Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Neener Neener

All right. Ants. I admit I didn't see you at first, but by the time the four-millionth of you marched through, I was on to you. Don't think for one moment I can't see you all lined up straight like a bunch of uniformed schoolchildren from some foreign country where they're freakishly obedient. Now. This was all very cute when you used to come in here in April and take off again in May, but it's been dragging on longer and longer, and The Management is no longer cool with this. And now it's freakin' February, for fuck's sake. There's going to have to be some changes. We're going to have to have some ground rules.

Number one. Stay on the ground. There's plenty of room in this house along the baseboards without everyone having to traipse off into the sugar drawer or the pantry or anything.

Number two. There'd better not be any number two.

Number three. As soon as you get all properly lined up on the ground, I'm going to spray your asses with Windex and wipe you up with a sponge. I can do this all day long: I literally have nothing better to do. Yes? Question?

neener

Speak up. You say that all of you together are more like part of one big body than a bunch of individuals, and that if I Windex all your asses, it will be like clipping a fingernail? Your point?

neener neener

Your point is that Big Mama has already laid more eggs than I've Windexed asses in the time it took to call this meeting together. Your point is that if you put all the humans on one side of a scale and all the ants on the other side of the scale, the scale wouldn't even tip. I'm fine with that. I wish you all the best, somewhere else.

Number four. Okay, here's how it's going to be. I am going to lay in a vat of Windex and have a spray bottle in every room. Five or six times a day I am going to spray your little asses--do you even have asses? I mean, not with cleavage or anything. If you do, I'll spray them. You won't like it.

Don't even think about going over to that cat dish. Don't. You know what will happen? The cat will come toward you and put her nose right on one of you. That's right. And then she'll back away fast and make noises for a long time, and believe you me, you don't want any part of that.

Number five. In about a month, I'm going to go online and tattle on you to all of Facebook. That's right. I'm going to harness the collective wisdom of the smartest species that ever lived. And all my friends are going to send me a bunch of advice involving Borax. Believe me, you don't want any of that. And then I'll start to hear from a trickle of my other friends who don't necessarily vote the way I do but they're my friends anyway. And they're going to recommend a protocol of poisons capable of dismantling the entire back yard ecosystem. I would watch my little fannies if I were you.

Number six. And then I'm going to keep with the Windex and the wiping clear into September. Questions? You in the back.

neener

Speak up.

neener neener neenie neen neen

Okay, yes, I see that the little fellow I referred to as "you in the back" is not actually in the back at all. In fact, there is an unbroken line of you behind him that goes through the dining room and around the corner. I see that now. All right, listen up. It's Windex and death to all of you for the next eight months right up to the day you decide to waltz off somewhere else. I'd think about that if I were you.

52 comments:

  1. Unfortunately, as long as the nest (and the queen) exist, they can continue to produce more ants indefinitely, even if you Windex everything to the point where it starts permanently permeating the place and affecting your property values. Get one of those slow-acting poisons like Terro and let them quaff it undisturbed. They take it back to the nest and spread it around, which kills off the whole thing. After a week or two they'll disappear because the source is gone.

    By the way, the total mass of all the ants on Earth is many times greater than the total mass of all the humans on Earth. That's a lot of ants. Probably best not to think about it too much.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I read they're like up to a quarter of the animal biomass on earth, but they probably softened their estimate when they saw the size of the people in this house.

      Delete
  2. I wonder how anyine knows the total mass of all ants in the world?

    Perfect discription of the ant wars, a yearly battle. My mom just ignored them, "They're just sugar ants, they don't hurt anyone." I poisen the point of entry...slows them down a bit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They aren't nearly as obnoxious as a lot of other things that people contend with, but we're delicate up here about insects. We don't have window screens, for instance. Just on a couple of windows to keep the cat in.

      Delete
  3. Windex? I had never thought of that...although it doesn't sound as if it works too well. I've used ant hotels. They work, but of course, there is probably something horribly poisonous in them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Windex works real well on the ants you happen to be looking at.

      Delete
  4. And whilst we think on that, we continue the march. neener

    ReplyDelete
  5. Just for your information, ants won't cross a line of talcum powder. We found where they were coming in on the back porch and put a line of talcum powder around it, and another one on the threshold to the house, and it has worked (so far ±).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never have figured out where they're coming in. Different spots, probably, and mostly in a crawlspace. And I don't want talcum powder in my dishwasher.

      Delete
    2. I used to know a lot of things that couldn't pass by a line of white powder.

      Delete
    3. Your ant colony may actually be living IN the dishwasher. Ours was. When we moved houses (next door), we had the dishwasher on the porch and saw the ants in it and realized that they weren't killed off by the running of the machine (usually on "energy saver dry"). So we put in a bunch of Purification™ Oil Blend (Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus), lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus), rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), Melaleuca (Melaleuca alternifolia) lavandin (Lavandula x hybrida), and myrtle (Myrtus communis), and sealed it up. The next day when we opened it, all the ants were dead! Hundreds of them! We moved it into the new place, and have never had a problem with ants in the dishwasher since.

      Delete
    4. Eww, dead ants! We only would have a dozen or so traipsing through, and none if we rinsed our bowls a little better. So did the ants come into the dishwasher when it was on the porch, or before when you were using it?

      Delete
    5. NO! The ants had their colony IN the Dishwasher in the old house. We would see an occasional ant in the dishwasher, but we had other ants in the kitchen, and didn't think too much about it, as we were sure they were killed every time we ran it (every other day or so - always on "energy saver dry"), so it apparently didn't get hot enough to kill the colony, or there was enough insulation between the heat and the queen to protect her. We were stunned to find them living in it as we were moving things over. You might have a colony in yours, too! I know it seems incredible. I have some Purification™ for you if you like. It is also excellent to prevent mosquito bites and remove odors from the air, as well as disinfecting cuts and surfaces.

      Delete
  6. There is only 2 ways of beating those organised invaders...

    Hammer them! Wait when they are all line up, get the hammer out, start by the first in line, by the time you get to about the middle, they will n ot be so organized anymore, you'll see them starting to run all over.

    It is then the time to fire them, get a flame througer and just spread them from one wall to the next. To be safe, it would be advice to get the cat out, if in the process, the house burn down, you win, just re-built in water on piers! ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tried all that, but it was rough on our artwork.

      Delete
  7. You sure showed them :)

    Did you try cinnamon? Sprinkle wherever the ants seem to be getting in. Although in an older home, that could be a lot of cinnamon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Man, that seems to be a waste of cinnamon. I've seen them march right through cinnamon in other people's houses, though.

      Delete
    2. apparently bay leaves work too, crush a few dried leaves and sprinkle near the entry points and/or along their marching line. They don't like the smell.

      Delete
    3. Sure. I doubt it. My ants would take all this stuff and make a casserole and invite ALL the relatives.

      Delete
  8. My any solution, which just reduced our kitchen ant population from "Storm the Gates!" to "Bewildered Survivor" is Borax and sugar mixed into water. they drink it and carry it back to their buddies at the nest. Takes about a day but it works! http://thehappyhousewife.com/home-management/how-to-get-rid-of-ants-with-three-ingredients/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It sounds like a good any solution to me! I'm going to try it for Irregularity.

      Delete
  9. Having had decades of experience with this, ants have become immune to all but the most deadly of poisons and to get that poison you have to have a federal/state permit, thus you must call the exterminator, or if you are an environmentalist get them to pay rent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, shit. I'm an environmentalist AND a liberal, so I wouldn't be able to bring myself to charging market rates.

      Delete
  10. When I was a kid I found the best way to kill ants is to put them into an Ant Farm and hope they live. If I followed the instructions carefully they'd last a day, tops.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I always preferred the magnifying glass in the sun method so there's nothing you can do until you have a sunny day and a hole in your roof. Meanwhile, I'll buy some stock in Windex.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'd do even better buying stock in beer. That helps everything, too.

      Delete
  12. Borax. And a sense of humour!
    The Ant
    by Ogden Nash

    The ant has made himself illustrious
    Through constant industry industrious.
    So what?
    Would you be calm and placid
    If you were full of formic acid?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ogden Nash did it so I don't have to. That's how I see it.

      Delete
  13. Shhhhh! Don't talk about ants. At least not yet. They usually invade our house in DC sometime in April......and we are *still* battling the Autumn Invasion of Mice. Lordy, now them thangs are really *smart* -- we put down traps galore, and they effortlessly navigate around 'em..... So please, no more ant talk until spring! We don't want to give the sleeping colonies in our crawl space any ideas.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm cool with that. This batch took off yesterday but it's just a scouting mission. I still blame the Republicans, reflexively.

      Delete
  14. I have a special spray bottle labeled 'My Big Fat Greek Windex Bottle'. I use it exclusively on ants.
    Or you could get an anteater. A Big Fat Anteater.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wouldn't that be COOL? Just dozing of an evening listening to the rhythmic doink...doink...doink of the tongue coming out.

      Delete
    2. I can't say the word anteater unless I say it in a Jackie Mason voice.

      Delete
  15. You gave them six options? SIX???
    Ants in my house get one. Get out and stay out. End of story. I don't care how many of them are outside as long as they don't set so much as a toenail over my doorstep. Although I wouldn't mind if the ones in "my" section of the communal garden all decided to move along to the other side.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Toenail? Your ants are worse than my ants.

      Delete
  16. Another thing, if you can't locate the entry points, follow the ant line and see where they are going to. Cut off the food source and see if that helps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I do all that. For months and months. My sugar lives in the refrigerator for, like, half a year now.

      Delete
  17. Sigh. Jazz n Jewel approach their food and cry. Loudly. And often. And it appears to be MY fault. And cinnamon, bayleaves, mint, lemon verbena are failures. And Windex affects me more than the ants...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're screwed.
      But hey. Neither one of us has Marmorated Stink Bugs.

      Delete
  18. We just won the latest sortie in the Mouse Wars. Or, I think we did, as we caught seven mice in two days and have neither seen nor heard any further evidence of the enemy. At least ants aren't adorable looking (except possibly to other ants.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I spent two years killing mice as a lab tech and apparently word got out. Our mice have been isolated and rare.

      Delete
  19. Terro!!! Amazingly effective stuff. Last week I discovered a colony had invaded the soil in a houseplant and was apparently planning a take-over of the entire house. First serving of Terro had them majorly excited and lapping it up - couldn't resist it. So I put out more little drops on bits of cardboard for their dining pleasure and they flocked to it by the gadzillions. Kept adding more drops since they were consuming it all. By day 5, no more ants. It is indeed a borax-based product and for some reason much more enticing to them than my homemade borax/sugar mix was, and way more effective than Windex. From now on, I'll be armed with Terro at the ready at the first sign of a sneak attack.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a lot of recommendations for Terro. See, I tole them ants I'd hear from y'all. I tole them and tole them.

      Delete
  20. "The ants go marching one by one, Hurrah! Hurrah! I can hear the drumbeat from here.

    Good luck. Just don't send them my way. I have enough critters to deal with.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the earworm from my childhood!

      Delete