The Right Way. The Wrong Way. And my way.

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I was raised by rather practical parents. No sissy girls in their house, no. We were up on the roof painting kid of girls. We were change the oil in the car girls. Yes. Self-sufficient, and often creative when it came to fixing troublesome issues.

If you’re country folk, the term “bailing wire and duct tape” is familiar to you. The concept being, with those two items, you can fix anything…MacGyver style.

I’m pretty proud of my redneck ways. Or as my Hispanic friends would call it, rasquache.

I pondered this again this morning as I admired my entomological prevention handiwork.

See, The Good Man and I are convinced our (rental) residence is, essentially, built on an anthill. Not mean like fire ant or anything. No, the annoying little black ants that I talked about in this post. (The Good Man has become a LOT less Zen about them, btw)

Their main port of entry is the kitchen, and since we’re not eager to spread poison around the same place where we prepare food, we’ve been trying a variety of natural remedies (most discovered through research on the interwebs).

So far, the application of soapy water works best. Kills ’em on the spot. But doesn’t really do much to prevent them. For that we try an orange oil product made for ants. It works…for a bit. But they come back, laughing.

Most sites I read said, “you have to find where they are coming in and seal that off.”

Trouble is, we live in an almost seventy year old house placed precariously on a hill in earthquake country, so there are lots of gaps and cracks and crevices those little sonsabitches can exploit.

So in the heat of battle one day, frustrated and exasperated, I reverted to my “duct tape and bailing wire” days and got out the masking tape.

Everywhere it looked like they were coming in was slapped over with tape. TGM kind of laughed at me. He was like “oooookay”.

But you know what? It worked. It didn’t *look* good, but we were without ants for quite sometime. Oh sweet relief!

We left the tape up for a while, then took it back down.

As those ants are wont to do, they found a new port of call in a new area, and began streaming in again. We applied soapy water and orange oil and fought the battle.

While going hand to six-legged combat, TGM said, “I’m going to spray this down with orange oil and then you do your masking tape thing, ok?”

And I did.

And, for the past couple weeks…ant free.

We harbor no illusions that we’re free of them. I’m sure they are just tormenting the neighbor right now (it’s a duplex).

They’ll be back. And we’ll be waiting with a good squirt of orange oil and a fresh roll of masking tape.

TOP OF THE WORLD, MA!!!” (click if you don’t know the movie reference)

It’s not just me!

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Apparently all my navel gazing might just be “scientific” because, according to yesterday’s ABQjournal, I’m not the only one interested in minutiae.

Click here to read: A Fly’s Mind Not So Simple.

Yes, Los Alamos scientists have been studying how the brain of a common housefly works.

“For decades, researchers have studied how the neurons of flies and other subjects have processed and responded to the world.”

Decades!

Hell, they even took the flies on a little field trip to the woods of Princeton, New Jersey with teeny tiny little electrodes attached to their teeny tiny little heads.

I mean, that’s some good microscopic work!

Now if they could only tell me where all the CalTrain punched numbers go!

You know what bugs me?

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Bugs. That’s what bugs me.

Specifically, ants.

Those little teeny tiny black sh-thead ants.

With the torrential rains, they have decided that inside our home is a nice warm place to hang out.

Sonsabitches.

First they were all over the bathroom. In the tub, in the sink, on all the countertops, on the ceiling. : shudder :

So The Good Man (formerly known as The Cute Boy™) went to battle and cleaned up, shoved orange oil in all the corners and got them away from the bathroom.

It was only momentary peace.

This morning they’d formed a marching line in a circle around the kitchen. Across the hallway carpet, to the cat bowl, then under the cabinets where the crumbs go and back to home base.

Gah!

Now, I’m used to having bugs about. I grew up in New Mexico. I remember turning on the garage light and having the whole floor in motion as roaches ran.

And this home I live in now is pretty spidery too. Those are my least favorite of all.

But these ants. Oh! How they make me nutty! The Good Man encourages me to be Zen about them. “They do what they do” and “They are just trying to survive”.

He’s a better man than me, that’s for sure.

Meanwhile, battle continues.

(this photo isn’t from our house, just one I found on the web. It’s pretty much what the INSIDE of our home looks like. GAH!)