Thursday, June 13, 2013

The jury is still out

The great scientific experiment to rid the garden and surrounding area of big black ants began last Saturday. 
(Click here if you need to catch up.)
You don't want to know how many times I've made the tour de ant hills since then, 
watching and waiting to see which pile would disappear first...if any.

I learned that my ants love their grits. They ate, relocated or otherwise made two cups of Quaker Instant Grits 
completely disappear within 24 hours. They were supposed to eat the grits, then explode and expire.
I'm pretty sure that didn't happen.

I took the above pictures about 36 hours into the experiment. A few ants had begun to return to the areas 
treated with baby powder and cinnamon. An entire battalion had returned to the area treated with grits.
But not a single ant was visible in the garden, which I had treated with diatomaceous earth. So far, so good.

The next day, I saw a few ants in the garden but nothing serious. 
I added a little more diatomaceous earth to the pile and remained optimistic.

All was under control until last evening, when the ants came marching in like they owned the place. Bummer.

I dumped another few cups of diatomaceous earth on them and watched them crawl around, getting slower and slower.
It was kind of fun until they started crawling up my legs. But after an hour or so, the garden was an ant-free zone once again.

The jury is still out, but I believe that the diatomaceous earth will eventually prove to be the answer to my ant woes. 
I may have to apply it on a regular basis, but that's okay. 

The stuff is cheap, and it won't harm the other inhabitants of the garden.


  1. I'm so excited to be able to comment again! You and your crew have become a part of my life each day as I check in to see what's going on at the ranch and with all your babies and you. It's just nice to touch base with a word or two every now and then.

    Boiling water, while a pain in the ____ to do, is immediate and effective. It will kill any roots/plants, but there does not appear to be any in the photos I've seen. You might have to repeat once or twice to get enough water into the hole, but it does work immediately. Good luck. It will be interesting to follow your results as time passes. Too bad the chickens don't like ants!

  2. Good to know! I mowed the lawn yesterday and noticed several new ant piles cropping up. We get too much rain for the corn meal, so I will have to try the D-earth stuff.

  3. I'm glad you've found a solution even though you have to keep reapplying, but that's what I have to in my garden. Just about every morning, because of heavy dew, but like you said, the stuff is cheap and doesn't hurt other inhabitants.

  4. 'Thanks for the grits!', says rabbit.

  5. For which Mr. Buns is very greatful ;-)

  6. hubby says pour gas or lighter fluid on it and set it on fire and they will be gone. keep a hose handy and lock up the animals first... daddy always did that to. he burned wasp nest and hornet nest, by putting a gas soaked rag on the end of a pole and burning them out with a torch...

  7. Thanks for the update. That cottontail has a perfect cotton ball tail. :)

  8. truly, just a few sprinkles of Ortho down the hole....not enough for any creature other than the ants, will do the trick...ants be gone!

  9. I've heard good things about the d-earth also. I have a friend with a yearling colt who's been having worm issues. She'd worm, do a fecal count and no change. So, she put him on the d-earth and did a fecal comparison with her other horse and the issue was gone! I don't think she's planning of feeding it year around though.

    I think the ants were telling you to 'Kiss my Grits!' :D

  10. Looking into feral anteater adoption?

  11. may be you could put the remained grits in piles outside of your property, so they would go there and not return

  12. Oh look! Bunny yoga! *grin*

    Ants (among other things) are a big problem around bee hives, apparently, so I'm watching your experiments with much interest. I had a feeling, from everything I've read about it, that the D. Earth (I can't spell it...) would bring about the most success.

    Keep us posted.

  13. I'm hoping the ants had help eating the grits.Glad the DE is working. Maybe they'll move out.

  14. This is going to sound crazy, but my girlfriend had problems with ants and someone told her to have her husband pee on them. Kills them dead. Her husband refused, so she had her two sons do it and they disappeared. The ants. (They have a privacy fence around the back yard.) She swears by it. I use Amdro. expensive - but kills them dead.

  15. So glad you did your experiment. Now I know what would work for mine.

    Love your 'other inhabitants' behind. Cute ...