Home Life: You’re Stronger Than You Think You Are


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You’re Stronger Than You Think You Are

Learning a Lesson from the Determination of Ants

by Joanne Troppello


According to School of Bugs, “Thanks to the strength of their neck joints, it is estimated that ants can lift 5,000 times their weight and carry or move around with 1,000 times their weight with little difficulty.”


That may boggle your mind at first, especially since ants are so small, yet can lift so much—yet, the average human cannot lift more than 2.5 times their body weight above their heads.


The reason I bring up ants as my topic today is that we live in an older home and have had issues with ants and wolf spiders. Thankfully, my husband works for a pest control company and his manager allows the employees to use the pest control treatments at their homes.


For the most part, the treatments have been working to keep the wolf spiders out. Thankfully! And I don’t want to spend too much time thinking about them since I have a severe fear of spiders. However, living where we live in the country and having had my share of encounters with them in the last two years—I have slowly been conquering that fear.


Now, regarding the ants, we’ve tried the bait boxes with bait to get rid of the ants. The hope was that they would take the bait back to the colony and the queen would die, then the colony would die out.


That didn’t work very well.


I didn’t want to start spraying chemical ant spray to kill them, especially since they were coming in from the kitchen window and I didn’t want to spray there or on the counter.


I did some research and found that baking soda and salt can be used to kill ants. When you add equal parts of those plus sugar and place it on a lid or low container on your counter or wherever the ants are congregating, they should be attracted to the mixture and bring it back to their colony. The goal is the same. To kill the queen and wipe out the colony. (I had no idea about that—killing the queen and wiping out the colony—that was something I learned from my husband.)


Additionally, I read that lemon juice, white vinegar, and apple cider vinegar are generally effective in repelling ants since those pungent scents can inhibit their sense of smell and their ability to search for food. When ants find food, they leave behind odor trails for other ants in their colony to follow the scent to find the food.


The following photo is of the baking soda, salt, and sugar mixture and also the lemon juice (2 tbsp.), white vinegar (4 oz.), and apple cider vinegar (2 tbsp.) mixture with diffuser reeds.


Home Life at Mustard Seed Sentinel

I tried both methods today. I know it could take a few weeks for these options to work. However, I have noticed that there were not as many ants around today. Also, I saw a few ants on the baking soda, salt, and sugar mixture. I walked back into the kitchen with my plate from lunch and was going to rinse it and place it in the sink, when I saw one ant carry some of the mixture away.


The following photo is of one of the ants moving away with the powder mixture. However, I had to enlarge the photo a lot, and it’s too blurry, so you can only see a small black spot (near where I placed the diamond sticker).



I hope that ant was heading back to the colony!


The bait seemed to bring more ants over the next 24 hours. The following photo shows some areas in the bait where the ants were carrying the powdery substance away. If you look closely, you can see the difference from this photo below and the one posted above with the bait and diffuser jar photo.



Over the next 24 – 48 hours, I noticed ants carrying the bait up the backsplash and up the wall back out to their colony. It was so interesting (and creepy) to watch. Now, about 5 days after I put out the bait, there are only a few ants that I’ve seen. I hope this will work. I can post an update later on throughout the summer.


Be Like an Ant


Okay, so don’t be like an ant and hunt for food around your neighborhood and in other people’s houses. However, be like an ant in the following ways:


  • Strength

  • Determination

  • Communication


You are stronger than you think you are. The next time you start to get worried about doing something new or trying to overcome a struggle in your life, think about the ants. Remember how small they are, yet they have super strength to help them forage for food and survive and thrive.


Maintain a mindset of determination that no matter what, you are going to overcome the struggles and problems in your life. Start to see problems as opportunities for God to move in your life and show His glory. Begin to make changes in your perspective so that you focus on God and not what’s wrong in your life. That’s how you’ll experience true peace (Isaiah 26:3)


Learn how to become a better communicator. As I mentioned earlier, ants leave scents behind for others in their colony to follow the trail to the food. They move like an army. They communicate with each other. The ants are not loners. You and I need people. Let’s make a pact to try to communicate better with those in our lives and become better communicators with God.


Can you relate to my struggles with ants in my home? Are you prepared to become more like an ant in your own life?

About the Author


Joanne Troppello at Mustard Seed Sentinel

Joanne Troppello is an author, writer, and poet. She is the publisher of the online Christian lifestyle magazine, Mustard Seed Sentinel. Connect with Joanne on Twitter. You can find Joanne on these social media channels—Twitter, Facebook, Parler, Spreely, and Clouthub—with the same username, @JoanneTroppello—and @joannetroppello.mseedsentinel on Instagram. Visit the Mustard Seed Sentinel YouTube Channel. Check out MSS Live Well Corner.



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