This post is for Jess, who moved into a new fabulous apartment last week and learned in the first few days that she had roommates who do not appear on the lease. Thousands and thousands of roommates. Keep fighting the good fight, darling.
Hi. We have ants.
Actually, everyone does. The shelf of poison at the local hardware store was almost empty last week. Previously sane, tree-hugging, ground water-protecting, organic-eating folks have lost their damn minds in the face of a total ant explosion. Facebook is filled with declarations of martial law over the ants. The hot topic of conversation in the coffee shop this morning? Ants. Ant wrangling. It appears to be an epidemic, and I don't do well with epidemics. *twitch*
Are you thinking that it's no big deal? Are you about to post a comment telling me to use cornstarch or borax or ant chalk or liquid drops of all natural non-toxic something something something or some other fabulous family friendly, organic solution to ants?
I really appreciate that. I really do. And living on a tropical island all I can say is I've heard them all, and you can just forget it. I am the Harold of ant chalk.
I have Borax all over the house. There are sticky drops of non-toxic (except to ants) *stuff* all over the place, and I have little ant traps scattered throughout the house like toxic, killer offerings, positioned in every windowsill, next to every door, under every piece of furniture. It is NOT HELPING. This is ANTS with ALL CAPITAL LETTERS.
As in ALL THE ANTS MUST DIE.
Please save your self-righteous indignation for something more deserving - I have a problem, and this problem needs to be solved, because this problem is going to drive me BAT SHIT CRAZY. I am big on cleaning my kitchen and bathroom. I do not have food scraps and crumbs and sugar lying around. It may not surprise you to learn that all of our food is tightly sealed in Tupperware, Ziplocks, canning jars, or ALL THREE AT THE SAME DAMN TIME. I dry off the bathroom after each use of shower or sink like a crazy person. There is nothing good for the ants in my kitchen or bathroom. Nothing. Clean and dry and occasionally washed with bleach just for good measure (although I usually use baking soda to clean, which we can talk about later but hello, AWESOME).
Because the ants are not finding anything of value in the usual places, it might explain why they are in my bedroom. I mean, I love my bedroom, why wouldn't they? So last week when I was lounging in bed while the flu thoroughly kicked my ass, you can imagine my delight when I realized I had company. As I stared in wonder, several small black ants ran across my pillow.
And then I died a little inside.
I got out of bed and tried to figure out where they were coming from. I followed the sparse trail down to a corner of my window, right by the floor. Which is where I discovered that my floor was moving, skittering around with tiny golden-colored sugar ants that totally blend in with wood floors. I am not proud to say that I did a little something like this:
I sprayed. I mopped. I sprinkled and swept and baited and trapped. It was a genocide, right in my bedroom. A bloodbath. And still, they came. It was going on for hours, me hopping around and grimacing and celebrating victory over the little bastards, only to discover another trail and experience the agony of defeat. And then I discovered them crawling into the water glass on my bedside table and I think that may have been the moment when I snapped.
"Sam?" I called through the window. "I need you to spray for bugs."
"Well, I think you should take the kids and the dog and leave before I-"
"NO TIME FOR THAT. JUST START SPRAYING THESE FUCKERS."
"Right. Okay then. Want to close the window first?"
"Hell no, they are in here too. Just fire that thing up."
He came out of his shed holding a 3 gallon jug of god knows what and a sprayer, and began applying the contents liberally to every windowsill, roofline, molding, foundation - anywhere he could reach. The sprayer broke about half way through his enthusiastic application, and he just started sort of tossing the poison on the walls and ground to complete the task at hand. Meanwhile I was on my hands and knees under our bed with a rag and a can of Raid.
"Uh, Mom?" Max said in the general direction of my ass.
"WHAT HONEY?" I shouted from behind a basket of sweaters.
"COOL! Can I help?"
The next thing I know he is on the floor next to me. "NO HONEY GO AWAY THIS IS POISONOUS."
"Then why are you under here?"
"Because I'm the grownup, and sometimes grownups have to do things that are bad for them."
"Because, Max. ALL THE ANTS MUST DIE."
To his credit, he did not argue with me. He crawled out from under my bed, and shooed Lucy away from the door, where she was listening intently. "Lucy, let's go. The chemicals have gone to her head."
"It smells good!" Lucy said cheerfully as they walked away.
God, I love those kids. But I hate these fucking ants. Seriously.
I wish I could say that we have conquered them - that our liberal use of toxic and non-toxic products brought them to their little ant knees. But if I said that, I would be wrong.
Just yesterday, I was sitting in the kitchen and I felt a little.....twinge. A little something on my back. No. It couldn't be..... I went into my bedroom and took off my dress - which was clear. I decided to just take a quick shower, just to wash the creepy-crawlies off. And that is when I took off my bra and discovered.......ants.
I don't know what to say. I don't know what to do. I literally have ants in my pants and I am now convinced that every tickle is a little ant army marching across my flesh.
This is worse than sympathy uku, or psychological fleas because I ACTUALLY HAVE THEM and I don't think I'll be able to handle wearing RAID full time. But I am willing to give it a shot. Lucy thinks I smell fantastic.
8 hours ago