I cannot begin to express how annoyed I felt when I looked out my window and saw ants.
Ants on my previously-happy hummingbird feeder. It was pretty much the flip side of how I felt a few hours earlier while I watched a female hummingbird feeding. And now I had evil, foul, misery-making sugar ants all over the feeder. Somehow they had figured out how to climb up the wall, down the eave, onto the hook, down the wire, and thus to the sugar water.
At first it was just half a dozen or so but in minutes it was hundreds.
You know, there are enough bitter disappointments in life without this sort of nonsense. So I decided that I was NOT having it. I was gonna fight back.
I was gonna fight dirty. In case you didn't know, ants hate chalk.
Yeah, I made a big chalk bead. (Besides the sparklers and the bubble wands that I keep in the pantry, I've got a package of driveway chalk under my work table. And I'm not afraid to use it. Sometimes you've gotta think like a kid.)
Then I got the water spritzer that I keep for making baguettes (gotta mist them so the crust gets all crispy). I filled it with water and I set it on "sharp stream" so I could blow those stupid ants off the feeder. (Sorry, no pictures of the general carnage. Actually, I didn't try to kill the ants--just get them out of my way.)
I took the feeder down, clipped off the hook I had made, threaded on the bead, bent a new hook, and hung the feeder back in place. (Apologies for being out-of-focus but I was still ticked.)
And now as I sit at my desk, I'm listening to a cheerful tree frog singing under the window. I hope he's having an ant feast. For the past twenty minutes or so, I've been watching a bunch of ants going up and down the wire. A couple have been brave enough to step onto the chalk but none of them have gone past it.
Don't think this will work long term because the chalk will melt in the rain, and it wouldn't last long anyway in our very humid climate. Still, I feel like I've bested the ants at least for this afternoon. The chalk won't harm the hummingbirds so they can still feed happily.
And I can always make more chalk beads. Yeah, Ants, I'm talking to you. It's a threat, and I meant it. Stay off the feeder!
Hurray for chalk! Non-toxic.....except to ants.
Life is good.
Ants are obnoxious.