Out With The Ants!!!

ant solution

Every year around April or May, our homestead gets invaders. They are small invaders but can be very damaging to the house, and our wallets. 

After years of trying different things to get rid of our yearly ant invasion that seems to show up no matter how neat one is with the home, dad came up with a solution.

It only uses items we normally have in our home anyway, and ants seem to be incapable of resisting it. The downside is that until the ants are gone, it is an eyesore.

Here is the recipe that dad found that kills whole nests of ants:

Roughly:

1 cup water

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon borax

Bring water to a boil and add the sugar. 

Stir until the sugar is dissolved. 

Let cool until just warm. Add borax and stir.

We then set it out in cups or jars for the ants to find. They die in the cup or jar and the whole nest ends up dead in the containers. After a few weeks of this, we don’t find a single ant in the house.

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The Frankenstein Bug

In 2011, I started working a night shift job. One night, I was cleaning as usual, when I encountered a bug that looked like it had been through a nuclear attack.
This sucker had legs built like a grasshopper, but it’s body looked like a centipede! Beastie looked something fierce! My knee jerk reaction was probably what most of you would have to this elusive creature. I killed it!
Later, I became curious and looked up what on earth it was that I had found. It turned out to be a house centipede. They come out primarily at night, and they are shy though in a state of confusion and fear may rush at a person. It’s ok though. They aren’t aggressive. No more than a regular honey bee. They only bite if you give them reason to think they are about to die.

Despite their ferocious looks, the house centipede is a great bug to have around. They take out one of the few creatures that really might survive a nuclear attack.
Their favorite snack? The cockroach. So, moral of the story, if you see one of these hideous looking creatures, just leave it alone and know that one more of them means several less cockroaches.

Why a barn cat?

Taffy

Cats are admittedly adorable, and entertaining to watch. However, most people prefer to keep a cat inside. So why keep a barn cat? After all, there’s rat poison or rat traps that can be used to control rat and mouse populations on farms right? And if not those, maybe a dog like the rat terrier?

Well, yes and no. My family tried that route and we found that at least on our homestead, traps don’t keep up with the amount of mice.  As for the poison. That would work except for the fact that the mice eat stuff in our garden too, and we have dogs. We also live near a road, so for us personally, turning the rat terrier out wasn’t really an option.

Putting poison out in the garden meant a few things. First, there was a chance of a dog finding it and eating it before we could stop them. We have had a few emergency vet visits because of that. Our dogs are dearly loved and the most painful death I ever witnessed in a dog was from rat poison that we found out that the dog had eaten and it was already too late for the dog to be saved.

Secondly, there is the fact that when it rains, if there is rat poison out in the garden, protecting the plants, the rat poison is being dissolved into the ground. The plants will then suck up some of what made up that poison.

Thirdly, if mice ate the poison outside and we didn’t find them, another animal could find the dying or dead mouse and accidentally poison itself by eating that mouse. So, we decided to get a cat. This has been working out splendidly. The only thing that I question, is if one cat will be enough to get rid of as many mice as seem to be in the sheds and gardens.

Taffy caught grass
Taffy caught himself a swift and ferocious clump of grass while he was learning to stalk and hunt. Look at that goofy tongue sticking out!

Since getting Taffy, and since he learned to hunt, we have been seeing a drastic decline in the mice and sparrows on our homestead.

If you have a barn cat, what led you to decide to get one? Let us know in the comments below.