Saturday, October 17, 2009


There was a carpenter ant infestation at my last house, which was really a cottage, but that doesn't matter for this story.  Anyway, the ants mostly stuck around the sink area because they came in through the floor near the water pipe.  If I ever left a dish in the sink for more than ten minutes the ants would scurry up the wall and into the sink to transform a blue dish (if it was blue) into a pulsating, black disk of terror.  It didn't matter if there was food on it or not.  But if there was food, like say...tomato sauce, well then you were just asking for it.  I used to drown them in steaming water, spray them with hair spray and watch their little legs start to stiffen up, I'd pour dish soap on their segmented little bodies and, of course, I'd crush them under my slippers if they were on the floor.   

Dead ants smell.  They smell really, really nasty.  Like sweet death but more chemicalized.  I hated washing the dishes and not just because of the ants in the sink and on the floor.  Coming into the whole kitchen area set you up to be a target.  I'd be washing and killing and then I'd feel something on my chest, look down and scream.  I'm sure I dropped a dish or a glass at least three times during those experiences.  Ants on me.  All over me.  The dishes would suffer, pile up, get dropped.  It was a kitchen of death, a sink of death.  I can't count how many times I'd find ants in my clothes and have to rip them off on the spot and throw them  in the washer (which also happened to be in the kitchen).  I think the people who lived there before me became aware of the ant situation and put the washer in the kitchen for that reason.  Ant clothes...they didn't want to infect the whole house.  Because you know once you let them into other areas they make paths for their friends.  Nobody wants an ant path leading to the bedroom.  Nobody.

Bug infestations are more of a psychological problem than anything else.  Once you have a bug on you paranoia makes sure you feel them all the time.  Crawling and itching and biting at you while you are reading or trying to fall asleep.  Trying to catch a calm moment alone and then BAM.  You can't escape the linger of the ant.  I feel them now.

I am not sure if there is aything to learn from the ant experience.  There aren't lessons in everything, you know.  I don't look up everything in my animal spirit books.  Sometimes I just like to kill things and tear my clothes off and be done with it.


healinggreen said...

That is the best article ever.

We have little ants that invade our house every early winter and all spring. From all different outdoor colonies. I HATE them. They totally skeeve me out, and I totally get you. I have tried to reason with them. They promise to behave. And they do, for a week or two. And then they come back full force, sneak attack invasions, and then it is war.

Rachel said...

I would not want to be at war with you, I bet you're good! Did you ever find a natural solution to the ant problem, even if it works for a little while? I never had much luck with any of that.