The ants go marching one by one…

‘Tis the season. The season of plants budding, warm weather returning, spring showers and the dreaded ants. For the past few weeks I have experienced an ant brigade in my house. Small black ants in my coffee, in the keyboard of my computer and in my cupboards. They slowly are driving me to a life of insanity.

I am usually the voice of reason. “Oh you have ants, try this natural remedy or this one or this one” as I kindly mention to anyone an all natural way to solve their pest problems. I hate spraying any chemicals inside or outside my home. But I tend to hit a breaking point. I don’t mind ants, and I know they have their purpose I just don’t want them to destroy my food or share my bed. I failed the all natural world last year with the infestation of fleas and this year the ants have me up against the wall.

But fear not, I tried every all natural cure to get rid of ants. Some natural ways worked for a small amount of time but it was as if they came back with vengeance, maddened I had secretly fed them borax or baking soda causing their friends to explode. A few natural remedies I gave a chance were vinegar, cinnamon, borax, baking soda, lemon, cornmeal, coffee grounds, cayenne pepper, natural soap and every imaginable combination of the listed. And the ants took those remedies and laughed in my face, turning up again and again.

It turns out my small frienemies are pavement ants. An entomologist friend actually suggested they may be and after looking up several ant identification sites, I’m confirming. These pavement ants have huge colonies and of course, they love masonry work. Unfortunately for me, I live in an old stone house duplex. I fear my entire house is their home more than mine.

I decided to go into super ant mode this past Saturday. I spent a few hours raking anything I could find away from the edges of the house. Any little brick or piece of cement I found, was COVERED in ants and their white eggs. At times I just stood in shock that so many ants could be in one spot. Other times I dug furiously looking for a queen to pin all the blame on.

I went nuclear. I bought the hardcore chemical spray at Home Depot. Who am I? I don’t even buy shampoo for my hair because of the chemicals yet I’m in line at Home Depot buying the largest bottle of chemicals ever!  Then I took it home and I sprayed the half of my house till it dripped with chemicals.

The deed has been done. And now, I wait.

What may be a little comfort in this time of chemicals, is that pavement ants are exotic. They don’t belong here. They can be found all over the US but were brought here by Europeans in the 17 or 1800s. So although I’m on nuclear ant warfare over here, I can rest easy knowing they are an introduced species.

Most unfortunate of my war on ants, is that the ants are inspiring my singing. I’ve been singing, “The ants go marching one by one HoRah, HoRah, the ants go marching two by two HoRah, HoRah…” and I can’t stop.

I do hope the war ends soon. No one likes being at war. And I’m sick of that song!

The ants go marching one by one HoRah, Horah…

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