For some people near and dear to me it’s, well, bugs. Little, often harmless insects can do no good in our house! Why they choose to come to us is beyond me. They are uninvited and unwelcome, and frankly, stand the chance of being annihilated by daring to cross our threshold, perhaps even facing the powerful siphoning vortex of the ceramic bowl (toilet, that is). Of course, not by my hands if I can help it. I try to send them on their merry way, back to the out-of-doors, if at all possible. After all, they probably have little or no idea of the dangers they potentially face coming into our home.
However, I do remember a little incident last summer that had me feeling quite different. We had noticed a few teeny ants milling around the kitchen. You know, it’s very difficult to herd up ants to take them outside. Much as I wanted to avoid violence, some collateral damage was going to be inevitable. First, I tried using some very civilized ant traps – you know, the kind with the little doors in the box where they come to sample the goods then take it back to the nest (is that the right word, or is it den or lair or something like that?). In my mind, it would all be a simple and tidy affair.
But in reality, totally ineffective. It was like handing out lollipops, and I felt like the sucker!
Then, someone passed along a home remedy guaranteed to do the trick. We were told to mix a little honey together with some boric acid and the ants would come for the treat and we’d soon be rid of the critters. So my husband bought borax and mixed it with a good dollop of honey. I didn’t see much difference. In fact, it seems that the brave scouts who had to outrun my purple latex dish-washing glove of death were inviting their friends to come out. They were fearless! The plan was not working at all!
Then one evening, before going upstairs for a peaceful night’s slumber, I spied a happy conga line dancing its way up the side of a bottom cabinet, and another festive one salsa-ing from the ceiling in the same direction. Their destination: the cereal and dry goods/baking ingredients cabinets. Standing on a chair, I flung open the doors of each cabinet to witness the swinging-est ant party I’d ever seen! Ants were everywhere, even swimming in one of those nifty little ant baits my husband had crafted. It looked like a hot tub for ants. Do you know, I think I even heard a cry of “¡Fiesta! from some tiny voices? (Well, it was late.) I said aloud, “Oh no, NOT on MY watch!” “This party is OVER!”
I was up late that night, using household cleaning spray and wiping up ants with my sponge before checking through food boxes for still more ants. What an ordeal! Arrrgh!
It turns out that laundry borax is NOT the same as boric acid (though related), which is probably what we were supposed to be using. We sprayed around the floor and cabinets the next morning with an aerosol can of Raid™, and lo and behold, no more ants! Simple and effective, although I wish I could have steered the conga line out the back door and into the backyard, rather than using my military might and chemical warfare, if you know what I mean.
(The line above is an illustration of the happy ant conga line, if you were wondering.)
Yesterday, when three-year-old River was visiting, she noticed an ant making its way across the kitchen floor. “Oh no, not again!” My husband and I looked at each other in panic.
You know, we truly are peaceful people. We want all creatures to live peacefully…in their own homes.
But you can bet that we’re not fooling around this time – that can of Raid™ is at the ready!
When the bee comes to your house, let her have beer; you may want to visit the bee’s house some day. ~Congo Proverb