Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Ants are a big problem when you manage a feral colony so I began searching for a way to keep them out of the food.

I thought I'd hit on the perfect solution - a tray filled with water underneath the tray containing the food. It worked well in theory but not in fact. The cats moved the food tray to where it touched the edge of the water tray allowing the ants to climb into the food dish totally avoiding the water.

A better solution was to hot-glue both trays together (or so I thought). This approach worked for a while but eventually the glue came loose and we were back to the problem of floating food trays. To top it all off, the cats regularly spilled food into the water creating a mushy, disgusting mess for me to clean up. I decided to scrap the entire water-tray idea and search for a new approach.

White trays held water and black trays held food.

Empty food tray with water trays containing food and debris laden water.

After reading several articles on how to get rid of ants, I decided to test a theory I came across - ants will not cross a chalk line. A trip to Staples and one pack of garden variety white blackboard chalk later, I was delighted to discover it worked!

So there I was, standing on the front porch, looking for an ant, any ant, to draw a line in front of. One showed up, I drew my line and he turned around beating a hasty retreat. I knew I was on to something!

With great excitement I drew circles around the food bowls after first cleaning up the latest mess. I was confident the chalk would prove to be the best solution. It was. For more than a week now, the food has been ant-free and I've had an easier time of it cleaning up. Now if I could only figure out how to get all my cats to show up for dinner at the same time....

A neater solution to my problem.

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