What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Ant Colony

I have written a few posts here on dealing with insect control in the house.  The first line of defense in any infestation is to do a complete knock-down followed by sealing as many ports of entry as possible.  Sealing insects out is one of the most effective ways to prevent any insect problems.  For the most part I don't concern myself with insects outdoors unless they are damaging the garden or have the potential to cause problems indoors.  In some cases as with fire ants, the potential to cause physical harm is high especially for little ones. 

Spotting a swarming ant colony on the sidewalk about a foot from our bedroom window that is a ground level was a concern.  Ants swarm when their colony is disrupted for some reason meaning they are looking for another location to re-establish.  When they do this close to windows and doors there is a very good chance of them getting indoors.  The most effective way to deal with a swarming ant colony is boiling water.  Pour the boiling water directly on the swarming ants to kill them off on contact.  There may be a few stragglers let behind but unless you notice them swarming in the same location again the colony has been effectively killed off without the use of pesticides and without having to deal with problems if they get into the house.  Be warned that the boiling water method will kill vegetation and is an effective weed control.  If the ants are swarming in a location where there is vegetation other than grass you may need to use a manual or chemical control method.  Stomping is an effective manual method without resorting to chemicals. 

Here's a short video of the ant colony swarming.  There has been no digging or other disruption where this colony was so I'm not sure why they were swarming.  At any rate they were too close to the house to not take action.

Garden Gnome