More rain; The ants come marching in

A day ago this was to be a 50% chance of rain. Then only 12 hours ago it was downgraded to a probable light mist. We ended up with 0.49" overnight from a slow but steady rainfall, making the seasonal total about 1.75 inches in my backyard. This puts us well above the 3rd quartile for this time of the rainy season and well above this time of year compared to 2006-07 and 2005-06. In winter 2004-05, a big storm started on the 17th of October and dumped more than 2.5 inches by the time it was done. That year seems to be the wettest October in the last ~60 years. My data goes back to 1944.

An early wet season doesn't seem to be a predictor of an overall dry winter. I quickly counted 11 seasons when the Sept-Oct rainfall exceeded 1", and in all but one of those seasons total rainfall was significantly greater than the median.

The ants, recently banished from inside, have returned. They tend to seek higher ground when they get flooded out; my house is the locally highest ground. I don't have qualms about using any means to eradicate them but the best method that I've found once they are established inside is to use a boric acid / sugar water solution. I place it near their trails on a scrap of aluminum foil formed into a shallow dish. This tends to look like I'm feeding them as pets to the uninitiated. However, I long ago learned that they flat out ignore ant baits in fancy containers with more rapid acting and toxic poisons.

The last time I purchased boric acid, I had to ask the pharmacist for it. It was kept behind the counter, even though it is available without prescription. It comes in powdered form in a can large enough to poison a lifetime's supply of ants. 2% in whatever the ants want to eat is enough to do away with them in a week or so of feasting. Make sure there are no other sources of food for them to eat.

The information on how to make a 2% solution is readily available on the web. "To make a 2% solution, take the solution that you intend to use as bait (honey and water, sugar and water, dog food and water. or whatever). Add 2.5 grams(one level teaspoon) of boric acid powder to 125ml (4 fluid ounces) of your bait. Heat it on the stove until the boric acid dissolves. After it has cooled, pour some in a shallow gizmo like a jar lid and leave it where the ants will find it -and where your children and pets will not be able to get at it." Or purchase a commercial mixture.

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