Monday, March 26, 2007


No matter how sudden or gradual spring's entrance is, I should have learned by now that I need to be ready and well stocked for my fight against my home's spring-time intruders: ANTS! This week has been nerve racking. After spraying each inside window ledge, each window screen, each window's trim, the outside of each window, the inside and outside of each door, and my entire basement, I have fought a hard battle and believe I've finally won the fight. But, tonight's investigation will tell. Plus, I've made a special trip to Home Depot today to find the ant pellets that seemed to do wonders last year. The instructions direct the home owner to walk the perimeter of the house while sprinkling bright colored pellets at its base, and I hope this expensive substance will provide the same cure this year.

I don't know if everyone experiences this. Those teeny tiny little blank ants - the ones that are especially abundant in the kitchen. One of my older neighbors said the ants are seeking water (and food) and that no matter how well the house is built or sealed, the ants in our neighborhood will get in. After talking to more neighbors, I realized everyone on our block is fighting the same battle, so I am trying to do what I can. Since the warm weather came suddenly, I have searched high and low for anything and everything that I thought would attract ants in the rooms. Then, after detailed inspections, I'd find a long trail of the fascinating little creatures climbing toward something that I never expected. A fruity candle. The cat nip. The cat food. "Oh, I never thought of that." I've been so frustrated. I'm now paranoid. (After the slightest tickle: "Is there an ant on me?!?! Is there an ant on me?!?!" After seeing a spot on the floor: "What's that black speck? What IS that black speck?!?! It is moving? Is it an ant?") I've bleached, sprayed, wiped, mopped, swept, bleached most surfaces again... and, yes (in moments of desperation), have even yelled at the insects. But, I admit, I've also been mesmerized by their activities. After many adjustments in the house and too many long conversations with the neighbors while seeking advice, I've been praying - yes, PRAYING - that the battle will soon be over. (I realize this is nothing like skunks, but it has been annoying.)

I am anticipating the (hopefully near) day when I can drop a crumb without the worry of an army coming to retrieve it. Maybe some readers of this blog can suggest a solution... or can ask an older family member if they have an "home remedy" for this particular issue. In the meantime, you can enjoy this amusing poem with me while I live this out in my own home.

by Winlar

An ant crawled on my leg,
I knocked it halfway to the moon.
It wasn't hurt. It didn't flinch
It didn't even swoon.

It just kept crawling round and round
Few seconds, maybe ten
And then, with bold audacity
Crawled up my leg again!

The ant was so persistant!
I was flummoxed, floxed and floored!
And once again I knocked
The little stinker overboard.

And once again, he fell a distance
Several times his height.
But you can't take the fight out of an ant
By taking said ant out of fight!

He climbed back up my leg again
Back to his early plan
This ant sure had me beat
When it came to attention span!

This time, I just observed him
As he once again did climb.
I'd see what he was up to on this
Third and final time.

He climbed atop my head this time
Spun round and round, and then
To my great shock and horror
Just climbed right back down again!

"Well where's the point in that?" I thought,
Then gave the ant a chase.
(Ant's legs are pretty short, so
I'd no trouble keeping pace.)

I picked that ant right up,
And made it fail it's getaway
Then looked that insect in the eye.
I had to have my say.

"What gives?" I asked it several times
My face all turning red
"What was so important?
Why'd you climb atop my head?"

The ant did not respond.
It paid no heed to all my rants.
'Twas then the sad truth came to me,
I cannot talk to ants...

The ant just stared back
with a look I've never seen before.
Like I was clueless in some game
Where ants were keeping score.

The ant stared at me long and hard
As if to make me see
"Until you understand yourself,
Don't try to think for me!"

And with some great humility,
I set him on the rug
And thought how sad a thing I was,
I couldn't know a bug.

I lack the wisdom even
To predict the smallest thing
Like why an ant crawls on your head
Or why a bee takes wing.

The wisdom that one is not wise
Is best that one can grant
And to think I learned it from
A teeny little ant!!

So, as the ant went scurrying off,
I bid it toodle-oo,
Reflected on what it had taught,
Then crushed it with my shoe.


Chris said...

I loved the poem, especially "Then crushed it with my shoe."

I have the same little black ant problem each year in my kitchen also. I should be more alarmed, but I just kill 'em as I see 'em. I've often thought about going to the store to buy some poison (or dope as Grandma calls it), but I don't want to make a special trip, and alas, I always forget to buy it when I do go!

Please tell me what those bright pellets are called - would love to check that stuff out.

Like you said though, our little black ant problem is nothing compared to what poor Sister Pam endured with the skunks!

Julie said...

We started having the same problem this past week in our kitchen. We have tried many things and have found that Terro works wonders. We have used it before but had trouble finding it. My Mom found it at Wal-Mart in the gardening section. We put it out yesterday afternoon and today I have only seen one ant. Good luck!

strem said...

I have seen Terro before and once bought it for a friend who was having ant problems in her apartment. It worked. Last year and this year, I purchased Ortho Home Defense MAX, and I am hoping to have the same results as last year. I also put something around my house to prevents weeds last year. So, Brother Chris, I am sorry I got the two mixed up. The ant and pest killer mentioned above consists of tiny brown granules, not bright green pellets.

Siren said...

I had a terrible ant problem at my first apartment - the persistent little things tunneled right up through the concrete floor. I discovered them when my very hungry cat sat in front of his ant-swarmed bowl, yowling at me to make it better.

Sorry I don't have a solution for you - the landlord sprayed what I'm sure was terrible poison but they kept coming back. That was right around the time I got engaged, so I just moved in with Scott.

lydia said...

I had a dream last night that ants invaded my bedroom. I killed them by spraying hair spray on every ant in the procession that extended from my window across my bed. It worked in my dream, maybe you could try it on the ants at your house. ;)

strem said...

You too? I had this dream that ants had invaded my entire home, and I killed them by spraying Raid and bleach cleaner on every ant.... Oh wait. That wasn't a dream. That was my real life. And, it worked... but not completely... in my real life. The ants and I are in the 5th round, and I can't tell who is winning!

Dani said...

Bleach will kill them.

We have the problem in the fall, when it first gets cold, but not in the spring. Weird huh?