This time of year in the desert is wonderful. The weather is cooler, the sun still shines brightly, and there is an ‘eternal summer holiday’ feel about the place; it is just perfect……apart from the ants that have started to infiltrate the house in the past few days.
Usually, it’s only a couple of the miniscule insects on a scouting mission; you know like in movies where one or two people are sent ahead into a potentially dangerous situation to report back on the level of danger, if they survive? Well the ants crawl around the place, often going in different directions as if trying to throw the home occupants off the scent. Channelling my inner Buddhist, I didn’t bother with them. They found their way in, they will find their way out again, I reasoned.
Then again, they might signal to their comrades to come join the party once we had left the house!
We returned to the little critters ransacking the kitchen and, the alpha ants displaying their trojan skills by carrying off various bits of food from breakfast which had been left on the floor (yes, I hang my head in shame that DH forgot to sweep the floor after the animalistic breakfast had by 3 munchkins under the age of 8 – a recognised but rarely invoked reason for divorce…I may just join the rare few who have if I don’t get rid of these ants soon!)………Ironically, our Dustbuster (handheld hoover) had died, and DH, not quite sure if he could chuck it in the recycling bin, left it on the kitchen floor. On our return a number of ‘in your face’ cheeky ants were circling the very thing that had once sucked them up. It was like watching some sort of celebration at the demise of the Dustbuster that had served us so well for so many years. Hideous.
I have laid the ‘gel traps’ to no avail. These traps are hailed as the top of the range of ‘humane but deadly’ exterminators. The ants are attracted to the gel which they take back to the nest, where it should destroy the enemy. However, my observation of this trap is that the effect on the ants resembles the effect of Granny overdoing the sherry on Christmas day, with them wobbling about on 3 of their 6 legs at any one time (for the avoidance of doubt, Granny has only 2 legs, but appears legless after a glass or 2 of sherry!). They look so sozzled, it is highly doubtful they could even find their way out of the house, let alone make it back to their nest.
Thinking I could beat them into submission, I took out my large, noisy, old fashioned hoover to suck up all the beggars, and any leftover food from Christmas day which my still be lurking somewhere. DH nearly had heart failure; ’tis a rare sight, me and the hoover in the same room, let alone waltzing about the house in perfect sync, and working together on operation ‘Exterminate’. Dalai Lama, I know we should live and let live, but I can’t live with ants.
The ground floor of my house was spotless when we were on our way out the door this afternoon. But then DS2 ran back to the playroom (which used to be our garage) to pick up something, and then ran past me leaving soul destroying words hanging in the air ‘there are lots of ants in the playroom, Mummy’.
Thinking one of the little terrors had left a sticky lolly stick or sweet wrapper on the floor, I huffed and puffed my way to the playroom, muttering something about finishing/boarding school under my breath. To my surprise (because it wasn’t the munchkins’ bait that led them to us), and disgust (because of how many of them were marching their way, literally 2 by 2, along the wall to the door which would give them access to the rest of the house!), DS2 was right. I searched for the source and found the wall at the garage door crumbling. I ran outside to take a look from the other side of the garage door. The little gits has burrowed a hole in the wall on the other side, and managed to force 2 new tiles each about 1 foot in length (30cm) away from the wall (the tiles were only laid 8 months ago!). I was stunned. At the rate they were going, they would unearth the house and carry if off down the road, leaving us with a dusty sandpit plot surrounded by artificial grass….Well, if each one can carry 20 times its own body weight, that thought isn’t too farstretched.
Right, this means war.
Well, not real ant war, as I refuse to call in pest control to deal with this (not because I want the glory of triumphing over these creatures, but because we would need to leave the house for up to 48 hours if we did!).
I raced to the supermarket to check out the alternatives to ant traps. It appears sprays are the answer. If they can kill cockroaches, surely they can kill the little anty gits………I will be spraying all the entry zones tonight…..let’s see if it works.
Now, on to my next battle; head lice/nits. Oh the glamourous life I lead……..