Tuesday 16 June 2015

Me vs Ants

I really, really hate ants. I think they are up there with snakes and spiders.

Spiders, while 8-legged nightmares, do not usually come at you in groups of 10,000. There are exceptions to that I'm sure, but there an not those exceptions for ants. They are always in teams, and those teams always bring other teams, and then you might as well accept that you now have 50,000 room mates. Snakes are just yucky. Enough said.

A few days ago I noticed an ant in the house. One little ant. I gave it the benefit of the doubt that it was only a lone ranger who had lost her way, and forcefully removed it from my kitchen and existence. The following evening, another couple of ants showed up. I wasn't happy. This meant that they were coming here on purpose. Bastards.

The next day, the rangers had become a more insidious wave of ants. Big ants. Not little ants. Really, really big ones.  I may have lost my shit at that point.

Ants ran the periphery of the house. They covered the back porch, they had the run of the downstairs, and were, disturbingly, crawling out from under the dishwasher like soliders storming the beaches of my kitchen.

Oddly though, while they were dicking around in every corner of the house, for some reason they didn't find the giant puddle of sugar water leaking from the hummingbird feeder. Not one of them. These ants were not good at anting. What the shit, ants? I thought you were supposed to be good at this.

To give my hatred of ants more backing (like that's really necessary), this was by no means the first time I've had to deal with an invading army of these disproportionately strong and resilient little creatures. In fact, out of the 4 places I've lived recently, 3 of them have been taken over at least once.

In our rental suite, we had a line of sugar ants that regularly made its way from the entry way, up the wall and into the ceiling. This happened every spring, and throughout the summer. I tried everything I could think of to get rid of them. I vacuumed them up, washed them away, tried house-safe poison, and once, in a fit of desperation, windexed them. Nothing lasted for long. I finally lost my mind when they made it from the entrance way into my couch at the other end of the house. That was the end of both our tenancy and our couch.

After a brief reprieve from ants in our 2nd story condo, we bought a house. The family room exited into the backyard through a set of beautiful french doors. The backyard was infested with ants. It was mainly covered by a patio, and I can imagine that said patio was mainly held up by ants. Every year we fought the good fight to rid the backyard of the ant incursion. We had some successes and ultimately many failures. I took solace in that fact that these ones kept to the outside, so I could tolerate that.

Until they didn't. 

It was a bit surreal. The night before the defence walls figuratively crumbled, I dreamt the floor was covered in bugs. I got up the next morning and had a small heart attack because it was. The entire living room floor was moving. Creepy doesn't really do it justice.

I spent the morning corralling a toddler, trying to get ready for work, and vacuuming like mad woman. As best I could tell the bastards were making their way in under the french doors. I taped up the bottom as much as possible to keep any further hoards out, and went to work. When I got home I pretty much raided the shit out of my backyard. I think I emptied two cans of the stuff around the doors just to be safe. They never had the nerve to enter the house again, but I'm sure they are still out there. Waiting.

Which brings us back to the present-day ant army.  They were coming in, but we didn't know where.

And so began the hunt.

Eventually we discovered that there was a hole in the side of the house. Like, a pretty significant, mouse-could-get-through-it-easily sized hole. Given that this is a new house, let's say I was....unhappy. It looked like the 2x4 they used to build that wall wasn't actually long enough, as it ended about two inches off the ground. This left a nice gap at the bottom, and subsequently, and ant highway. 

Rather than, say, fixing it, the builders just put some siding over it. Poorly. This also probably goes a long way to explaining why it got so cold downstairs...there was a FUCKING HOLE IN THE WALL!

Anyway,  once we found the giant ant run, we needed to plug it. I guarded the hole with my vacuum while Husband found something to fill it with.

The best thing we could find on short notice was a tube of silicone caulk.
Which is pronounced "cock".
Which is what I call the builder who left a giant fucking hole in our house.
Call me if you want to know who not to hire to build your house.

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