Ants, meet tasty electrical doom!

One of the chores that came up this weekend was to take care of a minor ant infestation. Paul and I had noticed a few scout ants here and there, but there was no clear pattern. That is, until it became clear that they really like my desk.

Fine. The ants haven’t really been paying much attention to the Raid ant baits elsewhere, let’s try a few liquid ant baits on my desk. It’s not like my desk isn’t already covered with toxic chemicals. These baits (active ingredient: sodium tetraborate) have certainly caught their attention.

Upon closer investigation, it seems that the ants were probably originally attracted to the soldering station on my desk. Specifically, the soldering sponge where all sorts of fun substances (tin, lead, flux, bits of burned plastic) end up:

I was later reading the Wikipedia article on Borax:

Borax has a wide variety of uses. It is a component of many detergents, cosmetics, and enamel glazes. It is also used to make buffer solutions in biochemistry, as a fire retardant, as an anti-fungal compound for fibreglass, as an insecticide, as a flux in metallurgy, and as a precursor for other boron compounds.

… … …