I’ve been in Bangkok, Thailand for a decade and never had problems with bugs. No ants, no cockroaches, nothing nasty and creepy crawly invading my apartment — until last month that is, when an invasion of red ants was about to send me over the edge. So, I went to my local supermarket and bought a couple of packs of Chinese chalk insecticide, the best thing to get rid of ants.
When I got home, I drew a line of Chinese chalk all the way around my apartment. I drew lines on some of my walls (it rubs off easily without staining), under my sink, around my fridge and even around the edges of my bed sheets as I’d discovered a couple of nasty biting ants in my bed.
The day after, I wiped all the chalk off the floor with a damp cloth so my rabbits could come out to play without eating it (although Chinese chalk for ants is not particularly dangerous for small pets, but better to be safe than sorry).
That night, I reapplied the Chinese ant chalk just the same as before. By the second day, the only ants I was finding in my apartment were dead ants. Two days later, I couldn’t find any ants at all. A month later, I’ve yet to see another ant — dead or alive.
The last time I had an ant invasion was when I was living in the United States, and I bought ant traps to try to get rid of them. What a mistake.
Ants appeared from everywhere lured by the smell of the bait and, no matter how long I waited, more and more arrived. By the end of a few days, I had thousands of ants where before I just had a few. I finally threw away the ant traps and bought Chinese chalk insecticide. Again, three days later, no more ants.
So, I have to admit I was surprised and then found it hilarious this week that, unlike Thailand and the rest of Asia where you can buy Chinese ant chalk everywhere, Chinese chalk has now been banned in the United States. Why? Because the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) insists using Chinese chalk for ants is dangerous. Fortunately, it’s not.
The EPA says Chinese chalk insecticide is dangerous because, according to them, several children have eaten the chalk and ended up sick. Of course, that would happen if they drank RAID as well, but the EPA still hasn’t banned that.
So, what is the real reason the EPA is banning ant chalk in the US? Because major US chemical companies want you to buy expensive products like RAID that cost you ten times as much as cheap Chinese chalk, are far more toxic and damaging to your health as you breath in the fumes yet, surprisingly, still do not rid your home of ants.
If you are in Thailand (or anywhere else in Asia), however, you can buy Chinese chalk everywhere. I buy Chinese chalk at my local Bangkok supermarket, which charges 14 baht (45 cents for a packet with two sticks). It’s the only thing I trust to rid my apartment of ants and, yes, it really works.