Summer with ants falls short of a picnic

“The ants go marching one by one, hurrah, hurrah!” Cute kids song, but in reality, I’d prefer they march straight to Hell. Each spring, this young woman’s fancy turns to thoughts of traps and poison. I don’t mind the occasional, stray ant, but with this year’s heavy rains, my house has become the set for a remake of the campy movie “Empire of the Ants.” I’m supplying the cast of thousands.

And to think I once paid them homage by watching the old Ant and the Aardvark cartoons on Saturday mornings. But I was much younger and less worldly then. I used to think it cruel when kids captured the sun through a magnifying glass and trained it on ants with the intention of burning them alive. Lately, I’ve shopped for a more powerful magnifying glass. I’m not alone.

In my quest to find a more potent ant poison, I came across an Internet blog hawking a potion called “Terro,” hopefully derived from the word terrorism. Multiple people wrote in about their own battles with ants and other bugs, their experiences and suggestions falling slightly short of brotherly love.

“Does anyone have thoughts about cheap ways to kill cockroaches? Killing them slowly and painfully would be most satisfying.”

“My product that I swear by, not just for ants, but for any hard-shelled pest, is diatomaceous earth. Pests crawl over it, it makes cuts in their carapace, and they die of dehydration — the pest equivalent of bleeding out.”

“Sprinkle corn meal wherever you see ants. They take it back into the hills, everyone eats it, it swells up and kills them.”

“I recommend a flamethrower. Torch the little bastards!”

“If you can find their nest, boiling water works wonders. Just boil up a pot of water and dump it on the nest. They’ll cook up in a matter of seconds and be gone.”

“To kill a ton of them all along the path where they are traveling, I just use a piece of paper and put it on top of the trail and smash them and leave their dead bodies there . . . . The other ants quickly get the message and stay away.”

“I’m not a violent person, but there is nothing that gives me more glee than watching an ant die.”

One lone comment on this particular blog stuck up for insects: “I know I’ll sound like a freak, but that’s a lot of animal lives to take. And they really weren’t hurting you or doing anything harmful. How about instead of killing thousands of animals, we all try not to leave sticky messes in our houses?” C’mon!

Do insects have rights? If so, who would advocate for them? Well, I found four insect rights groups: Insect Rights Association, Insect Rights Advocates, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Insects, and People for the Ethical Treatment of Insects.

Fortunately, only the first is legit. The other three are hysterical parodies calling for protective measures: An end of insect torture through fly paper and bug zappers, a crackdown on flea circus insect exploitation, reduced speed limits so fewer bugs die on vehicle windshields, and cockroach relocation versus elimination. 

However, the Insect Rights Association believes, “Let the little ants have their way. They will only explore your kitchen for a short season. They don’t eat very much.” Nice theory, but the ants that “explore” my kitchen drive the flag of their species into the ground and practice insect eminent domain. During summer, the sun never sets on the empire of the ants.

I pulled a box of Honey Bunches of Oats from the cupboard the other day and in my sleepy state wondered aloud when Post had started adding raisins to the mix. But when the raisins started fleeing my bowl, I realized they were ants. My son hadn’t properly secured the cereal after its last use. Once as a kid, I hid a box of Kellogg’s Sugar Pops under my bed for late night snacking. I stuck in my hand in and it was swarmed by large, black ants. Aaaargh.

Gotta go now and pick up my bottle of Terro. My flamethrower caused too much collateral damage.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: