Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Ants go marching two by two....

Well, it appears although I'm still feeling kind of yucky, I'm going to live so let me tell you about my pest problem. This is my third winter here and of course the ants showed up again. All summer long I don't see a one, but I know by the end of November they're going to be looking for warmer digs and my kitchen counter is their resort of choice. Why? I don't know.

I barely cook and I never have dishes in the sink. I mean there is absolutely nothing for them to eat but they come around anyway. But I find I'm not so freaked out by it this year. Maybe I'm just getting used to them.

Long time readers know I've tried several methods to get rid of them. The ant traps were useless. The holistic remedies of boric acid and borax didn't work for long. This year I went out and got myself some real ant poison but I'm afraid to use it. It's some kind of buggy nerve gas and I'm such a klutz, I'm afraid I'll end up poisoning myself, so I developed a new strategy. I'm trying to convince them their little resort is really the Island of Dr. Moreau.

I find they come in cycles. The first group is little and vigorous. There's usually about a dozen and a half wandering around the counter and in the sink. I wipe them out with a wet paper towel. They're fast little critters and they're smart. I get a dozen on the first strafing but the survivors either freeze completely still, hoping to resemble a stray coffee ground I guess, or they hide under the bottle of dish detergent. I pick those off, one by one.

Within an hour or two there's usually a half dozen new scouts searching for their lost comrades. You can almost hear their little buggy voices.

"Charlie. Joe. Sam. Are you out there buddies?"

The secondary troops are also tiny and clever but none escape the dreaded wet towel of death. Usually I throw it away but sometimes, when there's only a couple of dead ants on it, I leave it on the counter to warn the next team. They show up the next day. They're bigger and slower and there's less of them. The pattern continues for about three days until there's only a couple of fat slow guys sort of wandering aimlessly around. Their heart is just not in it. I figure they're from the inner circle of the queen's guard.

I can almost hear them debating down in the colony, to see who has to go up and check out the status of the island. I imagine they draw straws and say tearful goodbyes to their families knowing they won't be back. After that, they disappear altogether. For three of four days I won't see a one.

Then it starts all over again. It's funny, I thought she so mean at the time, but I finally understand why my mother wouldn't let me get that ant farm I so badly wanted for Christmas.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home