Thursday, April 10, 2008

The ants go marching one by one...

This is a serious dilemma…every spring, tiny little black ants walk through my front door and make themselves at home. They don’t hurt anything, other than my sensibilities, but I don’t want to declare my house their house.

For one thing, they have far too many legs, and I’m a little jealous of their antennae…there are times when I could use a set of those. I’ve tried reasoning with them, but I don’t think we speak the same language. They have this chemical thing going on which means nothing to me.

During the past seven springs, the ants have done an excellent job removing food crumbs from my entry way, and they’ve never invaded the sanctity of my kitchen. However, they’ve come close... One year they discovered my pantry floor, and I was terrified they would go vertical, thereby hitting my kitchen counter tops. Luckily, my children are messy eaters—there were enough horizontal crumbs to feed an entire colony.

I can hear your thoughts, “Why doesn’t she just spray them, silly woman?” I hate killing things—I always have. In desperation, I’ve vacuumed up the ants, but I always feel terrible. Obviously, they were here before I was, thousands of little, tiny ant voices constantly remind me of that. My husband sprays when I’m not looking—I figure it out when the entry way is suddenly ant-free. I would not have been a successful cave woman for so many reasons…thank goodness I wasn’t responsible for continuation of our species….

Last summer, I was moving paving stones in our front yard and came across the nursery of my “boarder” ants. In one fell swoop, I could have wiped out an entire generation…instead, I was touched by how quickly the adults scooped up the eggs and carried them protectively away.

I think the new generation has chemically written “sucker” on my front porch. I’m sure the colony has detailed maps of my house and holidays planned around the bounty… As long as they don’t invite neighboring colonies to partake of that bounty—I draw the line at that.

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