Rob, Sounds like a pretty active animal community. The ants, especially, sound like a problem. Our animal problems are with bears and cougars.
About two weeks ago my wife was gardening in some pots on a deck that extends from the house to a pond -- used to be a koy pond but it now harbors plain old goldfish instead of koy. She says she felt a presence behind her, turned, and saw a large brown bear letting himself down the little artificial waterfall that feeds the pond. She came inside and called me. We both watched the bear lower himself into the little pond and take a nice bath, then lumber back up the hill. Here's a picture of the bear. I shot this one last year as he was crossing the driveway below us. He lives somewhere in the neighborhood.
Then, last year, early in the morning my wife was walking on a path in Garden of the Gods. Again, she says, she felt a presence. She looked up and was looking right at a full-grown cougar standing about twenty yards away, eyeing her. She raised her hands to make herself look bigger and gradually eased out of the area as the cat moved on into the brush. She says she thinks the main reason the cat didn't come after her is that he'd just eaten and his muzzle was covered with blood.