Taken at the James Joyce, in downtown Santa Barbara

Ants, and the New Year

A short one this time, I think. Diya and I went and celebrated New Year's with Chris, Misty, and Daniel at their house. It was a lot of fun, even though I think I talked politics too much, and it was really good to see all of them. I did start to re-evaluate the party, though, and think that we could have done more to protect ourselves. The fact that it was a pretty small gathering is nice, but I have gotten a little lazy, and am increasing my potential for risk.

I did get to go on a walk with Kat, a fellow teacher at The Lindy Circle and a good friend, on the first day of the new year. We both wore masks, and kept our social distancing as well as we could while staying on the dirt path. There were a few people without masks, many of whom put on masks as we approached, and all of whom were quite nice.

There was one woman who put on our mask and didn't respond at all when I said hello. It really felt like our presence was a huge inconvenience to her, but it's not really our fault for being on a public path. Santa Barbara indeed has all kinds.

Our Ant Problem

Throughout this December we have had a real presence of ants coming through the house. It's been an ongoing problem, but we seem to have gotten them to stay out of the home for now. (Who am I kidding? This is a stalemate at best.)

I had started by buying some diatomaceous earth, which is a perfect way to kill many types of insects. This stuff is great because it is entirely harmless to humans. You can swallow it (and indeed it is mixed with some food ingredients to keep pests away), or roll in it, and you will be just fine.

The problem is that the best way to use the stuff is with a spreader that lays a thin layer over surfaces, which the ants (or other critters) scuttle across. If you don't have any of these tools, you end up spreading these white lines around the inside or outside of yoru house, and the ants can get around that relatively easily.

After a couple failed attempts at keeping the ants from using a hole under our heater to cross the dining area, I have finally laid out a broad enough patch of the stuff that the ants have given up.

Our heater looks like it has a bit of a cocaine hoard, but it has done the job!

The ants haven't gone for much of our other bait, but this is more product than needed, so I will have to vacuum most of this up sometime soon.

That's all for now. Hope everyone is having a great New Year's!