Grant’s Ant Stakes

“Sure, we have them”, said the salesman at Ace Hardware. The familiar old Grant’s Ant Stakes have always come in shiny metal with a corrugated metal stake. I remember them scattered about the yard and under the sink in the kitchen in the 1950’s. Well, now they come in gray plastic. “The cost of the metal, you know.” So I bought a pack.

Boy Mechanic also bought a surge suppressing plug strip and two new 3-way compact flourescent bulbs, so that’s $48 for a stop at the store to get ant stakes.

The apartment units here get an ant problem faithfully every year, right after the rains. Don’t look to the property management for a solution at a time like this – it’s every tenant for himself or herself. We do the Raid thing and the ant trap thing and the impeccable housekeeping trip, and eventually the rains stop and the ants go away.

This year’s infestation wasn’t bad, it was pretty mild actually, but I couldn’t stop it. You can only clean the counters so many times. So I bought the stakes.

The trouble with me is, I read directions. Now they tell you up front that Grant’s contains arsenic. “Kills the queen!”, they boast. The poison works slowly, giving the ants time to deliver the payload direct to the nest. It wouldn’t do for the morning’s raiding party to arrive at the worksite, only to find a pile of dead workers. So the nest slowly sickens.

After less than 24 hours, I’m not getting as many ants, and the ones that do report to work seem lethargic and a little disoriented. The ones that are still strong enough to go out and get food are reporting straight to my one Grant’s Ant Stake, so the nest can get its strength back and get well soon.

Like so many humans, I’d rather not know. I’d rather not get involved. What do you mean, we can’t dump our pollutants in the atmosphere? Where else are we supposed to put them?

It was so much simpler in the old days, when all we knew was that if we put out the stakes, the ants wouldn’t come by anymore.

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