Friday, October 19

Ain't just Ants in Costa Rica

There must be fifty ga-jillion ants in Costa Rica.
There are WHITE ants that like sugar and bread (can't see them).
There are Army ants that come in a swarm and "clean" your house here. They only came once to La Macha's house and I drove them back underground with my pump sprayer loaded with insecticide. They haven't returned. The locals (from what I've read), welcome these ants in their homes. I have heard of entire walls and floors covered with these army ants as they pass through a home, doing their clean sweep. They eat all the bugs, rats, etc. Army Ant Photo taken from this site . Check it out.

The MOST AMAZING are the leaf cutter ants.
Check out this site. Killer photos.
They run long trails transporting their cut leaves back to the underground nest for their food. They don't eat the leaves, they use the leaves to make a type of fungus that only they can eat. Totally amazing. Step in their path and the war is on. They bite!! It's also told that the people here have used the leaf cutter ant's pinchers as sutures!

They hold the ant over the cut and squeeze him, the ant clamps down and closes the wound and then his body is pinched off. Each ant pincher is used as a stitch! Awesome...

We have fire ants but in addition to the red ones, we have the black kind that look harmless. They are small and you can't feel them. They wait until they are all in position and give the signal to attack. The frantic ant dance begins trying to get them off! They leave little blisters that can turn into sores if you scratch them (scars, too). Heaven help you if you step on one of their beds.

Then there are the crazy ants. They are usually found in the kitchen (into everything if you're not careful). They are practically microscopic. You wouldn't see them if they didn't run around like crazy. They are just pesky. They like sugar, they like everything! A speck of brownie on the floor is a good ant trap. They will come out of nowhere to feast. I've heard a boric acid, honey and water mixture is also a killer ant cocktail.

We also have the carpenter ants. They are every homeowners worst fear.

Just too many ants to mention.

I hate killing any living thing but this is My domain and
My solution is this, Biokim Ceperkil 25 EC. It has "Peretroide".
It's the best I've found in Costa Rica (I've tried many).
Mix with water (it's all in Spanish so I just guess) and use it in a pump sprayer.
A small spray bottle for small stuff inside. I've heard some people mop their floor with insecticide but I haven't had to take that measure. I try to stop them at the perimeters (fence, base of house outside, around their favorite banana trees, etc).

Ain't no ants at my house.
I wish that were true but the reality is, "holding your ground" never ends. I don't have ticks, fleas, roaches, spiders, scorpions, crabs, termites, mosquitos, less frogs, etc. AND all the dogs are still alive. I take care not to poison us.
By the way, frogs kill here, expecially the "toad-looking" frog that secretes poison that kills dogs.
Not to mention the infamous (and deadly) dart frog. Click here.
That's another blog for another day...
A Frog Blog :)
Welcome to the Jungle

(Reprint from my past blog)


Jen said...

Of course, I am always fighting ants in Dominica. Someone told me this week to try Bay Oil. Haven't done it yet, but if I find some and have success I will let you know!

TICA MACHA said...

I am fascinated with ants and really hate to kill them. They work so HARD! But, my domain is mine. I have to draw the line and I do that with pesticide. I've never heard of Bay Oil. Let me know.

Kim said...

I just returned from a trip to Costa Rica, and was literally attacked by the small black ants, whose initial bite you can hardly feel. I am know covered in bites, concentrated on my face, neck, chest, shoulders and arms, and it is quite miserable. Do you have any remedies that may cause them to subside more quickly? Hydrocortisone cream is doing little to relieve me. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

kim said...

My email address is Thanks!

TICA MACHA said...

I've been doing a lot of yard work lately and seem to find myself right in the middle of them before I know it. The best thing is to put alcohol on it when you first get bit. DON'T SCRATCH IT.
Next I use "Systral Creme" sold here. It has Chlorphenoxamine hydrochloride 15 mg. Helps to curb the itching!!
Good luck with that.
Don't scratch!

Troy Rose said...

A few drops of Eucalyptus oil in a spray bottle and sprayed onto your body not only works good to keep mosquitoes and biting flies away but just about every insect on the earth hates this oil and ants will surely leave your home immediately after spraying it around the perimeter of your home..