"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Saturday, 14 March 2015


Ants.  This year they are hectic - probably due to the lack of rain.  They are everywhere.

Climbing up the trunks of our lemon trees, transporting scale on their backs and spreading the honeydew everywhere they venture...

... laying in wait round my pumpkin patch so that when I go to water the pumpkins I have to madly hop around to prevent being bitten to death...

... heading for the sugar water bird feeders in their droves...
So, I had to give the birds a helping hand.
All it takes is a strip of sticky fly paper wrapped around the branch of the tree from which the water bottle is suspended.
You will, naturally, get some macho ants who venture onto the sticky paper.  But, they obviously don't have many brain cells - even after their compatriots have been well and truly stuck they'll still attempt it themselves.

About the only thing, in my book, that the ants are good for, is creating breathing area's underground with their nest building, or consuming other pests in the garden.  Such as dead mice from our mouse traps...
... or those nasty cutworm from our compost heap.

It took the ants exactly 3 minutes to make this large 2.5cm (1") cutworm stop wriggling.  And the  whole insect disappeared in about 2 hours.

Please - don't forget the piquanté pepper seed giveaway - you still have time to enter, and it can be found here :



  1. We have fire ants here. They came up from further south. The fire ants are really hard to kill. If they bite you , you get a big sore where they got you. Like the Tiger termite, they are not native to here but have worked their way North from the Gulf Coast.

    1. Harry - Our ants are bad enough, thank you. You can keep yours ;)

  2. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for not including a picture of the ants consuming a mouse from your trap. Just the idea of you having to jump around to keep from being bitten made my hair stand on end! I think ants are interesting - not as interesting as E.O. WIlson finds them, but still, interesting - but then, we don't have the bitey kind 'way up North in Massachusetts. Whew!

    1. Quinn - Even I wouldn't go that far lol Ant colonies are amazing - have you seen the YouTube video about the ant colony which was filled with concrete and then dug up / exposed? Hectic!!

  3. We have way too many ants and they are the biting kind, like Harry mentions. They take all the fun out of gardening to have to endure half a dozen bites every time I work in the garden, but there seems to be no non-poisonous way to get rid of them. Wet weather really does seem to bring them out. Or up, as the case may be.

    1. Leigh - Apparently diatomaceous earth can help eradicate / move ant nests. It causes their exoskeleton to be damaged thereby killing them. We're trying to source a wholesale supplier at the moment.


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