Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Ants - why I may become a Republican

Most of you who know me know that I'm a pretty liberal guy, and tend towards the ecologically minded, without quite being a granola head. CherkyB says I'm a Bolshevik. But he's a Republican, so is prone to exaggerations, making stuff up, and ignoring laws that don't suit him (like his pal, GeorgeW). But, he grew up outside of Buffalo (not Love Canal, but close enough), so you have to make some exceptions for him.

So - where am I going with this? The one thing that's most likely to convert me to being a "Frack the Environment" Republican, is ants. I hate ants. I try to not use insecticides and synthetic fertilizers, but when it comes to ants, if they had a homeland, and wiping it out would get ants out of my life, I'd nuke the place.

I didn't start this way. I used to ignore them, but then they'd make trails into the house. I'd hunt down the source, wipe up the trail, fill the hole if possible, and go on with my life for a day or so, when a new trail would show up. After 3-4 days of wasting my time on this, I'd go get the nastiest chemicals around, and nail the nest.

Only problem was that my neighbors didn't do the same. So, after a while, the ants would move back in, and a year or two later, I'd get the home invasion again.

It's been a year or two since I tried to commit Ant Genocide, so they've had a chance to rebuild there little communist / collective society and prepare for the invasion again. This year, once I saw the first few scouts in the house, I sprayed most of the perimeter of the house with Terro Outdoor Ant Killer Spray, which from my experience is a effective product for both killing those you can hit with it, but making a barrier that ants will avoid for a few months. This worked great. No new scouts in the house.

Everything was great, except that the ant's had been gearing up for an invasion, and all I did was make change their mind on the house. So, they hit the garden. What do our Argentinean Ants like? Sucking the excrement (nicely called Honeydew) off the backs of insects like Aphids. What do Aphids like - plants. No aphids in the garden? Don't worry - the fracking ants will bring their own!

The ants must have already scouted the garden, as by the time I checked a few days later, there were "seeding" aphids on about 20% of my corn. Now, being a granola head Bolshevik, I broke out the soap spray, the environmentally friendly way to control insects, like aphids. Guess the ants didn't read the label - they just wash their feet in the soap, and brought more aphids. By the time I checked today, about a week later, the small aphid problem on 20% of the corn plants was now a massive problem in the nooks of 80% of the plants.

Good news is that the aphids don't suck the juice from the ears of corn, but just from the stalk, so you still get some corn. Just not as big, and when you pull it off, you have to fight the 20 or so ants that were actively farming the aphids off of the corn, and you.

Fresh sweet corn, cooked within minutes of harvesting - extremely tasty.

Ants? I'm thinking of hooking up a barrel of ant killer to my sprinkler system, and sending the RNC a check.

Wonder if they'll send me a "Save the whales - we'll eat them last" bumper sticker.


CherkyB said...

Heavens. Nothing like a pack of ladybugs from OSH to take care of an aphid problem. That's the problem with you communists - you're always ready to jetison your high-minded morals the minute they inconvenience you. Should we start bombing the Serbs again, too?

CherkyB said...