We have not (yet) been overwhelmed by a massive wave of caterpillar eating machines. So far, the tree spraying and endless rain have held them back, though they seem to be doing damage elsewhere. If it’s not one thing, it’s another.
Life marches on. This year, it’s ants.
They arrive in May and by June they are getting aggressive. This year’s bunch are more tenacious than usual. As long as I can remember, the ants make a determined attempt to set up their new world order in our house. They did the same in other houses in which we have lived in New England.
Ants arrive with the spring. No matter how I rant and rail about it, they show up anyway.
I spray the hell out of everything. I wash everywhere. Clean under, over, around and through the kitchen and living room. Floors, cabinets. Under, over, and around the knife block and the small oven. Behind the cutting boards.
We threw out the old wooden bread box. Garry said he thought the ants were setting up shop in it. It’s old. I bought it at a yard sale 15 years ago. It’s an old-fashioned wooden slatted breadbox. I’m a sucker for old wooden kitchen stuff. But I think that old bread box has passed its prime.
Now it’s out on the deck, soon to make its move to the trash and I have ordered the largest, best-designed breadbox I could find.
This should, in theory, hold two loaves of bread or one loaf and plus English muffins. Not quite the $2 yard sale choice of last time, but presumably easier to clean and more spacious. I hope so. We went with the flat top so we could put stuff up there. Like the big containers of spice for which I’m running out of room.
I used steel-wool to polish the drains in the sink. I cleaned between the cabinet and the fridge,. then I washed, vacuumed, washed again every surface I could find. After which, I sprayed more ant killer. This is supposed to be safe for humans and dogs. It better be or we are all doomed.
Now, the builders have arrived. I’m trying to not listen to the conversation. It might make me want to get involved, which would not be a good idea. They are professionals and I am not. No matter what they are doing, my interference would be unlikely to improve the situation — neither mine nor theirs.
I do not yet know if the result of all of this energetic cleaning and washing and spraying and scrubbing will be the final end of the ants, but it certainly can’t hurt, right? And inevitably, they disappear all by themselves in a week or two. I think they show up entirely to force me to to all that extra cleaning I typically avoid. Meanwhile, I’m trying to decide if I deserve new grids for the bottom of the sink and maybe a new set of shakers for spices.
It’s a housewifely thing, that cozy sense of relief I feel when I’ve done the work on a long deferred — but necessary — task. I’m not sure Garry gets that same feeling from it, but it always gives me a warm feeling that my house-keeping skills are still with me.
But now — I’m also ready for a nice, long, nap. The day feels as if it’s over … yet it’s barely lunch time!