Friday, May 23, 2008

Homicidal Haggis

It's "ant season" apparently.

We'd had a couple of ants (the big, fat black juicy kind) show up in our kitchen. Nothing to get too wiggy about, but still minorly distressing. Then we had our old deck torn down a couple of days ago, and WHAM, the ant situation escalated (I'm sure they were living in it, such a piece of crap it was). Then yesterday my kitchen became a Hitchcock movie. Bambina and I were eating breakfast when she pointed out an ant on the counter. So I got up and took care of it. Then we saw another. And another. Nice. All day I was randomly dealing with 2 or 3 ants at a time. So we put out some ant traps. If you have a similar problem and are considering ant traps let me tell you now to save your money. Not one ant walked into an ant trap. Not one. Then later that evening I walked into the kitchen to get my nightly post-tummy-hurting pill bowl of cornflakes, flipped on the light and OHMYGODWHATTHEHELL?!!! It was a total ant invasion. I cannot even begin to tell you how many ants were absolutely covering the kitchen counters, copulating in the sink, walking on the walls. If Bambina hadn't been asleep upstairs I would have screamed like Janet Leigh.

The BBDD was out with a friend, so I called him like the house was on fire. Voice Mail. Bah. So at 10 o'clock at night I resolved that I could go not one more day with these ants, and if this sh*t was going to get done it was going to have to get done by me. I knew I couldn't go to bed for fear that there'd be even more ants the next morning, so it was going to have to be resolved now. I started watching them (and I"m not exaggerating their numbers. There were no fewer than 50 or 60 ants on my counter at the time) to see where they were going. After about 10 minutes of Bear Grylls-style observation I realized that they were literally pouring out of a small hole in our window sill--the window that is directly where our old deck used to be connected to the house. They must have found their way in, and voila. It was so gross to see them just literally marching in lockstep, nonstop, out of that hole and into my kitchen. I was seriously trying to imagine just how many ants there could possibly be to have so many still coming in when so many were already inside. It was so horrifying.

Upon seeing now about 100 ants in my kitchen, my horror quickly turned to homicidal resolve, and the killin' began. But it had to be mass killin'. I sure as hell wasn't going to go around with a paper towel searching and destroying ants on a one-by-one basis. Not the least of which is because as homicidal as I felt, the human mind can only so many times put a large juicy ant in a paper towel, squeeze, and get that sick "pop" feeling before finally giving up. I needed to depersonalize the killing in order to do it best. So I needed something that could crop dust them. Only problem, we don't have toxic cleaners in our house, both for my developing bone marrow and for everyone else's to be honest. So my old faithful "poor man's way" of using some Procter and Gamble cleaner to kill bugs wasn't going to work. I was pissed. Like, how the hell am I going to kill an army of ants with effing coconut oil-based surfactant?!! Damn! But luckily I had some OxyClean, that hydrogen peroxide based wonder cleaner. Aw hell, at the very least, it'll drown them.

And drown them I did. Which set off a furious ant marathon back to The Hole. And, as homicidal as I was, I let them go. Because there's no point killing the ant if it's heading back outside anyway. Also because that means fewer ant carcasses to wipe up. So, using all the high-tech tools at my disposal, I pushed the ants toward the hole with paper towels, saw that all but a couple were back in, and then closed the hole and entire window sill around the seams with masking tape. Just call me MacGyver.

The worst/best part? After my frantic voice mail to BBDD about the infestation, he came home to find me with cornflakes in one hand, oxyclean in another, nonchalantly spraying remaining ants as if killin' is what I do for a livin' while enjoying a nutritious part of a complete breakfast.


Anonymous said...

I'm a regular yet anonymous reader (found you through wonkette back in your DC days), and really enjoyed this entry.

I have had the unfortunate occasion to employ radiation and chemotherapies. The mental imagery that I used at those times was something I described as 'mind windex'.

I did so because that's what I used to do with our ant infestations. I'd shudder, grab the Windex, squirt the little bug(ger)s until they curled helplessly, then wipe the whole mess of them up and outta here. Very satisfying. And yeah, I also taped up the kitchen window sill where they marched in, uninvited-- except I sprinkled "Barkeeper's Friend" over the tape, just in case they were more resourceful than I thought.

Well, squeezing my eyes shut and imagining my cancer as those helpless little ants getting poisoned, wiped up, and prevented from returning was just what it took to get through the treatment.

Great blog entry, as always. Thanks for your views on things.

Take care,

Utah Savage said...

This is a seasonal and quite predictable problem for me, and exacerbated by living with a sloppy eating dog and a lazy about housecleaning me. But I do eventually resort to something lethal--my current favorite is the ant trap or ant motel--they check in but don't check out.