Actually, in my pantry. I sympathise with them. The men who dug up the garden also dug up their nest, their ancestral home where they have lived peacefully for hundreds of generations, and removed their food source. The front garden – waiting to be paved – currently resembles a pebbly desert, and the ants must be desperate to find a new food supply. Scouts discovered the pantry, reported mission accomplished, and all their comrades are now making a beeline for it – or rather, an ant highway.
The Internet has hundreds of suggestions, naturally. I don’t want to declare war on the ants, just deter them and encourage them to stay outside where they will soon have a new flowerbed to forage in.
According to Wikihow, ants don’t like chalk, talc, salt, vinegar, peppermint oil, cinnamon, black pepper, cayenne pepper, whole cloves, and bay leaves. Interestingly, the shelf attracting the greatest attention is the one with the dried herbs and spices, all in antproof jars.
I washed the shelves and the ant highway leading to them with a vinegar solution, but still they came. Then I tried a mild bleach. They just skated over it. I scattered a layer of salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and cinnamon on the shelf, but these appear to be manna to them. “Smear the trail with petroleum jelly” is another suggestion, so out with the Vaseline. This they appear to regard as beauty treatment for their feet. Or do they wear little boots? Coffee dregs was another suggestion, and I put them on the plants outside the front door, but I’m not going to spread those around the pantry!