Ants, ants, ants! I just can’t get rid of them. Even when we paid for regular pest control, we still had ants. We discontinued pest control when Lukey came on the scene because a few bugs are better than a sick dog. He only weighs 16-pounds; it wouldn’t take much to poison him. So out of love for my loved one, I took on the bugs myself - organically. And the only real buggers have been the ants. I tried to nicely sprinkle instant grits around the piles; and when that didn’t work, I savagely sloshed them with boiling water. I waged massive attacks with the combustible duo of baking soda and every last bottle of vinegar in the fridge – apple cider, white, balsamic, rice, red wine. Balsamic and red wine were the result of madness; don’t try this at home. It took months for the vinegar spots to wash off our brick pavers!
Accidents aside, I’m ready to break out the big boy of vinegar – apple cider this time. Apparently, ants don’t like it. But they do like honey, and the combination of the two can make cohabitation more bearable. The vinegar deters them and the honey baits them, so you can train the ants to go where you want. I’ve given up on trying to get rid of them, and there’s really no need in the long-term other than that they bug me.
In the short-term, they’ve made us put off planting the fall garden. Ants don’t eat leaves or flowers, but they can disturb the roots of fresh seedlings with their piles and activity. Using the watering can, I’ve been sprinkling the four squares we’ll be planting and composting in this season. I also placed honey baits where I can live with them – under the Surinam cherry and in a few grassy spots.
This honey bait is the sawed-off bottom of a can of pear nectar dug into the ground and filled with honey. John would not be happy if he saw the way I treat our kitchen knives. But it all balances out – I cut anything that needs to be cut, including cans, and he autopilots to the sharpener every time he uses one.
And what exactly was I doing with pear nectar anyway? It’s a key ingredient in my favorite homemade dressing ever…it must be the fresh basil.
Shake all ingredients in a screw-top jar.
- 3/4 cup pear nectar
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup raspberry vinegar
- 3 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
- 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp. sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
- 1/4 tsp. salt
It works as a marinade too. I have chicken marinating now, which will be grilled and then served over a salad of spinach, strawberries, apples, and whatever nuts are in the cabinet…perfect for a late dinner. Bon appetit and good night!