Dear Editor,
Ants are one of the most successful creatures of our time, but we are invaded by black ants of near plague proportions. Some suffer red ants which are worse because they bite.
These insects are not invincible and are easily killed. A chemical will kill ants on contact, but the safest most effective and cheapest is washing up liquid in water. The ratio of soap is similar to when washing dishes. Insects breathe differently to humans they use holes in their thorax and if soapy film blocks them they die.
I use a hand sprayer with a squeeze trigger on the cap. I favour the haze lock version available from Boyes for 50p. The nozzle is adjustable from fine to stream. Add a squirt of fairy liquid, top off with water, a bit of a shake and your armed.
This solution kills all insects, including greenfly, black fly, whitefly, red spider, mite, earwigs. It also kills spiders. Indoors bluebottles are an easy target once lured to a window and Wasps invading your barbeque can be shot down in flight, but prepare a place at the table for them with a dab of jam on a saucer.
If you have a large area of ants, use a watering can.
Soapy water is not a weed killer and it can damage leaves on some vegetables and flowers.
I have significantly reduced the number of ants on my property.
K Farrell.