Monday, March 27, 2017

And the Birdfeeder Battle Rages On.....

Well, I had a pretty good idea that the ants would have something up their little sleeves. 

I watched them exploring and figuring what to do about that chalk bead on the hummingbird feeder hanger.  One or two would venture down the wire and explore around.  Finally, quite a large one came to check things out, and it discovered that it could walk down the wire through the bead.  That didn't surprise me because I had drilled the hole large so I wouldn't shatter the bead when I put it on the wire--chalk is soft stuff, after all.

The big ant went triumphantly back up the wire.  There was just something about his posture--you could tell he had big news to report.  Thereafter, the ants apparently held a meeting.  There was no activity on the wire for an hour or so.  And then all hades broke loose--there were hundreds of ants on the feeder again, all of them travelling through the hole in the bead.

But what the ants didn't know is that I was ready for them.

A few years back, a well-meaning but very wrong-headed person gave me a jar of Diatomaceous earth.  (People are often inclined to try to resolve my disability; this person actually thought I'd get well if I ate Diatomaceous earth.  But this wasn't food quality; she got it out of her garden shed.  Yeah.  No way I'm putting that in my mouth.  I said "thank you kindly"..... and I haven't opened the jar until this very day.) 

Diatomaceous earth is nasty stuff where some bugs are concerned.  It cuts them up to walk through it.  The problem is that it dissipates when rained on; so if you use it in the garden, you have to re-apply continually.

Armed with my spritzer sprayer, the bottle of earth, and a spoon, I went outside to do battle.  I sprayed the ants off the feeder (harmlessly, same as yesterday) and then I used the tip of the spoon to mash D-earth down into the hole in the bead.  As a coup de gras, I also spread a layer of D-earth all over the top of the bead.  Some also dusted down onto the top of the feeder but I made sure there was none on the feeding ports.

There are currently ants to-ing and fro-ing on the wire, obviously trying to figure out this next menace.  Let's see how things go from here.

Life is good.
Ants are still a nuisance.
But I'm not done yet.

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