I am not a fan of bugs. I'm the person that will squish a bug without hesitation. Release it outside so it can crawl back in? No thank you. Once, during my speech therapy visit at a daycare, while sitting as part of their circle time, I saw a spider crawling amidst our preschool singing fun and in front of all the children, squished it with gusto. The teachers were not impressed.
LADY SLIPPER! This flower is endangered in NS. It's illegal to pick them- I was yelled at by a park ranger as a child for picking one- they only flower every SEVEN years! A true treat.
I thought these gorgeous purple flowers were weeds, until they bloomed! Good thing I resisted pulling them up!
Unfortunately, our new house appears to be built on multiple giant anthills. Trillions of ants surround us. I swear. For the past few months we have fought the fight of the Ant. Tiny sugar ants that roam the kitchen floors (and sometimes counters- ew!) by the dozens. When they found their way upstairs in our bedroom I drew the line. No more Ms Nice Nature Loving Yogini. I was going to kill them all. Or at least find a way to keep them out. After a month we're at somewhat of a stalemate with periodic Ant Attacks (today dozens of sugar ants found their way into the kitchen under the cupboards, like jerks).
Pretty magenta lilac bush- who knew they could be this colour?The following semi-natural approaches have (kinda) worked:
- Diatomaceous Earth: Much of our house has this white powdery substance lining the baseboards. It looks like crap, but ants can't walk over it. It's seriously cruel actually, the Diatomaceous earth cuts at the ants and dehydrates them until they die. I know. But...it's natural and won't harm our cats if they try to eat it (which they haven't). They do tend to alternate course and try to find another point of entry. So a two-pronged attack is necessary:
- Borax and sugar water: This came from my dad's suggestion to get liquid Ant Raid, specifying that we needed a 7% borax ratio. Which made us think- why purchase liquid ant poison, if it's just the borax that kills them? We have borax, we can make our own liquid solution and we'll know for sure that it just has borax, sugar and water.
Our cat proof ant trap
Borax Sugar Water Ant Poison:
1 part sugar
4 parts water
Boil the water and sugar together, allow to cool. Add slightly less than 10% of the volume in borax. Mix and keep in a glass jar out of reach of children and pets.
Using jam jar lids (or pop bottle lids) add liquid. Leave it outside or inside where you see the ants and keep away from pets and children. Allow the ants to leave with the solution (they bring it to the nest and it kills more of them that way). We used an old yogurt container with small holes cut in the bottom, put the jam jar lid with the borax solution inside and sealed it away from the cats.
My new hummingbird feeder spot. We shall see...These awful little bugs have even invaded our hummingbird feeder. For the third time tonight, I had to clean out the feeder since it had become cloudy with ant remains. WTF ants? Don't MESS with my bird feeders! I have been forced to place the hummingbird feeder on the clothesline next to the finch feeder. It's a bit ghetto... but this is serious business. Plus at least I resisted putting legit ant poison all over the hummingbird feeder.
These little white flowers are so cute. I thought they were wild flowers, since I found them nestled in the middle of a little wild plant section- but have since discovered they were planted their on purpose some time long ago!
The epitome of bug grossness, though, was this weekend:
ew ew ew ew ew ew ew
OMG the entire stem is covered. took these photos tonight. We should really spray the lupines with water tomorrow...
Saturday I decided that I would cut some of the beautiful lupines and lilies growing in our yard and make a bouquet for our kitchen. I was super proud of my Secret Garden Flowers (each bloom is a surprise!) and posted a photo on Facebook to prove it. The lupines and lilies smelled amazing and I did a happy dance each time I walked by the evidence that to no credit to us, we had an awesome flower garden.
And then Sunday I noticed dozens and dozens of seafoam green little crawly things ALL OVER OUR FLOOR. I nearly lost my mind. Yelling for Andrew to come over, we spent frantic moments searching and squashing this little buggers and flushing them down the toilet. They looked eerily like wood ticks, only green and I had a (shameful) moment of panic: "WHAT IF THEY'RE BABY TICKS????" (If you don't know what ticks are- good for you. They are awful and currently are a problem and lyme disease carrier in Nova Scotia. Each evening after our garden inspection we do full body tick checks). In order to kill ticks you need to burn them or cut them in half with something sharp. They don't squash.
Gross creepy crawly talk break- these are my favourite flowers in the whole garden. Originally they were among the half dozen I thought were weeds- specifically I thought they were grass gone to seed until they flowered! They're still pink and puffy weeks later!
Since neither Andrew nor I wanted to touch the flowers, we put the entire bouquet, vase and all, out on the deck and left it there overnight.
Andrew threw the flowers out in the compost this morning.
(pretty plant photo to balance gross aphid photo. Also- I have no idea what this plant will become- any thoughts? A weed or a flower?)
- Dunk flowers in a bucket of water prior to bringing them in the house (thank you Teresa for that tip!)
- Rip up all the front lupines in the fall.
- Learn to love lady bugs.
These are herbs our of control in the front garden- the herb on the left has actually grown into the lawn- so every time you walk over it, a delicious smell wafts up!