Our household’s ongoing struggle with the local ant population is the stuff of legends. I’ve mentioned it here ad nauseum, and I’m going to continue to mention it until we wipe the motherfuckers from the face of the earth.
Our latest futile effort involves those little plastic ant traps that we’ve tried again and again. They never work.
The packaging on the new ones proclaim “now with two foods that ants love”. Right. They may love the food, but the trick is to actually get the little bastards inside the traps. If they’d go in, then maybe they’d adhere to the dream procedure: carry the food (and the poison) back to the nest, wiping out all of the little buggers, including the queen.
So we got these new traps. We bought two packages of four, giving us eight traps. I placed them in strategic locations around the house (both inside and out). I’ve been checking them almost every hour, but none of them ever have ants in them. The ants just don’t seem to care. They’d rather be exploring the trash.
Yesterday, while lying on the lawn to take a photo of the cherry tree, I discovered an ant trail — no, an ant highway — running from the Secret Lair of the Motherfuckers, across the bald spot in our lawn, and then — get this — up the cherry tree: up the trunk, past the crown, up the limbs and out of sight.
What are these ants doing?
Why are they climbing the cherry tree? Are they after the cherry blossoms? If so, why not go after the blossoms lower on the tree? Why climb the tree to near the very top?
Or, is it somehow possible they have some secret plan for world domination. Maybe they have a little ant-sized rocket ship hidden in the upper reaches of the tree. Maybe they’re working feverishly to complete an ant bomb in retaliation for the hordes of ants we’ve killed over the past few years.
Whatever. I don’t care.
I gathered three of the new ant traps and placed them directly in the ant highway. “Aha, you little motherfuckers,” I thought. “I have you now!”
Of course, I didn’t have them now. Or ever.
When the ants came upon the large impediments in the middle of their highway, they simply walked around them. Grrrr.
I noticed that certain pieces of grass served as special ant conduits, parts of the highway that every ant was obligated to travel. I carefully bent a couple of these pieces of grass so that they ran into the openings of the traps. The ants would walk down the grass but, just as they reached the opening, they would turn around and go back in search of an alternate route.
I held out hope that one ant — a single ant — would overcome his slavish obedience to the Ant Will and, out of curiousity, wander inside a trap to feed on one of the “two foods that ants love”.
Hope was all I had.
Once, toward evening, I went out side and looked at the traps again. Look! Inside one was a single ant, crawling over the surfaces of both foods that ants love. Alas, he didn’t seem to be feeding so much as wandering lost. He couldn’t seem to find an exit. I went in the house to get Kris, to show her my single ant prize, but when we returned, it had escaped.
Have these ant traps ever worked for anyone?
Sometimes I’m able to find a consistent morning rhythm. I’m out of bed at the same time every morning, in the bath at the same time every morning, out the door at the same time every morning, at my desk at the same time every morning. When this happens, it’s not unusual to pass the same cars and people every day on my drive to work.
One of those I’m passing now is a fellow on a motorcycle. Each day as I turn right from 13th to Ivy, he’s waiting at the red light. I need to take my camera with me one of these days, because he’s quite a sight.
Mostly, I guess he looks like any other biker except that his leather jacket is red. What really sets him apart, though, is his helmet. On top of his helmet, for no apparent reason, is a foot-tall metal spike.
I’m not kidding.
He looks like a frickin’ unicorn!