Little black ants coming in through the cracks. Make them go away! Photo: rosscatrow.

I can't take it any more! Little black ants. They're everywhere! On the counter, on my desk, in the pantry, they're in my brain! Please make them go away. Please. Grumpy needs your help! Aaaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!

I can hear them now. Our thoughts are one. They say they're coming to your house next. They say there is nothing you can do to stop them. But is there? You have only two courses of action.

Option 1 -- The Nuclear Option.

 

It isn't pretty. It isn't precise. It may not work. But you'll feel SO good. Photo: forwardstl

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Little ants usually come from outside where there's moisture. They march in long, meandering lines, following scent trails laid down by scouts who have located your food and want to steal it. Follow the ants back to their point of entry -- a window, a crack, even an electrical outlet -- then pick up a can of Raid Ant & Roach spray and let loose with both barrels! Oh, you want some? You want some of this? DIE, YOU LITTLE BUGGERS! DIE!!!

Whoa. That felt good! Of course, it didn't do anything to eradicate the colony, so maybe they'll find another way in. Maybe they won't. So you gotta ask yourself -- do you feel lucky?

Option #2 -- Slow, Lingering Death

 

It's time to bring down the Apocalypse, bro! Photo: styeb

This method involves fooling the evil ants into killing themselves before they kill you. Here's an insidious way to do it without using chemical pesticides.

First, you must determine whether the ants are grease ants or sugar ants (each category includes several different species). Grease ants do not look like Olivia Newton-John and no, they have never been mellow. They seek out fatty, oily, protein-rich foods like peanut butter. Sugar ants, on the other hand, like sweet stuff and can smell it from a mile away. Leave out a fresh watermelon rind or a ripening peach or mango and they'll find it faster than a tornado finds a trailer park.

 

Yet another devastating twister ruins lives. Photo: nigeljones

Here's an easy way to test. When you find the trail of ants, place a strip of masking tape next to it. On one end, place some syrup. On the other, place some peanut butter. What the ants go for first will tell you which kind they are.

If they're grease ants, mix 2 tablespoons of peanut butter and 2 tablespoons of honey or pancake syrup with 1/2 teaspoon of boric acid. (Boric acid kills all kinds of bugs, including roaches, but is safe to use inside the house. You can get it at the same place in the store where Raid is sold.) If they're sugar ants, substitute mint jelly or maple syrup for the peanut butter. Smear the mixture on a small plate, leave it near the ants, and walk away. The fun is about to begin!

The ants will gorge themselves on the ant-equivalent of pork rinds and tell all of their worker ant buddies about it. Soon hundreds of ants will feast. Boric acid kills slowly, so the workers will have plenty of time to selflessly take the bait back to the nest and share it with everyone, including the queen. They'll die, never knowing it was you.....unless you take my advice. Stare them right in the mandibles and scream, "HAAHHH! IT WAS ME!"

Do You Have Another Solution That Really Works? How do you deal with hordes of invading little ants? Tell your fellow Grumpians about it. They need to know now. In the meantime, keep all kitchen surfaces clean and dry, keep your food securely sealed, immediately clean up any spills, and never let down your guard. Your garbage disposal has to be on point.  Little ants are watching.

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