Ant prose, baiting strategies

Ant head close up, Steve Jurvetson

We got an ant problem. The landscapers cleaned up all the beds outside and must have kicked up a colony. It started benign enough, one here, one there, but then they started crawling up the walls and in my beard and it wasn’t the ants that were as bad as the kids complaining about the ants, and acting disgusted, and I’d demonstrate with a paper towel it wasn’t so bad just smooshing them: they were big, black ants that looked intelligent and hard working, and after a time I stopped using the towels and just grabbed them with my fingers and popped them like grapes, like balloon animals in segments a clown would make, and Dawn called an exterminator and printed the instructions, which said we should remove all the dishes from our kitchen, evacuate the pets: In most cases, we start our treatments with a baiting program. We want the ants to be attracted to the bait, and take it back to the nest to share with the entire colony. This may seem like we are making things worse, but this side-effect is temporary and it actually means our treatment is working. And then I felt kind of bad about baiting and poisoning them, but they were on the toilet, on the kitchen island…making us feel unclean, making us feel more so when we cleaned out the cabinets under the kitchen sink and Dawn said, are those mouse droppings? Of course they weren’t, we have a cat. Beth had droppings like that on her side-deck she was worried about, feared she had rats, but the exterminator crushed the scat between his fingers and demonstrated it was bats instead, you could tell by the silvery material: insect wings. This is the realm of the exterminator and plumber, the doctor or dentist, the accounting auditor. Parts of us better left for the dark, unseen. Worse when you pull it out and study it under the light.



Categories: prose

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16 replies

  1. We’ve had an ant problem the last few weeks as well. Fortunately, we’ve never had that experience when we get up in the morning, go into the kitchen, and see ants swarming. But they always seem to be there. A few here. A few there. Many evenings I come home to “I opened the dishwasher and there were ants in there,” from my wife. Sometimes she texts me that in the middle of the day.

    A couple of days ago we learned that her sister’s neighbor is an exterminator. He came over and sprayed and gave us some bait things. Today, I came home. “I opened the dishwasher and there were ants.”

    What can I do?

    I shrugged my shoulders.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. i’ve had my battles with them over the years, including this one, and have used a variety of ways to deal wth them. they are much more determined than we sometimes give them credit for. when in doubt get the ant men, they know their stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Related to this big time. Been in total war with a number insects on the farm, current focus is the box-elder bug. Like the ant, prolific. There’s something inately startling about the surprise of the undulating hive gestating on a queen. I discovered the orgy on a walk-about yesterday, happening on the front siding and exposed in the process of correcting deck. They run, but they always come back. I smashed the mass with my shoe for insult and message and went and got the juice. It gave them a gloss. Poetry from the trenches of Bug War, I love it! And hate it…Good day friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And therein lies the difference, and therein..that’s a splendid scene of grotesquery worthy of Them! Thanks Austin and good day to you too. Send me a guest post soon!


  4. It’s simmering as we speak.


  5. Yes, the ants visit everyone eventually. They make their rounds. We had a million of ’em a couple years ago and finally had the superhero come out and spray the shit out of the place and they haven’t come back. The worst we ever saw was in an SF apartment we rented where they somehow found their way into the freezer. The effing freezer. I vacuumed them out, speaking of the right tool for the job …

    Good luck, ant man. Good luck to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Those ants, such bastards I tell you. We warred against them last spring when they were in the shower and the bathtub. I didn’t mind the shower so much because you just turn on the water and away they go. My wife almost lost her mind, though, and of course the girls would freak out at just the sight of them. But they are everywhere down here again, after another winterless winter. They just keep spawning. It’s mounds everywhere you look. We need to build a big beautiful wall, get into some extreme insect vetting.


    • Funny I thought it was just us. Posting this, the ant complaints are coming out in droves. Funny. Too bad though, in theory I like ants. In theory.


  7. Hey man you seemed like. A pro.. Plz look into my posts plz I m a beginner…


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