I am being driven demented here. Not only is the house swarming with flies, but now ants have appeared in numbers in the dishwasher.
We store dirty dshes in the dishwasher for a couple of days and then do a wash when we have a full load. We scrape all the little bits off the plates and give that to the dog, so it's really only juices, gravy, sauce etc that's left on them. We could wash that off too I guess but that seems to defeat the purpose of the dishwasher and waste water. We could just wash them all by hand but what other outdoor job is left undone because we're doing dishes? It's that trade-off thing again.
But what to do about the ants? In the morning when I come into the kitchen they are all over the work surfaces - not yet in food cupboards but that's not far away I suspect. My husband wants to spray them with chemicals "before the situation escalates".
Oh, it's called 'creatures in the dishwasher' because we also have a litte mouse that visits it via the hot air inlet. But that's OK because it only ever goes in the dishwasher not the rest of the kitchen, keeps the filters clean, vanishes once the wash goes on and the plates are clean. A happy symbiotic permaculture relationship there. Not so with the ants as they are coming out of the dishwasher.
well you probably would be best to wash those dishes regularly, at least for a period of time until the ants are gone. I have read that using a dishwasher uses far less water than washing them by hand, but people generally want to wait untl the dishwasher is FULL to run it, just run it more often. Full dishwashers do not clean the dishes as well as a good size partial load..anyway..so get em going and get rid of the bugs
Bloom where you are planted.
Thank you all. We have now solved the problem, having found out it was a double issue. We had some guests staying that weren't rinsing their yoghurt pots out so the ants were attracted to the sweet bin smell, and that is next to the dishwasher. And the dishwasher in rest mode we just sprinkled in cinnamon (from the other thread mentioned by Paul) and the ants were deterred.
We don't like to run the dishwasher on less than full as it's still using electricity, ad cleaning chemicals (even though we only use half a block as it cleans just as well).
I leave some larger dishes in the sink to hold used rinse water (from washing of hands or from dishes that must be hand-washed), and dip a brush into that water to pre-clean dishes before they go into the dishwasher. The large ones get brushed out while still full of water, and are often loaded last or when a suitable replacement becomes dirty.
A compost pile very near the kitchen has been very helpful in controlling ant problems in my house. It maintains its own population of ants and of ant predators. Once in three years, I've had to use window cleaner (generic Windex) to control them; before the compost pile, this took repeated treatment, but it worked the first time recently.
"the qualities of these bacteria, like the heat of the sun, electricity, or the qualities of metals, are part of the storehouse of knowledge of all men. They are manifestations of the laws of nature, free to all men and reserved exclusively to none." SCOTUS, Funk Bros. Seed Co. v. Kale Inoculant Co.