Where’s the DDT just when I need it most?

Remember the movie, “A Bug’s Life.”
So sweet, so creative; a cartoon demonstrating the amazing talent of ants—an example of what co-operative teamwork can do.
Ants form colonies that are highly-organized, and use communication and a division of labour. They are a unified entity working towards the collective good.
How do I can be sure? Because this collective good, this display of teamwork, has moved into our house—lock, stock, and barrel.
They have 1,500 plus homes strategically placed over our 4.8 acres; huge units complete with strata fees I’m thinking. I picture them underground with luxury accommodations in their network of “sand.”
Although I admire their tenacity and single-minded goal to survive, I feel it fair to stress that I have not moved my television or dining room table over said homes. I haven’t organized a tap dancing demonstration on one of their condo units.
I have not stuck firecrackers or dumped hot oil on these architectural wonders, yet they feel compelled to party on in my space. ?They have invited aunts and uncles and distant cousins.
There are big ones that look like they could chew through concrete, ones that seem to fly, and then the blessed little ones that seem to be part of a marching band. I believe these little fellas are rehearsing a routine for “Canadians Have Talent,” a routine that involves a lot of line work and a bit of scurrying.
It started out as just one or two on the kitchen cupboard. “Don’t worry,” I said with determined optimism. I must have spilled some apple juice (fresh apple juice, mind you, from the farmers’ market).
Alas, these seemingly innocent bystanders were the scouts sent to check out our premises; to size up the newbies to this house. Their mandate: to determine if we are sloppy, leaving crumbs lying about.
They went back to their weekly meetings to report on their findings. “We’ve got a winner,” they must have said. “Humidity in the basement is reaching Niagara Falls levels!”
I thought an air-exchanger meant a humidity remover. Why else would you have a clear plastic hose running from the unit that runs 24/7 to a pail?
The pail had cobwebs in it, for heaven’s sake, so humidity must not be a problem in this house, I assumed. Wrong!
We’ve corrected that problem, but still the little darlings are scurrying here, there, and everywhere—probably drunk with happiness.
Their ship has landed; they won the big one, the really big one. And I’ve not left a single crumb out for them to feast upon, so it must be the all-consuming search for water.
I like to consider myself environmentally responsible. I recycle, I compost, I reuse and reduce. But I’d fog my house with DDT if I were allowed to.
Heck, I would burn the place down if I thought it would rid me of these ants. But I just bet they’d send scouts out to listen in on our conversations and hear our plans, and send telegraph messages back to headquarters or maybe they’re on Facebook.
Either way, they’d hold back until I had rebuilt and then they’d move in again. I’m certain of it. So I must solve this problem some other way.
I’ve read every tidbit of advice that my search engines on the Internet can find. Do this, don’t do that. Find where they are coming in.
They’re almost microscopic. How on earth do I know where they’re coming in? This is an old house. It probably has a neon sign on its foundation that says, “Welcome Ants.”
Ants are farmers. They protect and farm “herds” of aphids and other insects. The aphids produce honeydew, which ants love, but the aphids are responsible for the spread of viral diseases among your plants.
The ants look like innocent bystanders but we know how that works.
So after much research, I’ve decided not to burn down the house, but to lay a line of chalk around the foundation. The ants won’t cross through it.
That’s my plan.
Plus, I’m going to burn my copy of “A Bug’s Life.” It seems reasonable; therapeutic even.
wendistewart@live.ca

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