Gut Rumbles

November 17, 2003


I like living in Effingham County, Georgia, but I have to admit to one drawback about this place. We have more goddam ants and flies per square inch than any other place I've ever seen. I killed 26 flies in my house this weekend.

What is it with those dumbfuck flies? They've got an entire county full of dog turds, cow-flop, dead amadillos, other assorted road kill, garbage cans, Dempsey Dumpsters and everything else a fly could possible crave. It's all OUTSIDE. Why do they insist on flying INTO my house every time I open the door?

Once they're in, they want OUT again. They start banging and buzzing against the French door windows in my kitchen and I kill them with a Wal-Mart fly swatter. Every time I scoop up one of those dead bodies, I ask, "Why didn't you stay your stupid ass OUTSIDE? You could be laying 15,000 eggs in a dead deer rotting by side of the road now right if you hadn't flown in through my front door. But NOOOOO! You had to be the uninvited guest at the Crackerbox. Now, you're DEAD! I hope you had a good time while it lasted."

I keep the ant population at a minimum by applying liberal doses of Durstban and Diazanon (I bought a 50-pound bag of each after they were banned) to any mounds I see in the yard and I keep a Circle Of Death around the house. I'll have to find something else to use when those bags goes empty, and I'm running low now. If I don't put SOMETHING out there to keep the ants at bay, they'll overrun me. They are implacable little shits.

Flies and ants. I know that they both have their places in Mother Nature's grand design, but I hate 'em both. I kill all of 'em that I can.

And Effingham County has more than its fair share of both.



Have you Quit your job?
Or, on Sabbatical?

Posted by: A reader on November 17, 2003 08:37 AM

As long as we're talking about banned pesticides, let me give you a tip...

Through careful word-of-mouth, you should be able to find a cotton or tobacco farmer, or possibly a livestock rancher who's got an aging, rusty barrel of Strobane tucked in the back of their barn.

Strobane, Chlordane, or DDT are some incredibly noxious pesticides. I really can't recommend it if you've got kids or dogs running around but they work like nothing else.

We used to mix one shot glass full of the bug juice (about 2 ounces) into a 5 gallon sprayer full of water, and that diluted mix was potent enough to immediately kill most bugs on contact, and soaking an ant mound with a cupful or so guaranteed a big mess o' dead ants, and a mound that never got reinhabited.

Sure, it'll probably give me cancer, and the kids'll grow alligator hides and be able to bend spoons with their mind, but for bug killing juice that actually WORKS, there's nothing like pesticides on the EPA banned list.

Posted by: El Capitan on November 17, 2003 08:49 AM

I promise this will work on ants.

Sprinkle around the mound, not on it, though. If you sprinkle any ant-killer products on top of the mound, they go into a defensive mode, thinking that they are under attack and start protecting and moving the queen. They are too busy moving to eat the ant-killer on the old mound.

I'm not kidding, use Instant Grits, STRAIGHT FROM THE BOX. Yep, the grocery store box variety of instant grits. DO NOT COOK the grits. They eat it up, swell up, and die bursting from the pressure of the instant grits expanding. And the Queen gets fed the instant grits, too.

Of course, after a rain shower, spread fresh grits as soon as the ground/grass dries around any fresh mounds.

My neighbor's friend has used this techique for years, and now only sprinkles the Instant Grits around the perimeter of her yard to maintain an ant-free landscape.

Another tip from a DIY-type show. If the ants are invading your home, quickly grab some ammonia household cleaner and a cotton swab. Find the mound and entry point to your home. Swab the ammonia in and around the entry hole to your home. It takes away the scent the ants are using to follow the leader into your home.

Posted by: Ms Anna on November 17, 2003 09:04 AM

Perchance it's natures way of telling you to work on that hygiene thing.


Posted by: rick on November 17, 2003 09:11 AM

Another good source of organic, non-toxic remedies is Jerry Baker at One of his garden/lawn tonics includes tobacco juice made by steeping chewing tobacco (tied in the cut-off foot of panty-hose) in hot water. I haven't been able to find the "pouch" type of chewing tobacco around here, but that would be easier to use. A cup of the tobacco juice, plus some other household products, sprayed on your bushes and lawn will feed the green and kill the bugs. If you haven't seen him on PBS or read any of his pamphlets or books, you've missed a real treat!

Posted by: Ms Anna on November 17, 2003 09:16 AM

Does pouring hot boiling water on the ant mound work? I tried it and the ant mound went away. But I don't have a huge problem with ants.

You have a lot of insects due to high humidity and the warm climate. Frankly, I could put up with your problems if the temps rarely went below freezing.

Posted by: sugarmama on November 17, 2003 09:28 AM

Do you have the big outdoor roaches (some call them wood roaches or palmetto bugs) in your area? It's warm and humid there much of the year, so I'm thinking you must have them. Gawd how I hate those bastards! Try waking up to one running across your arm! Just hate it when they start flying at you. I've often thought that killing roaches is at or near the top of the list of what men are good for! I have those big roach motel things all over the house - especially under all sinks and in all the kitchen cabinets. Change them ever six months. I've found that the roaches I see are almost always sick from the poison. Also find dead ones here and there. The fire ants are real bastards too!

Posted by: Patty on November 17, 2003 09:57 AM

All it takes to drive all them critters inside is one or two nights below 40F.

Posted by: MommaBear on November 17, 2003 10:20 AM

About once a week, go outside and take a good shit, that will keep the flies outside.

Posted by: Catfish on November 17, 2003 10:55 AM

Piss on an anthill. Yes, that works! (if you have a yard where you can piss outdoors without being arrested)

I don't have many Palmetto Bugs around here because I don't give those flying cigar-butts a place to breed. DO NOT put wood chips in your flower beds down South.

I insecticide the shit out of everything else around here. I'm doing okay, except for the flies.

Posted by: Acidman on November 17, 2003 10:55 AM

Ants, roaches and bees -- reminds me of when I was a little girl living in Texas. I hate bees! No ants and roaches up here in Alaska, too cold I suppose. However we do get our fair share of mosquitos -- up in Fairbanks they are so big they are refferred to as the Alaska State Bird.

Posted by: Alaska Kim on November 17, 2003 11:30 AM

Well, in over four years of living on a sailboat in one of the most heavily roach-infested regions of the country, I've managed to have been roach-free, save for one dying stray that flew down the hatch.

Dock lines soaked in Dursban solution keeps the buggers from wandering aboard, and a bi-annual use of Raid's "FUMIGATOR" ensures no stowaways survive.

If you're not familiar with the Fumigator, it comes 3 cans to a pack. Little plastic cups, about 6 oz size with a steel-can inside. Peel the seals offa the cup and can, put a 1/4" of water in the cup, drop the can in.

The resulting chemical reaction produces a VERY TOXIC and DEADLY SMOKE. Unlike aresol bombs, the smoke penetrates EVERYwhere, behind bulkheads, electrical panels, etc etc.

If you have bugs in the house, this stuff kicks ass. Be sure to light off a can or two in the attic, too.

I like my nice, clean, bug-free boat.

Sloop New Dawn
Galveston, TX

Posted by: Jim on November 17, 2003 11:34 AM

NYC is the haven for roaches and rats. I try and keep my humble apartment clean to keep those critters away and the cat does his job in keeping the rodents away some of the time.

Posted by: Anna on November 17, 2003 01:09 PM

You have my sympathies, Acidman. I remember reading once that flies defecate every 4 seconds during their short life span - that fact alone is enough to warrant napalming them, especially when you think of how often they hang around while you're eating.

I especially loathe them when they reach that last stage of their life cycle that I like to call the "kamikaze phase" know, when they divebomb you with that crazy incessant whining buzz - that's when smacking them turns into a quest rivaling that of seeking the Holy Grail. The little bastards will put up one hell of a fight, and chasing them down becomes a dangerous yet thrilling task....but the pleasure derived from administering that fatal swat is worth every second.

Posted by: Trish on November 17, 2003 02:51 PM

For roaches that may come in, my mother has taught me to mix a little boric acid powder (on the shelves in a drug store) with white powdered sugar. Put a small amount (about 1 teaspoon) in an old lid, using it like a saucer. Hide away in the dark corners of your cabinets, etc. Deader than doornails, if they dare come into the house.

Posted by: Ms Anna on November 17, 2003 03:08 PM

Jim, you do wash all dishes, glasses, and cooking utensils after using those deadly bombs, don't you? Yes, they do work, but all the clean-up work after? Washing down the insides of the kitchen cabinets, etc.

Posted by: Ms Anna on November 17, 2003 03:12 PM

Acidman, a diluted soluti