Ants Versus Man

In July we noticed a few petite ants in the front entrance making their way in and across the floor to a curled up piece of linoleum. We tried to ignore it for a few days killing off the ones we saw but otherwise hoping the problem would disappear. One afternoon we were both hunched over watching them crawl as we tried to figure out if they were going under the linoleum to get out the front door or some other way. I do not know what possessed me but I knocked on the wooden frame of the closet and the ant traffic suddenly increased. Perhaps, the ant earthquake alarm went off. Now when I say there was an increase I am talking 10 to 20, not a lot by the normal person’s standards but my mine… ahhhh!!!!

Over the next few days Jeff put out some ant traps. Did not work. Tried some ant drops. Sort of worked. Ant traps and ant drops worked better together. We were still seeing the odd ant. One day instead of squishing the life out of one we sat and waited until it made its trek across the great divide of our front entrance to see how it got in and out. There were a bunch of ant hills outside our door just off the cement slab. They all received drops. We waited another week but were still seeing the odd ant coming home.

Jeff decide to lift up the already loose linoleum to see what was happening underneath. Whoa, some funky old tiles. Jeff had all the intention of laying the linoleum back down but I sarcastic said, you should just rip it up and we can use the funky old tile. I can wax it to shine it up blah, blah blah. I laughed and turned my back. When I looked back he had sliced a huge chunk of the linoleum with an Exacto knife.

First cut of linoleum cut back.

After ripping up all the linoleum we decided the old tile underneath was not in good shape. And really busy to look at.

Ripped up all of linoleum.

So he ripped that up and we were left with uneven cement covered with tile glue. We gave it a good wash and left it for a couple days until we decided what we were going to do.

Removed tile.

During this time, no ants.

In our conversations it was decided that the front entrance would get fresh ceramic tile. This later expanded to include the bathroom which also had old linoleum that was discoloured and rolling in places etc. So that was ripped up.

We spent a lot of time shopping for tile (and a new toilet — might as well replace that since everything is ripped up right?), getting information on how to treat the underlay, level concrete, and of course how to lay ceramic tile. Jeff has always been a true do-it-yourself handyman willing to give anything ago.

Level front entrance.

He decided to tackle the bathroom first because it was a smaller space and had less corners to worry about. One day he spent over 14 hours laying the tile and getting it just right.

Grouting bathroom floor tiles.

In my wisdom I decided to sand and paint the old wooden vanity with melamine-like paint (never again).

Painted cabinet wiht melamine paint.

And remove the original wallpaper from the front entrance closet and paint it (color is elephant skin). Jeff has since painted the trip white.

Painted closet

Jeff’s parents came for a visit about the time we finished off the bathroom so we decided to put the front entrance on hold until we did not have as much foot traffic to coordinate. Jeff laid the tile for the entrance this weekend and I actually think it went much faster than the bathroom even though it is a bigger space.

Test tile layout

The floor will set for a few days while we take care of a few appointments and he gets a few things organized for school. Then he will grout, add baseboards and quarter rounds.

Buttered tiles

We have not seen another ant, knock on wood… er ceramic tile. But if do, we are ignoring them — it’s cheaper!

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