Monday, March 21, 2011

Invasion of the Crumb Snatchers

When we first moved in, we discovered a heavy ant problem. But with my nifty Sevin-5 Dust Bug Killer, it was no stress. That stuff is used on farmer crops. It's effective. We sprinkled cracks and corners, and the ants died. Hooray. They've been gone until very recently.
It started in the bathroom, for whatever reason. I'd like to think that bathroom "stuff" is not food for ants, but sometimes ants are gross, so I wouldn't put it past them. I sprinkled the corners they seemed to be coming from, and for good measure, I "dusted" in the kitchen, too.
They kept coming out, but they kept dying. One day in the bathroom, I saw an ant carrying a dying one. I felt just a touch of pity as I imagined the groaning ant saying "A good soldier never leaves an ant behind!" and the dying one saying "Bless you, brother."
But then I flushed them down the toilet while they sang "he ain't heavy, he's my brother." It was a very undignified death for a soldier.

Then a couple days after that, I spied an ant toting a ball of play-dough from the floor under the table. I laughed. I narrated the ant's thoughts to myself: "Oh Sally will be so glad I've brought something for the kids! Won't they be delighted."

But after another little laugh, I killed the ant. I convinced myself it didn't have a family, so it was okay.
The ants kept coming, much to my frustration and great efforts in sweeping at least once daily (and removing all traces of crumbs in the kitchen). They kept dying, but it just wasn't enough. Michael and I thought maybe they were coming from behind the oven or fridge.

This last weekend, my cold had me feeling particularly tired. I let the dishes grow arms and legs and let those arms and legs grow hair. It just didn't matter. I love my housework, and because I do it regularly, it doesn't bother me when on occasion I let things slide. It just doesn't happen much, so I forgive myself. But these dishes were dirty. Not rinsed at all, filling the sink to the point that the faucet was hard to access. They looked worse than they were, but they spread onto the counters anyway. A greasy bacon tray crowned my counter. Evidence of cookie-making sprinkled the counter. An oily butter wrapper graced the surface.
What an invitation! Party at my main counter, ants! Bring your cousins and make it a family reunion!

I didn't notice at first. When I finally went into the kitchen before going to bed, I went in with no intention to go crazy and start cleaning; I just wanted to be sure there were dishes and space for making breakfast in the morning. I started piling a few more things in the sink, clearing the table a little...and WHOA! Suddenly! Just like that! I realized Ant Moses had brought his entire tribe of Israelants to my counter!!!! No kidding! And my pregnant belly was super close to them, too, brushing the edge of the counter.
I hollered to Michael--ANTS ON MY COUNTER!!! MY COUNTER--IT'S MY KITCHEN, NOT THEIRS! WHAT ARE THEY DOING ON MY COUNTER?! THEY'RE NOT DEAD! ANTS!!!! Michael came to witness the ants celebrating the idol of bacon grease, playing on the slip-n-slide butter wrapper, having food fights with our cookie mess crumbs. The war was on.

We cleared the counter, pulled out the oven, swept, vacuumed and dusted the saintly pesticide of Sevin-5 in every crevice. I made an outline on the counter, trapping the ants in a barbed-wire prison while sneering at them, snarling that they were only getting what they deserved for trespassing in MY KITCHEN--on the COUNTER, no less! After most of the ants had been plucked up in Michael's paper-toweling fury (he says he was imagining dive-bombing them, aren't we so perfect together?), I saw a couple of ants clinging to each other. Gross. They said through sobs "Juliet, I will never leave you." "We will die together, Romeo."
Bah. I squashed the stupid lovers.

After the cleaning frenzy, I scanned my kitchen with hawk eyes and felt my revenge had been satisfied. And then I felt a tweaking burn on my foot. Looking down, I saw an ant scurrying away. Poor Tony just wanted to let out a little aggression, I suppose. I killed the lonely ant with no sympathy.

This morning? A crippled ant trying to escape unnoticed along the edges of my counter. Almost like Moroni wandering the wilderness, the last of his people. Except not righteous like Moroni. So I killed him.

Does this great massacre have anything to do with the fact that we're suddenly getting more bug bites? It's as if Tony had a whole gang of Sharks and Jets combined who'd witnessed the deaths of their beloved Romeo, Juliet and Tony. And that gang wants revenge.
Well, bring it on, you puny ants. I've got my Sevin-5, and you're just a bellows for the fire of my fury. We may even bring out the fatman and littleboy of ant killers this time.


Wonder why I have no pictures to document these battles? How about look at all the above paragraphs of wrath. I have no tolerance for ants, not even for the minuscule moment it would take to grab the camera. Especially ants on my counter. 


  1. Bwhahahahaaa!!! AAAHHHH!!! Qait, I was smiling so HUGE reading this. Empathy UP. THE. YANG. And your writing was so clever and fun that I enjoyed it rather than reliving yours and my ant battles' fury. What is this Sevin-5 you speak of? I must have some. We don't have the crazy wicked ant problem we had when we first moved here, but I had a dish pile like yours once (hahaha...once?) and the ants were EVERYWHERE. It was so, so....EW. And I dropped everything I had been doing and had a nice little battle with them. Yeah. Just like that. Nice. Little. I like your word choices better, but at least you still hear my sarcasm. :D

  2. Q, this made me laugh SO hard! I have empathy for you, too, having experienced two ant invasions myself. I want you to DRAW these scenarios!!

  3. HAhahha, will do!
    I've got a lot I want to draw...I need to just set aside a drawing day!

  4. YES!!! OH MAN!! I LOVE the illustrations!!!


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