Wednesday, September 3, 2008

They're B-A-A-C-K!

Photo credit: Luke,
(Thanks Luke, for reminding me that I'm not alone in my on-going ant battle!)

Well, so much for moving. I had naively hoped that when we moved to our new townhouse, we'd be free of ants. No such luck. I've heard from friends that, in this area of the U.S., ants are very persistent.

But ... I discovered something interesting about the ants at our new home. They seem to be smarter than the ants at our old place. How can I tell? Two things:

At our old house, you could observe a line of ants without disturbing them. They didn't get upset and scurry until I began to vacuum or started using my mint oil spray. Here, the minute I walk in the room, they run for cover (making it very hard to tell how they are getting into the house!)

And here, the ants are sneaky. I found them coming into my kitchen through a power outlet (!) and then they were crawling along a black electrical wire (blending in) to enter house (and the fruit bowl - ick). Here, ants tend to follow hidden paths -- underneath the sink or along the underside of the countertops and dishwasher -- making it hard to track them. At our old place, the ants not only entered the house in the open, if I fought back with spray, they'd re-enter days later at the same place.

So ... are my new ants smarter? I've never thought about ants having varying levels of intelligence before. I doubt that individual ants would show much difference in intelligence (I wonder how you could test that?). But this new colony definitely seems to have evolved a more sophisticated style of suburban survival. Very interesting ...

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