The ants which are climbing up and down your trees, plants and kitchen counter are called Argentine ants. They are not native to our area, and while ants are important to the environment, these are not. They kill our native ants, are harmful to both exotic and native plants and are just plain annoying.
Loren can help you with your ant problem with his special ant bait. You'll find it effective, but be patient -- it may take a week to 10 days to be fully effective.
In the meantime kill ants in the house with Windex or another ammonia-based cleaner. Clean and kill, all in one motion.
1 part 20 Mule Team Borax or Boric acid
9 parts of a sweet sticky liquid like maple syrup, honey or Karo syrup
Mix the ingredients. Heating in a double boiler may speed the process. Take an empty margarine tub and poke 4 holes around the bottom edge (entry holes for ants to walk in).
Place a dollop the size of a quarter in the middle of the tub, then put the top back on. This mixture is not non-toxic, however it is less toxic, and that's the key to its success.
The ants carry it back to the nest where they feed it to the entire colony and wipe out the nest.