Ants

Change of scenery does change one’s attitude toward many things. In daily life, ants (together with roaches) are on the top of the list that would make me fanatic instantly. My mind became fixated and wouldn’t resume normal functioning till I figured out why they showed up and how to get rid of them, fast. But there was this one time I found myself to be able to live with the crawling creatures and be at peace.

It was in the Ecuadorian rainforest. We were living in native people’s huts, which resembled more of a tent with the wind blow right through the top of the short walls from all sides. One morning at breakfast, I felt a tiny but sharp pain on my back. I reached up and found a small fire-red ant on my fingertip. My host suggested that my clothing might have come in contact with an ants trail and picked up the stray ant somehow. My skin crawled. I felt ill. Our tour guide tried to comfort me and asked me if I had any food laid out in the hut where my clothing was. “They are only interested in food, not humans.” I rushed back to my hut and found a small army of ants in the process of covering up my lip-bum, which must have fallen out of my backpack, and it was lying on my bed. Ah-huh. They must have liked its strawberry flavor. I picked up the small tube from the plastic end, shook off the ants, and sealed the lip bum inside a zip locked bag. When I came back from breakfast, the coast was clear and no fire-red little thing ever showed its face in my presence again.

I found that rather comforting. The fact that the ants are purposeful and they didn’t live to annoy flaky humans like me put my heart at peace.

But all that rational were promptly forgotten once I returned to my normal daily life. Last night I saw an ant crawl on my kitchen counter and I jumped. This morning, I saw a few of them wondering right on my kitchen windowsill. Not yet made up their mind to come in or not. In general I have always kept myself in high alert and make sure all flavorful food are well sealed. We never leave any food out and I just cleaned the kitchen floor, too. I wonder if the hot weather has forced them to migrate in search of water?

I was meaning to buy a RAID spray tonight, and then I found this article. It seems there are a bunch of ways to eliminate ants than the spray. As you read through those remedies, you’d realize how treacherious each of them sounds. Suddenly I start to get on the ants’ side. Maybe I will try to be calm this time and refrain from massive spraying until I found the source of attraction and elminate it first?

Mi made a sad face, plead for them, “They climbed all four flights of stairs!! And they were so tiny! It was hard enough for them to come all these way and found nothing. Do you really have to kill them, too?”

One thought on “Ants

  1. I have to side with Mi and the ants on this one.

    I’ve been told that diluted vinegar works well as repellant, and it’s safe to apply them on orchids and other flowers as well. I’m not a great fan of those sprays, because I hate the smell of those noxious fumes. Well, I can’t say that vinegar’s odor is pleasant, but I find it bearable. Good luck.

    BTW, your mom’s garden looks like a lot of fun. 🙂

    Jean’s Reply:
    Yeah, they seemed harmless this time. There weren’t that many of them either. I sprinkled some salt on my windowsill and they just all scrambled away. Didn’t seem they were that interested in coming in anyways. Probably just forced up by the heat and wanted to check out the stars? 🙂
    Yeah, mom’s garden is great. All ten night blooming cereus have bloomed in two consequtive nights. Five at a time. It must have been a great sight!

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