I love everything about summertime – with one exception. Ants. In our house, as soon as the weather warms, they appear out of nowhere and head straight for any tidbit of cat or dog food they can find.
I try to keep up with it by washing out the dog and cats bowls right after they finish eating, and disposing of any leftover crumbs. Kona usually licks his bowl clean, but the cats always leave a few nuggets of kibble that I toss into the toilet, which, so far, seems to be ant-proof.
Waking up to a long line of of ants piling onto an overlooked crumb on the kitchen counter isn’t my favorite way to start the day, so I decided to get proactive and research ways to keep the little buggers away. Upon learning that ants avoid water, I created my own version of a “moat bowl” by placing a food bowl into a larger bowl with water. Unfortunately, the food bowl was pushed to one side, touching the outside bowl, and the ants crawled right in. I suppose I could have glued the food bowl into the water-filled bowl, but I’m not ready to commit just yet.
Another option I’ve tried is sprinkling generous amounts of talcum powder around the food and water dishes. The ants do seem to have an aversion to the powder, but the cats step in it and leave little white paw prints all over the floor. Lately, out of frustration, I spray Windex on them and wipe up the carnage with a paper towel. The ammonia keeps them away for a day or so, but they always return.
I don’t like killing the little critters, but I can’t exactly scoop them up and put them outside the way I do with spiders or crickets. So I got back on the internet and searched “ant proof bowls” and found a site called Alley Cat Allies that offers a helpful list of ant-proof bowl recommendations and links to their websites.
Since ants can’t swim (though I found plenty of debates on this in the review sections), most of the bowls I found were along the same lines as my attempt at a moat bowl, and had a more sophisticated water channel surrounding the individual food bowl. One of the bowls I saw has a waterless moat, with a clever design that outsmarts the ants. Go figure.
Though I am interested in keeping my cats daily feed bowls ant-free, I would also like to figure out how to keep their larger sized self-feeder free from ants as well. I rarely use their self-feeder – only if I’m going to be gone for a night or two, and I’d like to have some peace of mind that Pumpkin and Scout won’t have to deal with bugs in their food.
Ultimately, I decided to order The Anster, which is a platform with a covered water and soap moat chamber inside of it that you can set your pet dishes on top of. It is 9 x 13, which is large enough to accommodate the self-feeder as well. It was a little pricey ($26.95 + $9.95 S&H), but I liked that I didn’t have to buy new dishes, and it was versatile. I could even put Kona’s dog food bin on top of it!
I just placed the order yesterday, so hopefully it will come soon. They have a 30-day money back guarantee, which is reassuring. I’m curious to see if this will be the solution to a small but annoying problem, and will write my own personal review for anyone else out there who has unresolved ant invasions.
If any of you have had similar issues, I’d love to hear from you – especially if you came up with a successful solution!
Hope you’re all having a tail-waggin’ ant-free Wednesday 🙂