I posted up a short thread on my battle with Zombie Ants on my Facebook page (yeah, I know, but it is just my social stuff…). Some of the comments I got pushed me to share that situation with readers, since there are strong problem-solving and lateral thinking skills that should appear. Plus, some other people on my team might have a suggestion or a better framework for my actions.
Okay, it started many years ago about this time of year, when an ant or two appeared on the white sink in my upstairs bathroom. Eventually, they disappeared and The Bug Guy at the exterminating company suggested that they were just “seasonal” and not a problem.
So, a couple of weeks ago, a few appeared on the sink and I smushed them and then flushed them down the sink drain. Gone.
Only to reappear a few hours later. So I smushed them again and flushed them again, only for them to re-appear again. Now, I am thinking Zombie Ants, rising from the dead and coming back to eat my flesh or something. So, for the past few days, I smush and they reappear. It is actually pretty amazing and I post a picture here:
Yeah, they are pretty small, but obviously really tough little guys.
Well, since smushing and mushing and flushing was obviously not a solid strategy, so I thought to build a barricaid. That seemed to make sense. So, I got some bread crumbs. It really worked well to keep them out of the sink itself, which I surrounded, but it did not seem to work all that well to slow their progress overall. I did not see a single one in the sink, but it was somewhat different around the edges.
Darn Zombies multiplied. So, more smushing and flushing. That actually seems to work pretty well. Now, I know I gotta think out of the box a bit to deal with this, so I think I will try something totally new. Nothing in their history of being ants deals with vibrations, and I have one of those vibrating toothbrush things so…
Yeah, that did not work too well either. I thought I vibrated some of them to death after attracting them to some toothpaste, but all that did is being a whole bunch more that just seemed to be sitting there and waiting for the next session. It seemed like they felt that it was Ant Disneyworld or something like that…
None of my friends had any good ideas, other than poisoning my whole bathroom which seemed a bit much. SO, I next thought, “Trap Them!” Yeah, build a trap to capture them. Something sticky. So, I mixed up some chocolate syrup and sugar water — I mean, what is stickier than that, right?
Well, those Zombie Ants will apparently eat anything!
So, I am at whit’s end. I am thinking of setting up a vacuum cleaner and running that for the next couple of days, but that will use up a lot of electricity and make a lot of noise and I do sleep up there.
Yeah, innovation and lateral thinking skills. Hmmm. My live animal trap works well with squirrels in the attic but ants are a different issue. Sticky stuff doesn’t work, nor do barricaids. These Zombie Ants can’t be killed through crushing or drowning, apparently. My TV-chopping machine works great for potatoes, but I think that would simply make a mess of things and that marble counter top was not designed as a chopping block.
Fire. Think I ouught to use some lighter fluid or something like that and burn the little buggers?
And I just googled “zombie ants in brazil” and this is some scary stuff. They invade cities and wreak all sorts of havoc on people, homes, communities and entire countries. Yeah, I need to stop this here and now. Maybe use some dry ice or liquid Nitrogen?
Ya think? And maybe I can creat a game around all this. I AM creating a game on managing the Zombies in an organization and recruiting the Slinks to be positive contributors, but nothing planned with the ants.
For the FUN of It!
Dr. Scott Simmerman is a designer of team building games and organization improvement tools. Managing Partner of Performance Management Company since 1984, he is an experienced presenter and consultant.
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While I’ve never met zombie ants in Australia, we do sometimes have persistent invasions of little black ants, both in bathrooms and kitchens. Only thing that’s reliably worked for me is some stuff called “Ant Rid”. You put a bit in a lid in their path, they eat it + transfer it to nest and problem solved. It’s a bit sticky but not risky to people/pets. I usually have 2-3 years or more between returns. Good luck solving the voodoo…