Coffee heat rising

The attack of the midnight skulkers

Augh! What a day! 

One of several low points has been an ant invasion. They’ve established a beachhead in the kitchen, and now they’re strategizing ways to take over the whole house.

This morning while I was cooking up an entire package of Costco sausages, the better to have a frozen stash of cooked food, I opened the dishwasher to grab a pair of tongs, and yipe! the washer was alive with ants! Since I hadn’t run the washer the night before, they thought they’d found their own Ant Costco. 

Heh. Gives new meaning to “big box store,” doesn’t it?

This, on its own, was not difficult to deal with: turned on the dishwasher, tracked the little troops to an opening under the kitchen door, sprinkled the threshold and the area around their entry with boric acid, and mopped the floor with vinegar and laundry detergent. I thought that would bring a stop to that.


This evening I fall asleep in front of House, M.D., wake up around quarter to ten, stumble into the kitchen to let the dog out, and yipe again! My feet get bitten. The floor is swarming with more ants than I have ever seen in my entire freaking life!

This time they’re not in the dishwasher, but they’re just about everyplace else. They’ve packed themselves into the dog dish, which the dog had licked clean hours earlier. They’re lapping up invisible stuff from the floor, which I thought I’d scrubbed clean in the morning. And most interestingly, they’re not marching in the usual antsy line but are wandering all…over…the…floor. They’ve strolled right in over the boric acid, and they’ve spread out over the kitchen floor in an even living blanket. 

And they’re not brooking any interference.

They’re only in the kitchen. They’re only on the floor. The garbage is in the garage, but they haven’t found that. 

I hate bug spray. And I especially hate bug spray inside my house. But pushed to the wall by an army of marauders, I locked up the dog in the back room, threw open the doors and windows, turned the fans to “high,” grabbed the Raid, and applied it as lightly as I could manage to the writhing floor.

Yuch, what a stink! Nauseating.

Ants in retreat, then I got to mop the floor. Five times. Three times with detergent; twice more with Simple Green. 

That got up most of the stink. It’s still pretty gross in there, though. Of course I can’t leave the doors and windows open all night—this is the big city, after all. 

We’ve got worse home invaders than a tribe of ants. This afternoon—another high point of the day—two workmen showed up to hang the gutters on M’hijito’s house. God, what refrigerator do these characters climb out from under? They both sported a fine array of combined prison and professional tattoos. Neither was a guy you’d want to meet in a dark alley (or even a brightly lit alley), but one of them was a very creepy-looking dude. And in the course of climbing around the back of the house, they got a good eyeful of the kid’s elaborate computer equipment, clearly visible behind a set of eminently vulnerable French doors.


Well, fortunately the roommate’s car was parked in the driveway, he and the girlfriend having absented themselves to Singapore. I remarked to the men that I was expecting the roommate and his girl at any time, and in fact was surprised they hadn’t come home from their college classes yet. And as they were leaving I indicated I was going to wait around for the young people.

Paranoid? Mebbe. SDXB’s house was burglarized by just such gents, employees of a moving company who overheard that he was going to stay at my house the night of the move-in. Never put an NRA sticker on your vehicle: it advertises that you have guns in the house. Fortunately, he’d left his armaments at his mother’s place, but they stole a beautiful old zebrawood bow and his collection of machetes picked up on various military assignments around Latin America. It was clear they were after weapons—except for his wallet, which he’d left on the kitchen counter, that was all they took. They must have been surprised to find all the Goodwill and yard sale junk he’s accrued over the years.

Then there was the landscaper’s laborer who stole a bicycle out of my garage. He came back the next night but couldn’t get the second one, which was locked, out the door, so he just removed the front wheel and made off with that. And the yard cleanup guys who took advantage of an open garage door to steal my tools. And…well, one could go on and on. 

Image: Meating-eating ant lapping honey, by Fir0002/Flagstaffotos 
website and galleries are not to be missed.
Reproduced under the
GFDL free documentation license  

4 thoughts on “The attack of the midnight skulkers”

  1. Post-Katrina, with no power and no phone, there were lots of aid workers around. A scruffy fellow drove up, saying “I’m with the Red Cross. I’m doing a survey. Are you staying or leaving.” He had a badge, so I told him our plans. Then I noticed that his front seat was littered with homemade badges: Press, Catholic Charities, FEMA, etc!!!

    My neighbors laughed and laughed. So we put up a sign: “Went to Red Cross. Back in 30 minutes.” Evidently, it worked, because no one broke in, but some people were seen sitting on our porch for 30 minutes, looking puzzled.

    Are your ants FIRE ANTS??? Horrible.

  2. @ frugalscholar: Nah, the little gals aren’t fire ants. Their bite doesn’t hurt that much. I was stung by a fire ant in the bottom of the Grand Canyon, and for sure, that does get your attention!

    My god, what an operator that one was! We’d heard that low-lifes took advantage of the disaster to loot and swindle. But that guy was pretty bold.

  3. LOL! Great post! Thanks for making my day, Funny!

    Your story reminds me of the time in college I had accidentally spilled an entire orange juice from McDonalds all over the inside of my car. I didn’t bother to really do a good job cleaning it up, other than to mop up the juice with a few napkins.

    A few days later I go back to my “beater” car and when I open the car door and the interior is covered with 2 trillion ants, all swarming over the area where I had spilled the juice — okay so there was also a half-eaten tootsie pop and a few scraps of hash browns on the floor too, but still…

    So how in the world did they get in my car you ask?

    Well I followed the “trail,” actually it was an ant super-highway 16 lanes wide, and it went like this:

    1. juice zone on front passenger floor board to passenger door side panel
    2. passenger door side panel to top of dashboard
    3. top of dash board to drivers side panel
    4. drivers side panel to driver floor board
    5. down through a 4-inch square rust-eaten hole by the gas pedal (yes I could see the road when I was driving)
    6. along the undercarriage to the front axle
    7. front axle to the drivers side tire
    8. onto the driveway

    The ants then traveled another 100 feet to their stupid ant hole.

    I used two cans of Raid to kill them all. I then went to Pep Boys and got two pine tree air fresheners to get rid of the Raid scent and my beater car was good as new. Well, it was as long as I drove with the windows down at 40 mph. lol

    I hate ants.

    All the best!

    My $0.02 (after taxes)


  4. @ Len Penzo: That is one of the funniest stories I’ve ever heard! Click and Clack would love it.

    😉 I’m not ignoring you on Twitter: I just can’t get in, Twitter having rejected my secret code.

Comments are closed.