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Ants. My biggest pet peeve in the world right now might be ants. It's not like we're slobs. It's not like we leave sticky Twinkie wrappers all over the floor, and globs of gravy on the counter. But from the number of "odorous house ants" in our life, you would think we did just that. They will find anything available. No human can keep up with them. They're always inside the dishwasher. A single muffin crumb under the table will attract dozens, as will a single drop of French toast batter on the stove from one hour earlier. They have bored into apples in the fruit bowl, zeroed in on a speck of something in the bathroom sink, and climbed the shower curtain in search of God knows what. You'd think the bedroom would be safe, being food-free and on the second floor. But no! They prove me wrong. There was a bit of food. There was a tin of Altoids, in a drawer; the top drawer, in fact. But they got into it. You caught me, you clever ants; stupid me, daring to keep anything edible anywhere within reach of you. You also caught me in my slovenly habit of putting a glass of water on the headboard at night. Yep, there were about 30 of you swarming it this morning. Water. Heaven forbid I should do anything irresponsible like keep water in the open. We've put out bait traps, but you only seem mildly interested in those. Glasses of water and individual molecules of jam residue are far more enticing, apparently.

I look it up, and find that even exterminators have trouble eradicating this type of ant, since finding the nest is often difficult. And even if you do find one nest, there are likely lots more that you haven't found. You just have to do what you can to discourage the critters. Which, when your hands are full with a baby, is not as much as you might normally be able to do. Having a baby around also makes you warier of using poisons, so pesticide is not my favorite idea anyway. Thus we're back to not being able to keep Altoids, water, or fruit in the open.

I just hate how much of an inferior person it makes me feel--I mean, it seems that you must be some kind of lazy disgusting loser, to have a bug problem in your house. So, reassure me, people: tell me you have bug problems you cannot conquer. I know there are worse ones to have, so remind me. The bright side is they're not fire ants, scorpions, carpenter ants, termites, funnel-web spiders...OK, fine, things could be worse. Still. It's hugely annoying. I blame the former homeowners, as with everything else that goes wrong in this structure.

Baby is well, though. New-ish pic here:
http://pics.livejournal.com/lemonlye/pic/0000q5q3

On a tangent: though all his hues-of-blue clothes are pleasant, I find myself wishing I had picked up a gaudy Hawaiian-print onesie while we were in Maui. They had them in the gift shops. Would have been cute.

Comments

( 33 comments — Leave a comment )
kali_kali
Mar. 7th, 2006 05:49 am (UTC)
Since the townhouse where I live is (obviously) joined to others, there is no way for us to get rid of these silverfish creatures (looked up that name on Google Images, and the ones we get aren't nearly as big, but still annoying). They're usually only seen skittering across the floor rather than in food, but they're still annoying. We had them in our old townhouse as well, again, townhouse, so fairly impossible to get rid of, even though we had that place fumigated at least once.

Bugs are annoying, but they also, sadly, seem to be a fact of life.
mollyringle
Mar. 8th, 2006 05:58 am (UTC)
Yick - silverfish are creepy. Guess we could have it worse with cockroaches, though, eh?
tdj
Mar. 7th, 2006 05:53 am (UTC)
I have an unconquerable ant problem in my tissue culture lab. The building was built on earth with the consistency of sponge. Despite the fact that the ants in Richmond consider me the God of their Underworld, enough yet remain to overwhelm our fetal bovine serum every time it rains.
tdj
Mar. 7th, 2006 06:00 am (UTC)
I just remembered - photographic evidence.



This is a $60,000 cryostat.

To the ants in our building, it is a waxy rabbit meat refrigerator.
(no subject) - mollyringle - Mar. 8th, 2006 05:57 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tdj - Mar. 8th, 2006 07:48 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mollyringle - Mar. 9th, 2006 05:43 am (UTC) - Expand
tenaya_owlcat
Mar. 7th, 2006 06:13 am (UTC)
You may not know this, but Northern CA contains a super-anthill. Yes, I'm serious. There's a serious of interconnected nests stretching for many miles. There's no way that we can keep the ants out, and no way to exterminate them. We just learn to live with the occasional incursions.
mollyringle
Mar. 8th, 2006 05:59 am (UTC)
Now that is one of the most disturbing images I've read today. We did have the ants when we lived in Davis too, so maybe we experienced that. Wonder if Seattle has a similar one.
(no subject) - tenaya_owlcat - Mar. 8th, 2006 06:08 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - mollyringle - Mar. 9th, 2006 05:55 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tenaya_owlcat - Mar. 9th, 2006 06:20 am (UTC) - Expand
thomas_a_kempis
Mar. 7th, 2006 01:01 pm (UTC)
65$ every other month to the pest control folks; no ants. None. (Well, had one invasion, which was put down within a day) in four years.

+
mollyringle
Mar. 9th, 2006 05:38 am (UTC)
Hmm, not near as expensive as I would have thought. Probably worth a call to them, at least.
rachel2205
Mar. 7th, 2006 01:17 pm (UTC)
You poor thing. Ants are gross. :( I hope you manage to get rid of them!
mollyringle
Mar. 9th, 2006 05:38 am (UTC)
They are indeed. But hey, better than cockroaches!
(no subject) - rachel2205 - Mar. 13th, 2006 03:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
trilliah
Mar. 7th, 2006 02:14 pm (UTC)
We have always had a mild infestation of brown recluses. They live in my closet, mostly, in the basement and in the garage.

They're not as obnoxious as the ants--but if I had to have a show-down with one, I think I'd pick the ant.

We can't get rid of them, either.
mollyringle
Mar. 9th, 2006 05:39 am (UTC)
Eeek! Yes, poisonous spiders are probably worse. Of course, you can always play Shelob's Lair in your closet...OK, maybe not as much fun without actual hobbits. :)
(no subject) - trilliah - Mar. 10th, 2006 05:18 am (UTC) - Expand
laleonaenojada
Mar. 7th, 2006 02:48 pm (UTC)
We had black widow spiders that lived in my garage in childhood. It wasn't really an infestation problem, just that every spring there would be a new nest. Garages were easy places for the mommy spiders to get into. Also, in the same house, we had a really bad mouse problem, since we lived in a rather rural area, which led to a mild snake problem, which was when my mom decided we needed to move to a more urban area.

~A
mollyringle
Mar. 9th, 2006 05:40 am (UTC)
Snake problem! Ack. Venomous ones? Not that any snake problem is okay.

We did have a couple black widows in the garage when we lived in California, now that you mention it. Not good at all.
kalquessa
Mar. 7th, 2006 06:26 pm (UTC)
I would reassure you by saying that Bill and I had a similar problem in the old apartment, but that was actually because we (meaning "I") were slobs. We are better now, and have graduated from ant problems to little winged flower-pot midge problems.

Baby = OMGCUTE!!!1
mollyringle
Mar. 9th, 2006 05:41 am (UTC)
Hehe...ah, well, housekeeping is for sissies anyhow. If the ants weren't all over my case, I'd sweep the floor maybe twice a month rather than daily.
elfinity
Mar. 7th, 2006 09:30 pm (UTC)
AW! BAYBEE!!! He looks so amazed ^_^ And you look like such a perfectly loving mom (which is like, duh!)

At our old house we've had an ant invasion every spring, as they woke up from hibernation and tried to escape the water (from all the melted snow). The stupid gits would forget over the winter that they were not welcome in our house the previous year, and try again. In the beginning, I took sadistic pleasure in singling out an ant, and rubbing a clove of garlic around it - they can't see, and orient by smell. So if you erase the smell it left on his way, it doesn't know which way he wasa going, and it doesn't like the strong garlic smell, so it runs around in circles all panicy-like.
But that gets old.

Um.

Yeth. We got rid of our scurry little problem by fumigating the whole place at the very first sign of the little boogers, though that did present a difficulty, what with a curious cat and a very independent son.

Good luck, and hey, it coulda been pirahnas, that would've been totally much worse O_O
mollyringle
Mar. 9th, 2006 05:42 am (UTC)
Hehe--is it sad that I've messed with the ants with garlic that way too? And cinnamon today as well.

Aye, the young'un is easily amazed. I imagine this phase will last for the next couple years. Should prove fun. :)
dirae
Mar. 8th, 2006 01:36 am (UTC)
My mom and dad had a problem with ants in their very old farmhouse (built in the 1860s). One of the ways my father dealt this problem without the use of toxins was to take the time caulk and weather strip around all of the window panes, door jambs, and any opening to the outside (i.e. where pipes go through walls to the outside, or other places in the basement--such as any "drain holes", etc). This is a time consuming process, but it does help eliminate the numbers, thus making "extermination" easier to deal with (and you won't end up feeling over-run).
mollyringle
Mar. 9th, 2006 05:46 am (UTC)
That would definitely help, but can't be done thoroughly anytime soon. Thanks (once again) to our stellar former house-owners, most of the doors and windows are poorly fitted and need to be completely replaced; and the deck wraps two sides of the house, and sits pretty much right on top of the soil, so there's no way a human can get under it. Someday we'll rip that off too and do something proper, but for now it's a dank ant haven. But hey, great for entertaining, or something. :)
(Anonymous)
Mar. 8th, 2006 05:49 am (UTC)
My old house had a problem with moths. They had gotten really bad. We called an exterminater in and he basically said there was nothing he could do to completely get rid of them. He said it was mostly because the houses in my town were old. They sprayed something, and most of them did seem to die, but there were still some around. We just learned to live with them. But I feel for you. I hate bugs of any kind. My old bathroom had spiders in them, which caused some problems for my bladder. I'm deathly afraid of spiders, so if one was in the bathroom, I'd close the door and not go in there again until I could find someone to kill them. Ew.

I cant see the baby picture :( It says I'm not authorized. I'm guessing it's because I dont have a live journal. I'm sure he's cute though :)
mollyringle
Mar. 9th, 2006 05:48 am (UTC)
Moths are decidedly annoying. But yes, spiders take the cake for the shudders factor, with me too. Some varieties more than others.

Oh, yeah, think the scrapbook photo only works for registered LJ'ers. Ah well, hey, he looks like a baby. :)
(Deleted comment)
mollyringle
Mar. 9th, 2006 05:49 am (UTC)
Huh, cool. I played with the cinnamon tonight, and it at least seems to throw off the trail a bit. I got all excited about the mint idea listed on that page, until I remembered that these ants got into the Curiously Strong Mints with enthusiasm. So guess that one won't work here. Heh. :)

Thanks for the compliment on the kidlet!
modmerseygirl
Mar. 9th, 2006 07:36 am (UTC)
Argh, insects are so bloody irritating! We've had some gnats in our bathrooms lately, and I have no idea where they're coming in from. Possibly the bathtub drains? Quite odd. Living in Florida all these years, one gets accustomed (but no less annoyed) by creepy bugs. *shudders* Hope the ant infestation clears up soon. I wish I had some good advice on getting rid of them!

On to happier topics -- what a beautiful photo of you and your son. You're both adorable! *hugs*
mollyringle
Mar. 11th, 2006 05:13 am (UTC)
Thank you! (On the photo.) Hah, yes, I should not complain when I think of what kind of pests show up in Florida. Some unlucky people down there do get alligators in their backyards, after all. I'll take the ants! :)
( 33 comments — Leave a comment )