We have ants.
Let me repeat that: We Have Ants. And not in the cutesy, cartoon-y, Oh look honey, the ants are back! I guess we should give them a cupcake!, kind of way, either. After much probing, careful drywall sawing, flashlight peering, and some shocked cursing (which, let me tell you, did nothing to reassure me as a houseowner), our Pest Expert informed us that We Had Carpenter Ants.
Did you know that carpenter ants can completely obliterate a wooden beam, rendering it a delicate, intricately-carved exercise in wood-art?
I’d previously thought of them as creatures which would nibble the occasional hole in a beam if it was in their way and they needed to tunnel through to get somewhere. (They’re ants, you know? They have places to go, nests to build.) I had no idea they were capable of transforming useful, structural parts of my home into what would normally be strange beauty. In the current context, however, it’s just really frightening that whole portions of the house could be held up on something so fragile.
The whole thing has left me a little disheartened (one more mess the previous owners left for us to clean up? Wow, thanks guys…) and (due to my eternal arthropod squeamishness) itchy all over. To top it all off, we’re gearing up for a drive down south, and there’s frozen roads and hail waiting for us.
Still. I’m trying to look on the bright side of things. So far, I’ve got…
1 – The ant-killing substance is non-toxic, meaning the kitties (once they return) will be safe, and so will we.
2 – Even better, it doesn’t smell at all. This could be because it’s Borax, which actually irks me, because that stuff is dirt cheap, but hey at least I know what to use on my own in the future. (Note: do you have ants? BORAX.)
3 – We can see beams which are a-okay, which means that the colony was contained in a part of the wall we think we’ve identified. (No way of knowing till we take all the drywall off later in the year; hurray for house projects!) The upside of this being, of course, that our living room is unlikely to collapse on us while we’re chilling out. We think.
4 – Luckily I haven’t started painting that room yet.
5 – At least it’s only ants, and not scorpions, or angry bees, or… chinchillas or something. I know I’m a big sissy when it comes to bugs, but even I can admit that ants are a pretty tame pest to have.
So, those are the cheerful thoughts propelling me forward into the weekend. Hopefully you guys have some better news for yours.