Ants in the Hill Country

I forgot to add the ants to spring time changes. In the last few days I noticed the first hummingbird as well as the first sign of the sugar ants on my kitchen tile countertop. I’m still sweeping bark droppings from the floors. It’s cold and we have a fire going, but now I have to worry about the ants. They are tiny and make trails in the kitchen, often clustering around the crumbs or a speck of food. There are three types of ants out here on the ranch. The worst are of course the fire ants, an import of course. When I purchased the ranch in southwest Texas 20 years ago, there were no fire ants. Their travels had put them south of me in Uvalde, about 60 miles away. When I leased the ranch to hunters after my husband died, I soon found their ant mounds near where they parked their trucks. I kept them under control with ant poison, poison not to my liking. Since we have been in a drought condition for three years, they have lessened but I still found some ant beds in my garden. Fire ants sting and leave bumps. They hurt. The native ants are less aggressive and I try not to disturb them but the fire ants and sugar ants are a pest. In my kitchen I leave ant traps but they are unsightly and only control the population to a lesser degree. I have nothing against insects and try to keep the Buddhist way by not killing them but don’t like them invading my space. They have hundreds of acres to roam. Why won’t they stay outside? That’s their territory.