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:)
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?
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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