I was enjoying a quiet cup of tea on our back deck the other day when I felt it:  The distinct sensation of six tiny feet scuttling across my skin.  Sure enough, an ant had decided to traverse my mountainous foot instead of going around it like a sensible creature.

That ant achieved low-earth orbit about a second later.

I’m pretty tolerant of most critters.  Snakes and spiders don’t bother me, and I’m actually quite fond of bats and salamanders.  I think mice and skunks are cute, even though I refuse to let them share my abode.  (But if they’re across the street at the neighbour’s house, I’ll ooh and ahh and take pictures:)

Mom and six baby skunks across the street from us - aren’t they adorable?

Mom and six baby skunks across the street from us – aren’t they adorable?

But ants?  Nope.  That’s where I draw the line.

Ants have no redeeming qualities.  They bite, they eat house walls, they kill gardens, they make giant mounds in the lawn, and they multiply like crazy.  Worst of all, ants are organized.  And they outnumber us a million to one.  That just doesn’t seem like a good ratio if they decide to band together and take over.

I thought I was being overly paranoid with that particular speculation, but even the information pages mention the fearsome prospect of being conquered by giant mutated ants and their brutal slave-driving societies.  Yikes.  Thanks for a whole new batch of nightmare-fodder.

And just to feed my worries, lately the ant population seems to have doubled in our yard.  They’re slowly surrounding us, and I doubt their intentions are benign.

I mean, seriously.  Would you trust this face?

creative commons ant(Photo by Steve Jurvetson used under Creative Commons license)

We’ve tried ‘green’ commercial ant-killers with no success, along with all the home remedies ever suggested:  vinegar, boric acid, boiling water, cornmeal; you name it.  One thing we haven’t tried is casting the colony in molten aluminum.  That’s a permanent solution to the problem, but it might be a bit hard on our lawn.

They haven’t invaded our house en masse yet, so we’re maintaining an uneasy détente.  Every now and then one sneaks inside and meets a prompt and messy demise; and every now and then they swarm me in my garden, doubtless hoping to return the favour.  But if they ever mount a determined attack, I’m gonna up the anti-ant ante and get out the really nasty chemicals.

‘Cause the thought of being enslaved by giant mutant ants gives me the heeby-jeebies.  And even heebier and jeebier… they can strip a dead gecko to bare bones in a little over 12 hours.  That’s only a few thousand ants.  Imagine what a million could do.

Did I mention there are approximately one million ants for every human on earth?

Well, I won’t be sleeping tonight.

What critter is your nemesis?

* * *

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57 thoughts on “Anti-Ant

  1. Isn’t it funny how we each have our creep out line? Mine is mice and moths. And rats. (And bats, cuz bats are really just rats with wings.) But mice get me every time…and only field mice too, which is weird. Probably because they are so shifty and fast. I can hold a lab mouse in my hands, doesn’t freak me out at all, hamster, no problem. But field mice make me want to climb on chairs and scream for my husband.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is funny! I feel the same way about snakes – they don’t bother me in the least and I’ll hunker down to watch them up close and even pick up and handle the non-venomous varieties… as long as they’re not coming at me at top speed. If that happens, I’m the fastest shovel in the West: I’ve been known to slice and dice a snake with a spade shovel in mere seconds. (I felt guilty afterward, though – it was only a harmless little garter snake. But it shouldn’t have charged me…)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love the picture of the skunks. It is now my wallpaper. Can I keep it?
    Ants around her are all tiny black critters. They have invaded our house to spend winters but Tanya is merciless. Oven cleaner works good.
    Spiders are to me what rats were to Winston Smith. I KNOW they are good and most are harmless but they are my phobia.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I dunno; it seems to me that Winston Smith had pretty good reason to be phobic about rats. Rats themselves don’t bother me, but the prospect of being slowly eaten alive by them makes my mind run screaming to a safer, happier place. Brrrr!

      And the skunk photo is yours to enjoy. They’re so cute! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Okay, correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t the giant mutations in movies usually caused by the really nasty chemicals used in insecticides and pesticides?? Something to think about…….

    Liked by 1 person

      • Then there’s the radiation from a power plant meltdown or terrorist dirty bomb, don’t forget.

        But fair warning. That’s why I quit reading Tom Clancy. I got fed up with his exploding nukes in our cities and all that stuff. Haven’t touched one of his books in decades. Enough already.


        • Yeah, I’m not so much into the nukes myself. And it wouldn’t work as a plot device anyway – we only have a handful of nuclear power plants in Canada, they’re all in the east, and they’re all CANDU reactors so the chances of them leaking radiation or having a catastrophic failure are well up on the ‘highly improbable’ scale. The ants, and Aydan and the gang, are pretty safe from that particular threat. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  4. OMG! I HATE ALL creepy crawly insects and bugs!!!! I am such a “girl”!!!! LOL It’s why I don’t do much in the ‘great outdoors’. As long as they live outside, and don’t come into my home, we will be just fine. But once they cross into my area…they D.I.E.!!!!!!!!!!!

    But there are even KINGS of the evil bug world….and for ants it’s: The Jack Jumper.
    Enjoy….or not…. this is the stuff nightmares are made of!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Dorothy – I’m glad you got a smile! Spiders and I get along all right… as long as I remember to check under the outhouse seat before I sit down. That’s the only location where I really, really don’t want to encounter a spider!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well I’m still picking up my jaw off the floor from seeing the skunk family. Maybe you could invite them over to see what they might do about your ants? I have to admit that the chemicals have come into play when the ants try to move inside. I try to play nice for as long as I can but like you I don’t want to wake up with that face staring me down!

    Liked by 1 person

    • We couldn’t believe it when we saw the skunks! Needless to say, there was quite a bit of concern in our cul-de-sac, and the neighbours got in touch with animal control. Turned out none of the concern was necessary – after the babies were big enough, mom moved them peaceably away and we haven’t seen them since. But they were sure cute as long as there weren’t any odours wafting around! 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  6. We had problems with ants this year, too – not in the house, but in three huge anthills in our back yard. SO. MANY. ANTS. It was only a matter of time before they ran low on supplies and decided to visit us.

    Hubby did the chemical spray thing. I felt bad, but I felt better too. The old “cinnamon dusted on the door sill” just wasn’t going to cut it as a way to manage them.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Try chalk. Ants will not cross a chalk line. You can draw a circle around a bunch of them and check it out. Any color chalk will do. Good luck,Genevieve OlivaHouston, Tx.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Did you have to go there, Diane? My ultimate nemesis….the ANT. No matter the size, color, or usual mode of being, any ant that comes into contact with me bites me. I’ve been freaked out by them since I was a teenager. My bedroom door had to be replaced and my dad the carpenter, had things in the backyard shed. Including a door. He installed it. A couple of days later, I notice this HUGE brown ant crawling on the door. I’m told…that’s a wood ant, just kill it or put it outside. They don’t hurt people, just wood. So I murderized it and thought no more about it. Couple days go by and….another couple of ants are crawling across the door. Dang it! So this type of thing went on for a couple of weeks and my nerves are fraying. Then one morning I woke up, turned my head on the pillow to look at the door and there is a HUGE BROWN ANT ON MY PILLOW COMING AT ME!!!!!!!! You know how cats can leap straight up in the air? Well, I think I’m part feline ’cause I did the same thing. I told my dad, it has to be the door, please remove it. He took it down, took it to the backyard and noticed there were some holes in the top and bottom of the supposedly solid door. He took a hose, inserted it and turned on the water. THOUSANDS of HUGE wood ants came pouring out. OMG!!! Ever since then, ants totally freak me out. Just the other day, I’m in my house, not doing anything to anyone and YOWZA! I didn’t see it as it was a mini-ant. But I sure felt the bite. They all hate me. And now, thanks to your wonderful piece, I will be having nightmares about them coming for me en masse. Next time, can you pick something else to write about? How about rabbits? My niece hates them but I love them. Yeah, write about Thumper, okay?

    Liked by 2 people

  9. The critter that’s the neighborhood pain in the patoot is a 5.5 foot eastern diamondback. He always shows up when no hoe is handy or shotgun is within fetching distance. He only shows every few months and stays in a nearby wooded area, but he has caused some tight cheeks amongst humans and canines alike.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. for me its moths, spiders and the like in mot bothered about they keep out of my way and I do the same, come too close and its a size 10 shoe for them.
    for the moths its a mini electric killer, it fries them crispy I often have the smell of crisp moth in the air

    never been a fan of ants but fortunately I don’t get many here

    Liked by 1 person

    • Moths don’t bother me… except when they do a strafing run over my ear at four A.M. One time I woke with a start thinking I was under attack, only to discover that a moth flying inches away from your ear sounds exactly an airplane engine. Needless to say, that moth didn’t survive the experience, but usually I just catch them and release them outside. 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  11. Ants are not my favorite creature and I think you may have just deepened my dislike. A million per person? Ew!

    I once experienced the biting ants after slathering all my exposed flesh (including my feet since I was wearing sandals) to a factor 30 SPF sunscreen. It declared itself to be fragrance-free so I bought it believing that it was less likely to attract the biting flys that are the most likely pest to distract me where I was planning to paint. I had a good start on the painting when I realized my feet were being bit by ants.

    Before too long I was doing a weird ant dance and not able to paint anymore and providing a huge distraction to my painting companion and neither of us could continue working. We had a look at the list of ingredients in the sunscreen. It had a lot of glycerin in it. What nincompoop decided that the recipe for a fun day in the sun includes serving up a sweet treat for the insect population?

    I think the whole gamut of biting insects could go and I wouldn’t miss them at all. Mosquitos, horseflies, ticks, ants, black flies, no-see-ems, you may keep them all.

    Mosquitos most of all. Those bites itch far too long and can keep you from sleep for days even if they aren’t doing a run near your ear just to let you know you sharing your sleeping space with them and are gonna be bit worse by morning. When I was a little girl I’d awaken to a body all scratched up from the bites suffered over the past few days. Since calamine lotion didn’t do diddly, the only other solution I could come up with was to try to get rid of any portion of my fingernails that could leave scratches on my skin. I’ve been a lifelong nail biter ever since.

    Liked by 2 people

    • LOL! That’s a truly creative solution to scratching! And I agree with you wholeheartedly about mosquitoes and ticks et. al. There’s a mass extinction nobody would mourn. But glycerin in sunscreen? Agh! What were they thinking?!?

      Liked by 2 people

  12. I don’t like ants either. After the movie Naked Jungle (oldie) and the Indiana Jones Crystal Skull movie I may never let an ant live in my house either. I also don’t like large predators in my house. Everything that is outside should stay there.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. This is bizarre, Diane. I’m back at work full time now, more or less, so my summer is just about over. Officially. More or less.

    Anyway, so I walked into my office yesterday, put my back-to-work stuff away, parked in my chair, fired up the computer, and was checking my e-mail when I had the same sensation of small footfalls on my arm. Looked down, and a little sugar ant was navigating the mighty forest that is the hair on my arm. (TMI? Sorry, but that was from the ant’s perspective.)

    Anyway, so I flicked the little critter onto my desk, smooshed it in a kleenex, and tossed it. Went back to perusing my e-mail and noticed more movement from the corner of my eye. (Not really sure how a spherical object like an eyeball can have a corner, but that’s a question for another time, perhaps.)

    Anyway, so just stipulate that I detect movement. Look at the top of my desk, really look at it I mean, and there is another little ant. And then another one. And another. And another. And another one…and then a dozen more, then a couple of hundred…

    Anyway, so basically my whole office is slowly undulating. Well, the office isn’t…maybe. But I wouldn’t actually swear to it. I mean, it’s college, right? Weird stuff happens now and again a college, right? So it might have actually been undulating. But I’m not gonna actually swear to it. But it coulda.

    Anyway, so every surface in my office is covered with little bitty ants that are busily going wherever they were going and doing whatever they were doing. The drawers were full of them, too, just so you know.

    Anyway, so I grabbed my trusty can of Raid and had at them! Started at the outside door a few feet from my office door at the end of the hall and sprayed that area then followed the wall to my office, all around the walls, shelves, assorted professor-stuff stacked and, er, piled here and there, then back out the door and to the next corner in the hall.

    Anyway, so this is the second time this has happened. If I recall, I chronicled the other instance in your blog as well, and it was immediately after you posted something equally, er, applicable. I’ll have to look that up to make sure. but it seems like…

    Anyway, so I have an ant-free office today, and an industrial-strength fan running to air out the insecticide fumes.

    Coincidence? I think not…

    Liked by 3 people

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