Sunday, March 21, 2010

My Household Ants are back

At the risk of coming across as some kind of weirdo, I'm going to explain the agreement that I have with my household ants.

First of all I must tell you, they're the nice kind of ants. They aren't the nasty big black ones that crawl all over the walls and into the waste basket. And, they're not the icky little grease ants that get up on the cupboards and into the dishwasher. These are the regular brown ants that forage for food and stick to business.

After I moved into my ground level condo, the ants showed up one day and took over one dish of canned cat food. But, only one. I thought this was very polite of them. So in a Zen moment, I struck an agreement with them. Whenever they showed up hungry, I would feed them if they kept to their little area.

Their "ant hill" is under the concrete floor of my kitchen. The ants come up by way of a small crack under the carpet in the doorway between the dining room and the kitchen floor. They create a little highway as they cross in a line past the metal strip that holds the carpet down. At the other side, I leave them to the designated dish of cat food so they can finish it off. This takes several days depending on the degree of interest they have generated back at the Hill. Sometimes they get hordes of helpers, this time, not so much. Ants leave a scent trail for others to follow. Apparently, the degree of scent tells the others how much help is needed.

The cats will not touch food the ants have been eating because of the odor of formica. So, I can safely put down bits of food for the ants in that corner. That way the ants can replenish their food stores quickly and go away. This arrangement has been working splendidly for many years now.

I don't really believe there's anything special about my household ants. I doubt that they hold me in high regard, but nevertheless, I take pleasure in coexisting amicably with them.


Cheryl Kohan said...

Well, I don't think you're a weirdo but I DO think you're being awfully a chuckle out of this post!

Buttercup said...

You have a very kind heart. Glad the arrangement has worked so well. I'm not sure the ants I've encountered would be so accommodating. There may be a Rita's somewhere in Minneapolis/St. Paul's, you could check their website. Not sure if there is a neighborhood that was once settled by people from Italy. That's the best source of ices.

Sparrow chic said...

I too have an arrangement. There are bats in the attic. As long as they stay up there and eat the mosquitoes that plague the outside of my home, we are fine. If they invade my space though, it's war.

Unknown said...

At first I was creeped out but after futher reading I couldn't help but laugh. How sweet of you! Now I must say I dislike ants, but that's because I've had several bad experiences, one that lead with ants all over the pants I put on one morning because they were all over my closet, those were evil black ants! I'm happy that your agreement is working!!! What nice ants!

Lia said...

I thought I was the only one to co-exist with creatures in the house.
This gets everyone, but we share our home with a mouse. Yes a mouse.

Our deal is that she stays off my my kitchen counters and out of the kitchen in general.
Our deal is forged with the help of some aroma therapy oils that she very much dislikes.

The house is a terrace and everyone else is over run with them. But we only seem to have one, but I think that's down to the oils we spray and the sonic plug thing we have.

We know it is the same moue every time as she has red paint on her, plus she is the only one we have ever caught in a humane mouse trap.We caught her that many times we gave up in the end and now treat her like the rest of the family so long as she stays off the kitchen counters and out of there is general.

Mind you I must admit that I have to spray the kitchen twice a day and even we don't want to go in there for a while once the aroma therapy oils are sprayed.

Much love

^..^Corgidogmama said...

Really, this is the best way. Co-existing...
Few would be so accomodating though.
We have birds/bats in our attic as well, they thump and bump and flutter. It gets downright noisy in the bath room at night....and a little spooky,'s all closed up, they apparently can get in and out via a roof vent or, we'll just co-exist.

Holly, the Old Western Gal said...

Ms. Sparrow, I'm so happy to read your post! I have ants, too. I love them! I have several kinds. I love your arrangement with them -- very clever!

I think you are truly a precious gal.

Anonymous said...

We had some tiny reddish ants come through the wall and deposit a mountain of insulation on the floor in one bedroom. I had to put down, on the outside, some stuff that kills these kinds of ants and that will last a couple of years.

gayle said...

Well, I have never heard of such a thing but whatever works!!:)

Teresa Evangeline said...

I bet you're their goddess or something. : ) I Love ants. They are So interesting to watch. And, what a clever way to manage them and enjoy them at the same time! Good for you!

Kittie Howard said...

You're a clever gal, Ms Sparrow. What a perfect arrangement. Those little black ants just come and go, a part of the eco system. So, no, you're not weird!