A Secret Society of Ants

A well behaved outdoor ant

A well behaved outdoor ant

I ran into my pet sitter at the vet’s office this morning and after we’d chatted a bit she asked about the ants. Back in July we went on vacation and left our pets and home in the able hands of Amanda. She called a few days into the trip and assured me that all the pets were fine, but she was concerned about a line of ants coming up out of the carpet and fanning across a wall in the family room.
Oh, the ants! I admitted we’d been having some trouble in that area, and said she’d find environmentally friendly, pet friendly ant spray in the garage. After unsuccessful efforts with cinnamon, vinegar and diatomaceous earth, I’d broken down and purchased spray to kill the pesky invaders. Amanda used the spray and we continued on our vacation.
A week or so after we got home I again saw ants marching up the wall. This issue was not going away. I pulled back the carpet to investigate. A mass of ants swarmed on the cement underneath. Here was an entire society, busily coming and going through a crack that ran along the floor near the exterior wall. There were big ants, little ants, even ants with wings. Next to the wooden slats that the carpet is tacked to, were spread beds that looked like carefully tilled gardens. Apparently, over time the ants had carried in soil to make their new home more like the outside. I’m not sure if they were laying eggs in these gardens, or what.
I sprayed and caulked and vacuumed and then I suffered the heebie jeebies for days. I swore I was getting rid of that carpet and putting down some sort of impervious flooring. I brought home various floor samples; squares of tile and bamboo, even linoleum, it’s the new greenest option. Weeks have passed. Today when Amanda asked about the ants I stared at her blankly for a minute and said, Oh yeah! Those ants were terrible, weren’t they?
There seems some deep symbolism at work here – of things better not mentioned, things best swept under the carpet while putting on a happy face. Seeing Amanda was a great reminder to get busy and find someone to put down a new floor. At the very least I should pull up the edge of that carpet just to make sure there’s nothing going on under there. Maybe I’ll get to that tomorrow.

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3 responses to “A Secret Society of Ants

  1. You need some cool lizard that eats ants….or would that be a little more challenging than the ants. How about Boric acid or did I already suggest that? It worked for me. Good luck, or maybe this is just a great reason to get new flooring!

    • I’d be happy to have a gecko or two, but the kitties might find those rather more entertaining than ants, ya think? I’ve come to the conclusion that ants are my personal challenge….but I do think they hibernate for the winter. We’ll just hope that isn’t under my carpet. And Lee, I’m so glad to hear I’m not the only one!

  2. Oh, how I could relate! When we built our home in Douglas, AZ, the ants tunneled up through the adobe bricks and the slab to create a nice enytry point in our younger son’s bedroom. I think my husband finally filled the area with some guy-type stuff like cement or caulk No more anyts. Personally, I thought they were just trying to let us know that they were there first and we were the interlopers into their formerly pristine world.

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