Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ant-ipathy

I missed one lousy piece of food on the kitchen floor Sunday night, and I am paying for it dearly. Ants are swarming my kitchen....I hates them. And don't tell me to get a pest control company - I hates them, too. They want to charge me 400 dollars a year to show up every once in a while to place some ant bait under the shoe moldings and spray the outside perimeter of the house. Guess what? I can get that ant bait and some Raid at Home Depot up the road. 15 dollars, tops. I keep telling Larry he owes me 400 dollars.

To add to my woes, I am suffering from haircut-induced PTSD. The initial trauma occurred way back in 1997, what Larry lovingly refers to as The Year of the Head Lice. It was traumatic. So traumatic that I am still unable to write anything funny about it. Let me just say, then, that one week after letting someone cut my hair with communal scissors that I haven't been able to personally sterilize, I become convinced that bugs are hatching all over my head.

Add to that the fact that I have developed something of a nervous twitch at my periodically ant-infested computer desk - one that involves intermittently smacking my own fingers while typing because it feels as though ants are crawling on them - and another nervous twitch in my ant-infested kitchen that involves slapping at my shins because it feels as though ants may be marching up my legs.... what with all that and worrying about bugs laying eggs in my hair, I'm finding it sort of hard to relax right now.

Sitting in a bagel shop all day seemed like a good solution to me - but for some reason they didn't like having 4 of my kids wandering around the place all morning. So I had to give up my idea of insect-enforced homelessness and come back to our extremely expensive anthill of a house and snap at the kids whenever they wanted something to eat in our crawling kitchen. I would have fed them outside, but - wouldn't you know - it's raining.

Actually, raining is an understatement. There's a deluge out there, and we have a lake forming directly behind our house. I send the kids out to play in it, but they keep coming back in because they are wet. Sissies. I told them there was a tornado watch so that they would all stay in the basement and leave me alone. That worked until they got hungry again. What's a mom to do?

Reader, I fed them. And the ants came marching in once more. So I convinced Rachel to go after the intruders. Which she did with frightening enthusiasm. She'd focus in on one and squash it slowly and deliberately with her finger. She kept a body count.

I knew we'd be able to channel her decapitation obsession into something useful.

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30 comments:

  1. Little ants, or carpenter ants? I tried to deal with the carpenter ants on my own but finally gave in, and I love the pest control people. Know why? No ants. And they do minimal spraying, because I am the freak who calls every time and reminds them they can't spray anything without my approval and not when the kids and I are home and and and... yes, I'm flagged as a difficult customer, but I don't care. Minimal spraying, no ants, and no wasps, either. (Once they get out here. Right now? Lots o' wasps.)

    Oh, and we totally don't feel bad about the cost, because carpenter ants will destroy the house, which would cost way more than the annual contract for the pest people. It's an investment.

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  2. Oh my! LOLOL! Could be a little disturbing if it wasn't so darn funny!

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  3. Yikes. We are just starting to see the carpenter ants. It is time to call the pest guy. My pest guy is really creepy too, which is why I've been putting it off. Nothing like having creepy guys with chemicals walking all over your house and looking under your sink cabinets. But I agree with Amy, it is better than having ants eat the house.

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  4. Oh. My. Goodness. I went back and read the decapitation post.
    Too Hysterical! How did all that work out? Should I go back and read everything you've ever written?
    So, about the ants...at least they're not cockroaches! I hope your itchiness goes awy soon.
    God Bless, EJT

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  5. my husband loves hunting ants. he gets all manly about it. like they have marched into this house to wage war on him personally and he is taking them down!

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  6. You've just caused me to have terrible flashbacks to OUR lice infestation of 1997. Please make it stop.

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  7. Oh, honey, you need Grey Goose.

    Ant invasions blow, I know.

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  8. Okay, you have me itchy and nervous.

    Let us know what the official body count is.

    God bless!

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  9. We gets ants every year and last year I tried a natural method to get rid of them...cinnamon! I sprinkled it on my countertops and along the door where they were coming in, and by the next morning, there wasn't a single ant. Amazing! It doesn't kill them, just encourages them to go elsewhere, but who cares, as long as they aren't in your house! I have some other ant control methods too. I was planning on posting about it this week.

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  10. So the ants don't like to get wet outside either?

    In our last house we had these tiny little ants that would come in through the back door, travel single file behind the couch, up the stairs, and under the kitchen table. They are very good at finding homes that have small children who drop food on the floor.
    We kind of thought we had the ant problem fixed when we moved.
    Guess what? Bigger house=bigger ants!

    Maybe your daughter could start her own pest control company.

    You haven't posted about mice for a while, did the ants scare them away?

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  11. It's like you're a prisoner...no place to hide, no place to rest, no place to escape to...I'm thankful you are so funny despite it all.

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  12. I can't tell you how relieved I am to know that I am not the only compulsive shin slapper! It feels like they're on me. Are they on me?

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  13. A bunch of people on twitter have been talking about the eco way to treat them. I can't remember because I'm a total tree hugger up until they invade my house. Then I freak out and napalm the place. My daughter loves the smell of Agent Orange in the morning.
    Seriously, when we first moved in 3 years ago, there was an ant problem. I threatened to withhold many things if hubby didn't get us pest control. Haven't seen a single ant since then. If I see even a gnat or spider I call them, it's all part of the contract. I may get cancer but I won't be experiencing any ant phantom feelings. Girl's gotta draw the line somewhere.

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  14. mrs. smith - Most definitely.

    jill - I think the 3 mouse corpses that were in the attic for a bit must have scared away all their friends and relatives.

    mommyk - done that, didn't work. I'm just going for the kill now.

    jenn - you and I are definitely sisters in suffering then.

    madge - I wish my husband took some interest in eradicating these pests. He just ignores them, unless I become absolutely hysterical.

    amy - sugar ants. You're right - with carpenter ants, I think we'd need professional help.

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  15. When it stops raining and the sun comes out, give her a magnifying glass and send her outside to take care of those ants at the source.

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  16. we moved into this house in december, and once a week I see three to five ity bity ants. I hate those things, I wonder if they will ge worse when the weather gets better? I am with you all the way

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  17. My whole life I've had a nervous thing where I feel like bugs are crawling on me while I sleep. I'm always having to wake up and brush off imaginary bugs. Then about a month ago there really WAS a bug. I've been a mental case ever since.

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  18. In my ant experience, it is the rain that brings them out and in.

    Lice. It was 2003. I used an entire 80 load box of Tide in two days. For a year after that I would not allow my daughters back into that school unless I had gelled and braided their hair so tightly that they were standing on their tippy toes and squeaking. I swear I almost lost my mind.

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  19. At least Rachel doesn't charge $400! I'm going to email you the name of our ant bait. It works.

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  20. Lady, you've got a problem on your hands. I had ants once. Luckily, Borax detergent mixed liberally into honey and left in trays near the offending point of entry did the trick. And sistah, I had THOUSANDS of them. I had a dishwasher located on an outside wall and stupidly left some dirty dishes in there when I left for the weekend. I came home to a stainless washtub full of ants. So many, I was afraid to turn the washer on. It was vile. My Dad gave me the Borax and by Gawdess it worked like a charm. I thought I was going to have to burn the house down to get rid of them.

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  21. I hate ants and mice. Had problems with both in our old house. And, come to think of it, in the current one. So sorry. Hope they go away soon. Very soon.

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  22. So, can I blame you for the ants in my kitchen as well as the mouse?

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  23. I'm all itchy now.

    The tornado watch strategy was brilliant!

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  24. Oh my. I hate the ant. AFter we built our home we had daily visits by colonies for the first 3 months. daily. visits. fire ants. ugh. I totally feel your pain in a creepy, crawly all over my body kinda way.

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  25. Ugh, ants. I'm waiting for them to appear---I get them every single spring in my kitchen, coming up from the cracks in the wood floors. Trying to keep my floors crumb-free is impossible, so I just become a nut case and spray and yell and stomp and spray. I think I'd lose my head over lice. My daughter told me her head itched and I got very nervous----she has just been at a sleepover---but, so far, nothing. Fingers are crossed for you and for me.

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  26. My husband sprays a whole can of bug spray on any little thing, I could use a environmentally friendly decapitator.

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  27. I learned this weird thing about ants not liking to walk through talcum powder because the crystals in it are like little razor blades that cut their little bodies to shreds and they bleed to death. MWAAHAAAHAAA!! Now anytime I see some I grab the cheap dollar store medicated bath powder (that actually made ME itch!) and sprinkle away.

    I keep some sprinkled around the baseboards behind my desk all the time. Haven't seen an ant in the house in ages!

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  28. Bleah! Squishing ants with your fingers?! I guess it's better than breaking out the scissors on them...

    What about Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap? Wash down the ants with it. A lot less yucky than the pest control dude.

    Good luck! I get that creepy crawly feeling, too, if I've had to deal with bugs recently. Bleargh!

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  29. We have ants now, but we just hires a pest control service. They wanted to charge $200 to capture the baby oppossum in our bathroom. It seems one of my little monkeys was lazy and left the outside basement door open all night rather than bring the dog in during a rain storm. For another $400 (the contract we had to sign) they will treat the house for ants and put the glue traps down for the mice we see occasionally.

    I think the only way to get rid of the bats and birds in my attice would be to replace the pieces of wood that rotted in the eaves. Like I want to stand on the roof and measure then cut several triangular pieces and nail them in? Maybe in the fall, after they all leave.

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