We are experiencing our annual ant invasion another sure sign of Spring. They are in the house and they are looking for sugar. They send out scouting parties usually squad size. If they find no sugar they move on. They very quickly give up the bedrooms and the bathrooms. They will go for a cough drop wrapped in paper, we've learned to keep cough drops in a sealed jar.
The scouts discovered sugar in our kitchen and the army arrived to move the treasure from our house to their nest. The nest is probably the size of the City of Marina so there is no possibility of ever wiping out the colony.
These ants are not at all like those little red bastard ants which we encountered 'Nam. They are not aggressive and they don't bite. They just want sugar.
They don't care about breadcrumbs, butter, grease, meat, whole fruit, veggies, nuts, chips or pasta. They only want sugar. They do not not have the slightest interest in Equal or Splenda. I've offered it up to them and they reject it like salt. They will go for honey, jelly, jam and maple syrup. We keep all of that stuff in the fridge. They will field strip a jelly bean and ship it back to the nest in a few hours time. They are active only during the warmest part of the day. They have a strong union. They can not survive as individuals or in small groups. They only survive as a nest. Cut off from the nest they die quickly.
Once the scouts report the find, the army is deployed and a line of arts begin moving the sugar. The line moves simultaneously in two directions, to the sugar and back to the nest. There is a theory that ants deploy an invisible chemical trail that the ants follow so that nobody gets lost. For this extraction process to work all of the ants must follow the trail and keep moving.
As a tactician, I know that if I deploy a very small amount of ant spray at a couple of key choke points I can interrupt the army's supply train and stop the invasion. I discovered the point at which they were entering the kitchen. They had found a tiny hole in the caulking around the windowframe. They were climbing up the outside wall and coming in the kitchen window frame. I applied a tiny bit of spray in the entry hole. I went outside and sprayed a larger area around the window. The ant spray leaves a residue which is deadly to ants for weeks. They may find another way in, they are ingenious little sugar junkies or they may cut their losses and move on.
We are used to this seasonal invasions and try to fight off the invaders in a thrifty, eco-friendly way so as to minimize exoskeletonshed and the poisoning of our home and the environment.