Na Na pinches her pennies (aka frugal living)

Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.

I surrender!

There are times when I feel like I would be better off to just walk away from my house and forget all the financial troubles I deal with everyday.  But, where would I go? How would I get there?  How would I live?  Would I actually be better off than where I am right now?  In the end, I simply stay put and hope for better days…. someday.  The problem is that someday never arrives.

You want to know what has me feeling overwhelmed by poverty this time? It is these tiny creatures.  The meat eating ants that BITE!  Or maybe its sting.  Wha ev ah.  It hurts!  Shown here with some sugar scattered and a piece of hot dog.  Those darned things won’t touch the sugar but swarm the hot dog almost immediately.

Food and kitchen 2015 384

Its hard to cook or can or anything in the kitchen when I know I’m gonna get bitten or when there are ants everywhere on every surface.  I believe the main ant hive is directly under the kitchen in the crawl space.  Mice and rats eat the poison under the kitchen sink and under the water heater then go below the kitchen to die in the crawl space.  The ants thrive on the dead bodies of the mice and rats.

Usually the ants are gone from sight within a few days but not this year.  This year I’ve been fighting them for almost two months with no end in sight.  I did manage to get those 13 pints of cherry pie filling canned but then I gave up and let the ants have the kitchen. I’m going to be eating at a soup kitchen for awhile.

I did an internet search for ways to kill the ants.  I tried several things but none worked.  These are very smart ants.  They know a trap when they see it.  I did use some organic bug spray.  I don’t care if it does say “Safe around kids and pets. Safe even in kitchens.” I don’t want to be preparing food on a counter or stove that has been sprayed with a bug killer, even if it is “organic”.  Organic does not mean good for you.  It means chemical free.  Snake venom is organic too but I sure don’t want to eat any.  This organic ant killer stuff kills on contact but does not work when dry.  I don’t like the lemongrass smell either.  I think it stinks.

Food and kitchen 2015 385

Why don’t I call an exterminator?  I did.  I also did some figuring for how to come up with the money to pay for it.  I could take a couple of things to the pawn shop and with a loan from my daughter I would be able to pay the cost.  Except that the exterminator company can’t do anything for me until I have paid a HVAC company to reverse some work done by the city several years ago.  A word of warning…. NEVER let the city work on your house!

The city decided a little old lady doesn’t know anything so they put an extra, very unnecessary, heater floor vent from my furnace.  They decided the best place to put the duct work was right smack dab where the access point to the crawl space is. (was)   So, no access to the crawl space which means no access for an exterminator to go under the house to kill the ants.

And another thing; before the exterminator can effectively kill out the ant colonies I must pay an insulation company to remove the very unnecessary insulation the city said should be packed into the air vents around the house.  Air vents are supposed to be opened in the warm months to dry out the dampness under the house then closed in the colder months to keep out the cold air. Dampness and darkness is what the meat eater ants want.  The city made the perfect meat eater ant living area right under my house by permanently sealing up the air vents from the inside.  I provided them with food by killing the mice and rats.

So you see how its better financially for me to simply start going to the soup kitchen and let the ants have my kitchen until the ant migration time is over?  Even if I came up with the money for the exterminator I couldn’t pay the costs for the other work.

I surrender!  You ants can have the kitchen and the bathroom.  Just stay out of the bedroom.  That’s mine.  The grand daddy long leg spiders in the studio (3) stop any ants from venturing there.  The spiders don’t bother me and I leave them alone.  They sure do keep other crawly critters out.  Hmm…. maybe I should transplant a couple of the spiders to under the stove or inside the sink cabinet.  Who knows, it might work.  AND that is organic too.

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22 comments on “I surrender!

  1. Chris
    July 12, 2015

    2

  2. Chris
    July 12, 2015

    nana, love reading your blogs. Try sprinkling lots of bicarb soda over the ants and
    their trails. It knocks off at least half of the tribe because they take it back to the nest. love from South Australia.

  3. Kathleen
    June 10, 2015

    Check this out 😉
    thefrugallife.com.ants
    A lot of suggestions….organically 😉
    Take care

    • Na Na
      June 10, 2015

      Thanks, I will.

  4. Jackie
    June 8, 2015

    I am not sure the product called Tarro will work for your type of ants, but we have always had good luck with it. It is placed on small squares of cardboard in their path and they take it back to nest. Can’t hurt to try if it is sold in your area. I want to tell you again how much I appreciate your blog and how you are willing to share yourself with all of us. You are a blessing to me!

    • Na Na
      June 9, 2015

      Thank you, I love being able to pass along stuff I learned. Glad I can help. I’ve tried the Tarro ant killer. It doesn’t work because these ants don’t go for sweets and the tarro is sugar based.

      • Jackie
        June 10, 2015

        That’s a bummer!

        • Na Na
          June 10, 2015

          Thankfully it won’t last long. The migration should be over in a few more days.

  5. Frugalwarrior2
    June 8, 2015

    I am in a constant battle w/ ants at the moment. The kittens play w/ the dog food and the sugar attracts the ants. I can’t use pesticides so I just keep sucking up the ants w/ my vaccumn and using cleaner in that area to disrupt their scent trails.

    • Na Na
      June 8, 2015

      Its a bother isn’t it? I don’t have a vacuum but it would be worth a try. I got tired of chasing them while trying to cook at the same time.

  6. Nathalie
    June 7, 2015

    Have you thought of trying diatomaceous earth? It’s used in organic gardens to control pests and apparently very effective. You should be able to find it in a garden center. Here is an article about it: http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/pest-control/how-to-use-diatomaceous-earth-zw0z1304zkin.aspx The article itself doesn’t specify that it kills ants but other articles that I have read do mention ants of all kinds. It does say to make sure to get the “food grade” kind if you’re going to use it around your house.
    Good luck!

    • Na Na
      June 8, 2015

      Yes, I’ve tried that too. Same problem as using the ecco spray. It kills on contact but it doesn’t get the main hive which is in the crawl space.

  7. Kathleen
    June 7, 2015

    I feel bad for you…very aggravating…
    We get ants near the yard …I use Ortho powder..they take it back to the queen and they DIE! within a few days….hope you find something that works…I like to go organic when I can but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do to get the job done.
    God Bless

    • Na Na
      June 8, 2015

      Yes, I agree. Right now I’ll try just about anything. There was a news report a couple of days ago about the large amount of ants in our county. I missed it but my neighbor told me about it. So evidently its a county wide problem. Maybe that means the city will find a solution. I hope!

  8. Sarah
    June 6, 2015

    While I don’t know how to get rid of the biting ants, I am sending you a hug. It can be challenging to not be overwhelmed by the unending list of things that need both time and money. I appreciate your blog, your real world common sense reminds me to just keep on keeping on!

    • Na Na
      June 7, 2015

      I appreciate the hug Sarah. Hugging you back. The overwhelmed feeling only lasts a little while until I remember all the blessings I have. The ants may frustrate me but a little Ladybug calms me down and shows me what really matters.

  9. Sarca
    June 6, 2015

    Oh man, brutal! When we first moved into our current house we had black ants who liked to venture from the front door to the back patio door in a straight line. Thankfully, some raid peanut butter traps did the trick after a couple of years. Some good advice you give. I can’t think if our town would ever do any work on our home at all…except to turn off the water to the house maybe. But, duct work? No way. They won’t even come to cut down a tree unless it was on public property.

    • Na Na
      June 7, 2015

      Many cities are doing work on houses in poorer neighborhoods in the hope of preventing urban blight. In other words, trying to prevent too many run down and falling apart houses in one area. The trouble is that its merely a band-aid and not an actual fix of the problems. It looks good on paper but usually causes more problems or doesn’t last very long. Trees are not cut by the city here either.

      I’m gonna try the peanut butter bait. I had not heard of it before. Where do I find it? With regular raid stuff?

      • Sarca
        June 7, 2015

        They’re called Raid ant baits. They come in a puck type thing. They are made with peanut byproducts.

        I know you are after cost savings, and I did read somewhere where you could use borax, honey and peanut butter. I don’t have a recipe off-hand..but there are articles online.

        • Na Na
          June 8, 2015

          At this point cost savings are far from my mind. I just want something that works. A neighbor said she had tried the raid ant baits with no luck. The whole neighborhood seems to be fighting ants just like we all fight the mice and rats.

  10. Linda Smith
    June 6, 2015

    Oh girl, I am so sorry. I know that “trapped” feeling all too well. People say money can’t buy happiness, but that’s usually people with money saying that! I don’t know about your meat eaters but I sprinkle cornstarch for ants & it works on the ones here. They eat it & it swells up inside of them. Maybe roll that hot dog in cornstarch. I’ll be thinking of you & hoping for better times.

    • Na Na
      June 7, 2015

      Thank you. I agree. Its the rich that say that. I do believe though that I’d much rather be frustrated by poverty than be constantly stressed keeping my money and possessions safe from predators and thieves. If someone were to offer me briefcase of money like on that show I’d give it all away.

      I’m going to give cornstarch a try too. It never hurts to try.

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This entry was posted on June 6, 2015 by in MAKE DO AND MEND, MY NEIGHBORHOOD, PEST CONTROL and tagged , , , , .

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