Springtime in this neck of the woods is characterized by capricious weather and the subtle awakening of critters large and small. Nothing makes my heart sing more than hearing the birds twittering in the trees outside my window first thing in the morning. It means they’re happy, and that it’s warm.
The downside to warmer weather is that the insect population starts to pick up where it left off in the fall. Around my house, that means an invasion of ants.
We’ve had several ant invasions over the years, and while I can’t say I like the big black carpenter ants, at least they’re easier to see scampering across the floor. And easier to exterminate. The ones that give me the most consistent trouble are what’s known in this area as sugar ants. Sugar ants are very tiny and when you crush them they release a sweet-ish odor. And where you see one, there are about a thousand more coming right behind.
Right now the little buggers are all over my house. They traipsed in to dine on cat food and stayed to clean up the crumbs that have fallen due to our bad habits of eating in front of the TV and at the computer. And when you have a child, crumbs are inevitable.
While I don’t consider myself a spotless housekeeper, I am a cleaner. I’m constantly wiping down counters and cabinets, sweeping, vacuuming, and generally trying to keep the house clean. I pick up the cat food when it’s not being eaten, and I don’t leave open containers of food sitting out. And though I (mostly) stay on top of things, we still get ants. It’s maddening.
My latest volley in the neverending war has been to buy ant traps and put them everywhere. Except I have to conceal them because they’re full of poison and I don’t want any cats or kids getting into them. Which means that even though I put them where established ant trails are, I have to offset them from some of the trails, which I’m not sure is getting the job done.
Once the weather settles out a bit the ants will retreat to their summer activities and mostly leave the inside of my house alone. But until then I have to keep fighting the good fight.
Hurrah, hurrah, indeed.