One of the inevitabilities of living in a rural area is an invasion of ants.
In the past few years the nuisance has been relatively minor, in that laying down some spray and positioning ant bait stations would usually eliminate the problem; the bait stations in particular work fairly well as the ants take the poisoned treats back to the nest where they're most effective.
But a recent invasion was right out of control and we were finding black ants all over the house. Out came the spray and bait stations, and every morning I would find heaps of dead ants, yet more kept coming in. The bathrooms were especially bad, with swarms around the gaps where the window security bars met the walls.
That meant the ants were in the structure, taking the situation from DEFCON 5 to DEFCON 1 in an instant. I would have to go nuclear to deal with them, because as village houses age and settle, increasing numbers of openings appear where grout and sealants dry out.
The first order of business was to buy multiple tubes of interior and exterior silicone and go to work filling in all the gaps. The house exterior was quite bad as the grout had pulled away from the walls, providing critters with endless entry points. The next task was to source an exterminator with chemical solutions a bit stronger than what I had on hand. With luck the combination would prevent the ants from returning.
So far the nuclear option has worked a treat. I haven't seen an ant, alive or dead, in two days. Now it's possible a single treatment may not be enough, and if so I'll have to get the bug killers to come back, but for the time being the problem is under control.
And if it should return don't be surprised if a little mushroom cloud appears over the valley.