June 03, 2005

Attack of the big ugly ants

About a month ago, during a pleasant evening of laying on the couch and watching TV, my girlfriend started to mildly freak out.

"Oh my gosh, Kat must have cut his lip or something!" she exclaimed.

As a point of clarification here, I should explain that Kat is one of the cats that roam the house. His brother, Kit, also roams the house at will. I'm mostly indifferent to both animals, except when it's my turn to empty the litter box or clean up a hairball, during which times I somewhat despise them.

I looked over at my girlfriend, who was attending to Kat with the concern one would otherwise expect to see expressed by an Army medic assessing the wounds of a fallen comrade. She was very, very worried about Kat's apparent split lip. For Kat's part, he just seemed happy that he was getting so much attention.

I did my boyfriend duty and starting inspecting Kat's lip. There was, indeed, something irregular about it. There was a jagged piece of something black protruding from his lip. However, since there was no apparent blood, I came to the conclusion that something was simply stuck to his lip. So, I went and retrieved a tweezers.

Clasping the unknown lip object in the tweezers, I started to pull, much to Kat's apparent displeasure. Just when I thought the cat was about to bite me in retaliation, the foreign object detached and, upon further examination, I realized that it was a fairly large ant head. Apparently, Kat had been toying with an ant earlier in the day, and the ant bit him on the lip just before Kat swallowed the rest of the ant's body. I really didn't put too much thought as to where this titanic battle between cat and ant took place. Until last week. . .

Last week, my girlfriend was out in the porch, exercising on the treadmill, when suddenly she ran into the house and started, once again, to mildly freak out.

"There are some huge flying bugs in the porch," she said urgently, and I immediately knew it was my boyfriend duty to squash the airborn insects.

As I set about smooshing the insectoid creatures, I started to wonder how in the heck so many large, winged ants managed to get inside the porch. My question was answered when, while searching for other flying ants, I noticed a swarm of large, black, ugly ants squiggling in and out of a space between the wall and the window.

I feel I should note here that, while I'm a tough, swaggering male when it comes to killing individual insects, when it comes to confronting dozens of ants pouring from a hole in my wall, I jump back and scream a little bit like a girl.

A little investigation revealed that I very likely had a colony of carpenter ants nesting somewhere within my porch walls, and what I learned about these ants brought me to the conclusion that I really didn't want them living there. What transpired was a week-long battle between myself and the hundreds, if not thousands of carpenter ants that had taken up abode in my porch walls.

I tried ant bait traps, which the ants didn't seem all that interested in. I also caulked around the outside of the house, cutting off entry points I was pretty sure they were utilizing to get within the walls. So now, they can't get in. That still left the pesky buggers that were already inside.

Finally, I sprayed insect killer directly in the space from where I originally saw them emerge. After several applications of the spray, I think it's safe to say I wiped out most of them.

If not, I'll send the cats out there, because apparently they're pretty good at hunting ants, even if the ants manage to get a parting bite in once in awhile.

Posted by Ryan at June 3, 2005 12:46 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?

StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!