Wednesday, August 6, 2008



We all have our fears in life. I don't have much I'm afraid of, but ants would rank up toward the top of the list. Ants are horrible little creatures and they have it in for me at least as much as I have it in for them. It's all-out war.

It may have all started when I was about 2 or 3 years old. My family went out to some family property and my dad picked me up out of the truck and put me down on a red ant nest and told me to stay put. I had them all over me. I screamed and cried, but my parents just told me to be quiet and stay put, not quite realizing about the ants, and probably not thinking it was that big of a deal.

The rest of my life in Utah there weren't any major run-ins with ants, but they were already my enemy. As I mentioned in another post, I'm not big on firecrackers and don't see much purpose for them other than blowing up ant hills. So yes, I have blown up a fair few ant hills in my teen years when we'd go camping. I had cousins that got m-80s. M-80s are great for blowing up really big ant hills!

I went to Guatemala and stayed with my dad for several weeks when I was 21. That, I think, was when the ants started taking their revenge. I woke up in the middle of the night one night parched and unable to get something to drink. I had some Lifesaver candies, though, so in the dark I found them and put one in my mouth. It was covered with a strange texture, though, so I spit it out and turned on the lights. ANTS!

I had brought my favorite sweater with me on that trip. It was hand-knit and so comfy!! One day there were a lot of little yellow dots on it and my dad's wife told me those were ant eggs. It was really tough to get rid of them and it was horrifying.

When I moved to California, word of the ant revenge against me spread. I like to think of the ants like the Borg. Each ant is one of many of a network. They can all communicate with each other, just like computers on the internet. They are, essentially, the most sophisticated network in the world and they are highly underestimated. Killing ants is probably justifiable, because in this theory, when an ant dies, their consciousness is absorbed into the "collective." For every ant that dies, millions more are created. They may someday take over the world! Beware!!

In their collective, they can transmit messages and once they mark an enemy then they can let the entire world's colonies of ants know. Nowhere is safe and I am marked.

When I moved to California I shared a cute little bungalow with a couple of housemates. I had my own bathroom with my own tub. I love taking baths, btw. However, the ants made it difficult for me to indulge in one of my favorite pastimes. They moved in to the overflow in my bathtub, somehow, some way, and I still can't figure it out completely. Nearly every time I'd run a bath, hundreds of ants would flood into the waters or run out and run around the edges of the tub. It was horrific.

There have been at least two times where I was attacked in my sleep. I'd be sleeping peacefully then notice a slight itch on my cheek. I'd scratch the itch and discover it was from what I thought was a crumb. I'd continue to sleep, but lighter than before, until the next itch, which again was maybe a crumb. After a few "crumbs" I'd think it was odd and it would pull me out of my sleep enough to turn on the lamp and discover a trail of ants coming from the window, over the pillow, and all over me. They were little black ants, but they still BITE!!!

I recall one day many years ago spending a Saturday dedicated to reading. I was having such a lovely time getting into a good book and realized I hadn't eaten in hours. I begrudgingly put the book down and went into the kitchen for dinner. I opened my freezer and found it filled with little black specks, just filled!! Upon further examination I discovered that those specks were ants! I grabbed a cloth and swept them all out of the freezer, but then I had hundreds of dead frozen ants all over my kitchen floor. I should have swept them up and disposed of them right away, but I was shattered and couldn't take anymore. I wasn't even hungry anymore.

I woke up early the next morning and was starving. I remembered the nightmare waiting for me in the kitchen so I braced myself and got prepared to clean up the mess from the night before. I steeled myself to go into the kitchen and lo and behold, it was clean. There were no ants to be seen!! I didn't know what happened but I thought maybe some other ants came in and took all the bodies back to the nest, wherever it was, to eat them. Another horrifying thing about ants is that they eat their own sometimes. I didn't see any ants, so if they took the bodies away I was fine with that, as long as they left me alone. I opened the freezer again and AACK! It was full of ants again!! This time I took no chances and I vacuumed it out and disposed of the vacuum bag.

Ants are creepy!

Last time Dave left town the pool turned against me and developed a bad case of algae. It's finally a blue pool again, but only just getting to a point where it's swimmable. Well, he left yesterday and we thought that I would be fine on my own for a week, provided that we get someone to come over a few times over the week to clean the filters. The pool isn't the worry now.

I had a nightmare last night that I encountered a huge colony of ants. I couldn't get away from them and they kept trying to get all over me. I was hyperventilating and my heart was racing and I knew that it wasn't healthy for the pregnancy to be in that stressed of a state. I woke up and found that I really was hyperventilating and my heart was pounding. I was really freaked out, physically, from a dream!

I came into the living room and was having a lovely morning. I watched a little tv, played on the computer a bit, pet the cat, had a little breakfast, and was just taking it easy. I was sitting on a chair and there was a little itch on my arm. I thought it was just a hair or something so I moved my arm and it was better. Then I saw a little black dot moving on my hand. It was an ant!!! I did a little yelp and brushed the ant off and for good measure, smacked my arm a few times briskly against the side of the chair. Crisis over, or so I thought. I figured I picked the ant up from petting Tempest. He is often outside and comes in for brief cuddles, sometimes bringing ants in.

A little while later I saw another black dot, this one moving on the arm of the chair. I brushed it off, too, assuming it was the one I had earlier brushed off my arm, until I saw one crawling on the table next to me. I looked down, and they were all over the floor. There was a trail of them coming from a tiny hole at the top of the fireplace, across the mantle, down the laptop plug, and then onto the floor using the laptop cable as a bridge. They were happily taking crumbs left over from my cracker and cheese craving from last night. I should have cleaned up but our house has been ant-free for a very long time, thanks to Shane from Server's Pest Control!

Dave normally takes care of ant attacks since they get me so bent out of shape. Dave's gone for a week. :( I tried to think calmly and be cool about it. I proceeded to clean up in hopes that getting everything spotless and wiping the walls around the invasion and mopping the floor would do the trick. I went outside to bring the garbage can back in from off the street (garbage day today) and discovered that the ant situation in the house was the least of my ant worries. They are everywhere on the side of the house. It's no wonder they came in. They are EXPANDING and probably looking for new nesting sites!

I called Servers and Shane is due to arrive sometime between 2 and 4. In the meantime, I'm trying to just stay calm. If I don't post again, you'll know the ants won.


Tina said...

Your ant stories are horrific! I thought I hated ants, but I think you top me and everyone I've ever met. I hope that this week goes smoothly without any other problems.

Daisy said...

That was a really long post about ants! lol

Barb said...

It's a good thing you aren't around here right about now! The ants are AWFUL this time of year.

Thanks sooooooooo much for your thoughtful, helpful, insightful comments. I appreciate it more than I can tell you. I have all kinds of weird tired, "Crash" and hyper responses depending on my intake of food, so I was wondering if maybe I DO have an insulin issue. Obviously there is something else wrong with me. Maybe my glucose was just close to the limit that time, but it's high at others. Who knows. I guess I'll find out more next week sometime.