Jackie Link's Blog

- A blog for no good reason

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Got chalk?

The ants were back with the first rains and cold weather. First, a scout here and there and then a steady stream in both the kitchen and the bathroom. They seem to go for the sinks.

Last August, while visiting Dianna in Vancouver we went to Chinatown looking for Miraculous Insecticide Chalk, but, like here, it wasn't evident on the store shelves. Finally, at one all-purpose store I asked a young woman at the cash register for "ant chalk." She reached under the counter and pulled out a box.

Apparently, it's illegal in Canada, too.

Dianna talked me into buying ten boxes. They're small boxes.

I was taking a bus to Seattle and would have to go through Customs with all those little boxes. I worried about it, hoped one look at my gray hair would forestall any closer look in my small bag. And then I flew from Seattle home, again worrying that someone would catch me smuggling contraband, but we made it home without being caught.

So now I have a superabundance of very effective poison. I drew a small X in the ants' path last week and they voluntarily removed themselves from my house, taking their dead scouts away with them.

When I worked in the ER I called Poison Control and was told it was only pyrethrum and a child would have to ingest the whole piece of chalk to be ill from it. I'm careful to use very little and wash my hands. Ten years ago I could find it in the back of kitchen supply stores on Clement Street, but then they started hiding it. It cost 59 cents. It was one dollar in Vancouver.

At the end of the Directions For Use: "KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN AND OLD MAN." But even better, it's made in China by a cosmetics company.

Need chalk?

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