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applestar
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Does anyone else think ants smell like Formula 409?

I just squished an ant that found its way on the table. After two days of rain, ant invasion in the kitchen is the norm, so I'm not going to worry about that.

But yet again, I smelled that odor that inexplicably reminds me of Formula 409 cleaner. It brings up murky memories of work study in the University cafeteria.

I'm assuming it's the Formic Acid. (Does ANYONE remember the sci-fi novel or a short story about a boy with extraordinary powers who lives with a carnival, and who was constantly derided for eating ants? It turned out that his body needed Formic Acid. Smelling crushed ants also always reminds me of that story, though I've forgotten its title or the author.)

I discovered by accident that if I SCRUB up (as opposed to wiping up) the invading ants on the kitchen floor with a wet paper towel, I can literally clean the floor with them. :twisted: I think their exoskeleton provides the scouring agent and the formic acid, the cleaning agent. So declare a "Scrubbing Day" when the ants invade your kitchen! (Do you remember the movie Pippi Longstocking? "Scrubbing Day is a Holiday, 'cause on Scrubbing Day, EVERYTHING gets wet!" :lol: :> )

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gixxerific
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I'm gonna go squish me some ants to find out. :lol:

But really Apple you need to sit down and relax, I think you have lost it. :P :wink: :> nutz: -helpsos-

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applestar
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:>

Toil
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nothing crazy about accepting free tools from Nature.

I've seen a raven on TV purposely irritating an ant colony so they spray it with formic acid. It is using the ants to delouse itself. That blew me away for sure. Engineering a formic acid shower as a medical treatment is some very, very complex tool use.

So apple is at least as smart as a raven ;)

now who will suggest a blended ant cleaning product? Keep it in the fridge for sure!

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Gary350
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I can't smell ants. I can't smell much of anything.

The lid on a quart jar of honey was not on tight and I did not know. Next time I looked at the jar is was solid black. I took a closer look it was full of ants. I decided I needed to recover the honey and get rid of the ants so I dissolved the honey in hot water. Then I poured the liquid through a tea strainer to remove the ants. Next I used the honey water mix to make some home made wine. Wine turned out excellent. 5 gallons made 28 bottles of wine they are all gone now.

Charlie MV
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It's like everybody in this thread ate a big plate of crazy before they typed.

cynthia_h
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Glad to see you again, Charlie! :D

I myself have no idea what 409 smells like; I use something else to clean kitchen counters.

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

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Mini Mango!
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Oooooh how "DELIGHTFUL"! :|
Gary, I think your wine is more like a sweet soup with a hint of 409.
You just boiled the ants with the honey???!!
....maybe you should post it to the recipe forum? LOL
Last edited by Mini Mango! on Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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applestar
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Charlie MV wrote:It's like everybody in this thread ate a big plate of crazy before they typed.
Well that's a lovely greeting after an absence. Are you calling me nutz: ?
Then, same to you! :twisted: :>
(I have a little embroidered pillow that says "A Wonderful Wacky Woman Lives Here" :wink:)

p.s. Welcome back. :()

Charlie MV
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Thanks for the welcomes and props. Applestar, I own a boat and live in South Carolina. I never said there was anything wrong with being crazy. In fact I endorse crazy. I seek it out and try to hold it close.

I read about half a dozen reasons here that affirm my decision to forswear any and all alcohol.

Last year, we had an invasion of sugar ants on the boat. The little buggers walked out a thousand foot dock, crawled up my dock lines and into our beds.

The marina owner said the ants were looking for water. I told him South Carolina had stupid ants since the boat was floating in a 50,000 acre freshwater lake. He left.

I put out huge quantities of cimin cinima cmininno cinnamon that we bought on quart jugs at Sam's. No joy. One weekend I nuked the little b*stards with ant bombs and doused my lines with Real Kill. No more ants. I'm particular about who I sleep with. 8)

cynthia_h
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Now, see...the ironic thing about this thread is that one of the things I use to kill ants is my kitchen spray. I use Fantastik to clean my kitchen counters, stove top, and a few other items (never have used 409; not sure why).

But when ANTS come into the house, or when they send in a few scouts, the entry hole(s) and the routes are doused with Fantastik. I'll use the cotton swabs, a kleenex (oops; "facial tissue"), or the spray bottle, depending on the coverage needed.

And they die. Quickly and in massive numbers.

As to the ant nest, if I find a nest in a bad (for me) location, I use the boiling water treatment.

Obviously, neither of these approaches will work in a compost or vermicompost set-up. I've used cinnamon, which sometimes helps, and I've used ground eggshells on top of the regular compost to deter ants. Diatomaceous earth (DE) is too pricey and too indiscriminate a killer for me to put it into my compost. I have no desire at all to kill the hard-working worms! which DE will do.

Cynthia

That good little boy dog, Vergil, has been as good as gold today: hanging out in his pen, just watching and enjoying the feeling of *not* having sutures/staples/invaders in his skin anymore. :D I think I can go back down to pain meds 2x/day vs. the 3x/day I had to take him up to last Thursday. I'll find out about 2:00 tomorrow morning/later tonight.
Last edited by cynthia_h on Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

Charlie MV
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I have been ant sniffing for a day or two. We have smallish red ants that leave blisters when they bite. They have no smell but taste like that Lipton tea in a can.

My wife put little ground spikes out that just make them relocate a few feet away. They don't seem to hurt the garden. I suggested to my wife the idea of catching them and using them to clean her kitchen. Remember that look that Ray Barone's wife used to give him just before she called him an idiot? It went over like that.

She told me not to even think about making her wine out of ants and honey. She keeps asking me what the hell I'm reading. I tell her it's just the State newspaper from Columbia. She says that pretty much explains it.

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rainbowgardener
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In all fairness to Gary, he did say he strained the ants out, before he made wine from the honey & water:

"Then I poured the liquid through a tea strainer to remove the ants. "



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