Yes, it’s that time of year again. I don’t mean Christmas or New Year’s. I don’t even mean Winter Solstice (the actual, true & proper, physics-based holiday of the season). I don’t even mean Chillaxmas. I mean that the friggin’ Ants have once again invaded my demesne.
They have come every winter, except for the very mild one last year. I believe they come seeking water. Even Ants cannot live for more than a few days without water. My theory is: fuel prices being what they are these days, the poor Ants cannot afford to keep their tiny furnaces running. This leaves them unable to melt ice or snow, and so they come seeking liquid water.
This, then, is a tale of species war! One man’s fight against thousands of alien invaders!
In years past, I mostly just suffered their presence. I routinely live with Spiders; the only real rule being, “Keep out of sight.”
When they presume to
boldly foolishly cross my white walls or venture out onto the beige carpeting… well, maybe their replacement will be smarter.
Previously, the Ants had chosen to explore my bathroom.
And they weren’t vast in legion, plus they tended to hug the edges, so I mostly went with the part of me that was fascinated. Kind of like having a free-range Ant Farm. (I’m not big on pets that need cages.)
But when they showed up in my living room, that was a bummer for us both. They found navigating the carpet an exhausting, life-threatening nightmare.
I found their presence in my living room a nightmare calling for immediate and serious vacuum cleaner deployment (I know it’s around here somewhere).
It’s disconcerting to look down at your carpet and realize the bits of “dirt” and the tiny, tracked-in “rocks” are moving.
The Spiders went after a few individuals, but the Ants had numbers on their side.
The pile carpet was a challenge — you could sense their struggle — but they forged on (drawn, perhaps, to that old Kahlúa stain I’d never managed to fully clean up).
This was getting ugly.
God’s Creatures and all, but I like to pretend I’m the apex predator around here. This is my castle, and moving bits on the carpet just won’t do.
But it was only when they showed up on the kitchen floor that it became Def Con 1 all-out war.
Ants, Cockroaches or Mice in the kitchen calls for immediate and total escalation up to, and not limited to, the thermonuclear option.
Whatever it takes.
The Place of Food is Sacred.
Desperately outnumbered, I had no choice but to resort — no to sink — to chemical warfare.
(And for all I know, these days, it’s biological and genetic and maybe even a little radioactive, although radioactivity and Ants has been shown to be a non-ideal combination.)
Yes, I may have picketed you back in the day, but DOW Chemical … you’re my last best hope, I need you now!
It is, perhaps, a sign of our society and our times that weapons of species destruction are readily available without restriction at the local grocery store.
Wanting the war over quickly, decisively, I used an entire mini crate (ok, a “box”) of four chemical bombs disguised as welcoming kiosks of free and delicious Ant Food.
Here, take some home to your nest mates, we have plenty. In fact, why don’t you have all your friends come and share the goodies!
You can, if you wish, believe that Ant Scientists examined the new food — as of course they must examine all new food entering the nest; there must be standards after all. The examination would reveal the deadly peril, and they would immediately all pack up and move to a safer location. If it makes more sense to you that way, then no doubt that’s how it happened.
Now as many are aware, in reality the Ants won the war a long time ago. They suffer us to live — more or less undisturbed — in their world. They vastly outnumber us, and they even outweigh us! (Not per Ant, you understand. Most Ants are quite health conscious and exercise daily.)
The point is this isn’t a case of some looming giant casually wiping out a harmless family of Ants who were just minding their own business.
Oh, no, this is a case of a lone warrior fighting a guerrilla war against overwhelming odds. Just trying to get a few licks in for my short-lived, warm-blooded mammal species before the next meteor hits.
I don’t feel the least bit guilty about the careless Spiders (I figure I’m doing the species a favor: learn to lurk better guys).
Ants are even further down the scale of things I’ll easily sacrifice if it’s a case of them or me.
Or of me just being sufficiently annoyed.
Or of anything threatening the Sacred Place of Food.
December 29th, 2012 at 7:46 am
My sister next door has a huge ant problem, too. I don’t know why I don’t experience them, but I’m not complaining. They have resorted to those little white plastic dome things and some Terra. I, however, had an enormous spider problem in my bedroom until I found the holes that let them into my house. Crossing my fingers, here, but I think I’ve solved that problem! One of the big reasons I’m thankful to not live south is that we just don’t get that many indoor bugs here!
December 29th, 2012 at 10:27 am
Oh, having huge ants is even worse. You need pitchforks and flamethrowers! 😐
I wonder if having dogs has any effect? I’ve always believed it was why I’ve never had a mouse or cockroach problem, but it could be luck or maybe being a better housekeeper than I realize. I’m okay with the spiders (I respect their predatory nature) so long as they keep mostly out of sight. But of course, in the bedroom isn’t as much fun, especially depending on how one feels about them. Even I’m a bit more aggressive when it comes to sharing sleeping space.
I know what you mean about bugs, but it’s a funny thing. When I lived in Los Angeles (which is sort of “down south”), the only bugs were a few common flies and some spiders (admittedly, we did have black widows in our electric meter box). Now I live “up north” in Minnesnowta, which has a vast array of different bugs (during the summer of course—I think they all fly south for the winter or something).
December 31st, 2012 at 7:00 am
When I lived in Minnesota, I was amazed at how few bugs there were – having moved there from the bug-infested capital of Texas. Of course, dealing with the MN mosquito and the gnats wasn’t a picnic by any means.
December 31st, 2012 at 12:49 pm
Yeah, good point, you’re right. I guess my perspective is skewed having come from the bug dead zone of Los Angeles to Minnesota. Now that you mention it, I’m recalling all sorts of stories about bugs “down south.” Up here we do have the advantage of winter coming along and wiping out vast numbers of them annually.
Mosquitoes. I would be willing to live in a world without mosquitoes, Purple Martins (and some species of bat) be damned (they eat only mosquitoes). [Actually: I cannot tell a lie. That’s a myth about the Martins; not entirely sure about the bats.]
December 29th, 2012 at 8:03 am
I hate having ants in my house! They outweigh us? seriously? Egads!
December 29th, 2012 at 10:34 am
The line I read wasn’t entirely clear… it said the ants alive today would weigh about as much as “the entire human race.” The two phrasings, “ants alive today” and “entire human race” makes it sound to me like they’re comparing living ants now with all humans who ever lived (or are living).
If that’s right, then they considerably outweigh the humans living today, since the humans alive right now—despite the myth you sometimes hear—are just a fraction of the number of total humans who ever lived. (You sometimes hear that there are more people alive today than the total number of all who’ve come before. This is utterly, totally false.)
December 29th, 2012 at 11:58 am
Is it? That is the impression I’ve been under for a long time! But just googled it again and found this…
December 29th, 2012 at 3:36 pm
Yes, it is. 🙂 The article you linked says the same thing. It mentions a very rough estimate of 60 billion (have been here and gone) whereas the population now just crossed 7 billion (the link is a little out of date; it mentions 6 billion).
Which means, if I’m reading that line about ants correctly, that the ants alive now weigh as much as 60+ billion people!! That’s a whole lotta ants!
December 29th, 2012 at 10:22 pm
no kidding eh?
December 30th, 2012 at 12:18 am
We really do live in their world. If they ever got their act together and decided to come after us… I’m not sure we’d stand a chance!
December 30th, 2012 at 9:29 am
Thought you might enjoy the following quote!
“When the insects take over the world we hope they will remember, with gratitude, how we took them along on all our picnics. ”
— Bill Vaughan
December 30th, 2012 at 9:57 am
😆 😆 😆 You thought right, Lady Di! Excellent!! 😆 😆 😆
December 29th, 2012 at 1:22 pm
Haha!! 😀 I with you every step of the way here– especially the step that crushes of the little devils! And the pictures are giving me the heebe jeebees! 😀
December 29th, 2012 at 1:24 pm
Let me rephrase that. I’M with you every step of the way here — especially the step that crushes ONE of the little devils.
December 29th, 2012 at 3:38 pm
I just found a lone survivor wandering around the bathroom and crushed him in your honor. Species Victory!!
December 29th, 2012 at 3:38 pm
Yeah, I know! That’s why I warned my readers yesterday!
December 30th, 2012 at 7:31 pm
I had a friend suggest baby powder or corn starch sprinkled at entry points. It seemed far too easy to actually be effective, so I never tried it. I could be living the Alanis Morisette lyrics “It’s the good adviiiiiice that you just didn’t take!”
December 30th, 2012 at 7:46 pm
Sounds like the idea would be to gum up their joints with grit. I donno; it does have the advantage of being organic and non-toxic. That was an issue for me in previous years when I still had a dog.
January 4th, 2013 at 5:23 am
[…] Them! Ants! by Logos con carne […]
January 4th, 2013 at 8:31 am
Well, what an honor!! Thank you. I hope your readers enjoy taking a brief walk on the wild side over here!
January 4th, 2013 at 12:59 pm
You’re very welcome!
January 4th, 2013 at 5:37 am
January 4th, 2013 at 8:46 am
You, too, have a problem with ants? 🙂
February 15th, 2023 at 8:10 am
[…] [I wrote about the human/ant war over ten years ago. See Them! Ants!] […]