. Lesson learned, to check out all the emails and assignments daily. We do this so as not to miss anything. But school here are way more lax than those over there. Take care. Death to the 🐜 🐜 🐜

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  7. issues here – sorry – somehow that one got away from me. Ants I need to find an adequate spray for and schoolwork accidentally being overlooked and a failing grade. I think our school is a little more lenient for turning late work in but frustrating to find the assignment in the first place. Yesterday was a wifi day too. If the wifi isn’t working first thing I just know it is going to be one of those days. And of course, every teacher needed their assignment printed out, completed, and photographed for submission. It was a long day…..

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  8. We’re going to have a bumper crop of apples and pears this year!
    With the ants…I hate to say it but the best way to get rid of them is to remove whatever it is that’s enticing them into your house. Their food source. Deep cleaning I’m afraid. Remove every crumb and make sure all containers are impenetrable. So much easier said than done I know.
    As for the school well boo to them. Much more educational opportunities for your son from the ants tbh. Biology, food hygiene, warfare…. You could even write a bad poem about them which he could study for English lesson.

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  9. Pesky little black things …
    I bet they bloody love chilli too

    We’ve had the same realisation about a project. Due the end of the week. Set end March. Missed it completely and it’s a boring huge piece of work that is just too awful to contemplate right now. X

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  10. We are being invaded by earwigs of all things?? I looked up to see if I could feed them to Sven. The eat decayed matter, so danger of pesticides and chemicals. Not even useful for the dragon. I just flick them or smash them🤷🏼‍♀️ We get ants every once in a while. I just obliterate their trail and kill all the ones inside. They stay outside after that. Mine usually come in the kitchen window, so it’s an easy battle.

    Son’s school needs the Alice Cooper treatment 😉💣🧨💥💌

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  11. One time when I was living in an apartment, I got an infestation of flying ants. I had no idea how to get rid of them, so I vacuumed them. As a last resort, you might try that. Just remember to empty the bag/canister a ways from the house. 🐜🐜

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