The Critter Journal Part 1

>> Monday, September 14, 2009

Day 1

I just discovered ants in my stairs leading to my family room. This slightly freaks me out because:

  1. I HATE bugs in my house
  2. They are a few feet from my kitchen
  3. I have children who will probably get into mischief with the little critters
  4. They give me the creepy crawlies.

But, in pure Madison denial mode, I am sure it is an isolated incident and so I shall just forget about them for a few days.

Day 4
The ants have been busy. Or should I say, gettin busy, as there are now easily twice as many as before. In general I'm always happy when someone, anyone, really, is getting a little something-something, but in this case, eewwwwww. But wait a minute, do ants even have sex?

As one of my kids so smartly pointed out, "Mommy there are probably a kagillion ant eggs under the house." OK, now I am thoroughly grossed out. I made DH clean them up with my nontoxic counter spray and told my kids, "no more talking about the ants."

Day 9

I was about to go up to bed when DH came in from the garage carrying a small cardboard box from the recycling bin. He had a weird look on his face. A look I had seen before. I began slightly panicking, but managed to stumble out the words, "It's, is it alive?", as he walked into the family room.

The conversation then went like this:

Him "Yes, it's black and furry and -"

Me "I don't want to hear another word. I'm effing outta here."

Him "Where are you going?'

Me "I don't know." I contemplated the backseat of my car, but felt guilty that the kids wouldn't fit. I considered a hotel, but they also freak me out a little.

Following me upstairs, he said, "But what should I do?"

Me "I don't effing care what the f*^k you do, just effing take care of it!"

Him "But should I get a trap? What's open right now?"

I'm like look, I am an excellent problem solver, I can walk you through a diaper rash emergency, which vegetables to cook with dinner and trouble shooting the internet connection. BUT I DRAW THE LINE HERE. YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN.

He was clearly mad. So was I. I mean, I consider myself to be a feminist, but I had a bad experience with a mouse once that clearly traumatized me.

Day 10

I polled the gals at work. EVERY one totally agreed with me that DH should handle this on his own. Some even visibly squirmed when I said the "m" word, glancing quickly around for a place in which to jump up in case one should magically appear.

They, of course, asked what HE had done to take of the problem and I told them I honestly didn't know, but that he left the house after our "discussion" and returned 30 minutes later. I assume he was taking care of it.

That night I managed to hear, "I put a trap behind the TV, that's where he's living..." before I could shut him up. Seriously, he's not gettin it, here.

Day 11

I asked my friend at work the if she would talk to DH for me and she gently told me she wasn't my marriage counselor.

Day 13
With the mouse crisis, had I totally forgotten about the ants. My kids however, reminded me. I noticed they continued to expand their colony. I mixed up a batch of my nontoxic lethal ant eliminator and asked DH to move the paneling and molding to sprinkle the stuff.

This particular ant killer stuff worked wonders on carpenter ants in another house we lived in. I even used to sprinkle the mixture around the perimeter of my house in the spring and fall to help curb infestations.

So, after the doing the same here, I felt the problem was solved and went back to obsessing about the mouse, which was apparently living in my TV cart amongst the videos (!).

Needless to say he hasn't bitten on the trap.

Day 14
Last night, I dreamt of things crawling on me and woke up CONVINCED there was "something" in the bed. After stripping off all the covers, I found nothing, but I couldn't be too sure, so I spent the rest of the night in the chair.

I know the mouse trap thing is probably not "humane", but at this point the nighttime temperatures are below freezing already. So, the mouse would either die a long and painful death outside OR a quick death inside.

At least, that's what I am telling myself to appease this weird sense of guilt I seem to have all of a sudden. Besides, I am having people over this weekend...

Day 18
The ants did not like the killer powder I mixed up. But it didn't kill them, they just pushed it out from under the molding. Kind of like they were saying, no thanks. I have considered other options:
  • the world's tiniest mouse trap, modified for ants?
  • a trail of ant crystals leading, them to the patio doors, but then what? I can't leave the screen open for them, they'll invite friends in. I know, a trail leading them in a circle to tire them out. the ones who aren't in shape might have a heart attack? OK scratch that one.
  • nighttime surveillance, using DH's hunting equipment?
Maybe it will take some time.

Day 19
Ding dong the mouse is dead, I mean the mouse has passed on. I didn't ask about it, but found the TV cart moved back against the wall when I returned from work. A silent communication that DH has done his job and protected me. Maybe I'll have to thank him later.

But the ants? They are just mocking me now, openly mocking me. I found a stray meatball left from dinner under the kitchen table this morning, literally covered with ants and a long, wide path of ants stretching to the next room. That's it!!!! I am done being passive and nice about this! I am bringing out the big artillery. That's right, I am going to FEED my ants food from my pantry.

Day 21
Well they took my bait. They are loving the special food I put out for them. Bet you're wondering what it is. It is instant grits, believe it or not. Apparently the grits expand once they are in the ants tummy's and while their small backs are FREAKISHLY strong, their tummies are not.

I know that sounds morbid, but what's a gal gonna do here? I can't set them free, can I? And soon I will have come to terms with the small black dots in my son's poop...

Day 24
Guess what? The ants who took the bait must have little iron tummies. And I guess I have inadvertently trained the rest not to trust me.

I was seriously considering something I never thought I'd do. I mean, really, how much damage can 1 application of pesticides do to us?

Then I shook that off as a deal with the devil. And I was rewarded by an angel.

Photo credits: ceoln, emily999