For the past few months, I have been mostly living in harmony with these creatures. Resigned to the fact that there will always be at least a few around. But lately the Ants have been overstepping their bounds and committing what I consider to be acts of war. For example, finding their way into a sealed bag of snacks from Isaan. Constantly crawling around on the dining room table despite it being clean. And finally mounting a full scale attack on my rice cooker to eat a gecko that decided to die inside it (gross!). Maybe they were doing me a favor on that one.
So, I’ve stepped up my game the last few days and acquired some weapons of mass destruction.
The powder is good for resolving border disputes with the ants. If they cross the border they don’t get far. The powder also lasts a long time and seems effective as long as it doesn’t get blown, swept, or washed away. The spray is good for cracks and other tight spots where ants might be coming in. It kills them almost instantly but seems to lose effectiveness after a day or two.
I’ve also been filling cracks with wall putty to try to block their points of entry. Ants are pretty amazing creatures though. Blocking the point of entry seems to work for a little while but then they just find another way in. Cleanliness is of course the best defense against the ants but they seems to be able to find the smallest grain of sugar or crumb of food. By Thai standards the room is spotless and average to above average for Western standards but the ants still seem to find things to eat. I’ve heard cleaning counter tops with vinegar can help deter the ants. So far I haven’t noticed it doing much.
I also found this stuff called ARS Ant Killer. I think it is boric acid based or something similar. It’s food for the ants that they take back to their nest then they eat it and die. I’ve placed a couple of these in window sills and near other areas that can not be sealed. It seems to work pretty good but it is relatively expensive.
With all of the above, I’ve seen a significant reduction in ants. Currently there are no ants swarming around invisible crumbs of food and there are just a few searcher ants wandering around. It’s time to get serious though. Borax / Boric Acid seems hard to find but I’ve heard some hardware stores and chemical supply stores have it. Time to start calling around to see if I can get some sourced locally or shipped. Today I found the Thai name for boric acid. Now I know what to ask for. กรดบอริก (grōt bawric).