"What a wonder life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." Colette

Sep 23, 2016

Andrea Versus the Ants

“Are you writing these things down?” my sister asked the other day.  Yes and no; I've made some notes but things happen faster than I can write some times.  Since leaving Oregon 7,900 miles ago I’ve had more learning experiences than I’d expected, but considering the alternative I’ll buck up.

Like with the ants in South Carolina. Despite my bug-prevention steps, which had been successful up til then, I forgot about spraying the base of the step stool which was acting as an anchor for my make-shift awning. The step stool was covered, and the small army was crawling up the bungee cord, across the green mesh to the roof. 

“It’s because of the rains we’ve had,” as in Hurricane Hermine, the nice Camp Hostess said when I frantically asked for the nearest place with ant killer.  Was she joking?  14 miles away? And since I’m in the hospitable South she took the time, SLOW-ly, to tell me a couple solutions available to sprinkle on the ground ("Ajax") to repel ants…and mothballs for snakes (as in Cottonmouths, or Water Moccasins.)
“WHAT???  F__kkk!”

“We haven’t really seen many this year, but they are around.”

I’m thinking of all those times I took BC out in the middle of the night, traipsing through leaves, whenever insomnia struck.  No more; she can you-know-what on the floor if need be, I thought as I dug out my spiffy cowgirl boots.

 “Store (the mothballs) outside.  Because of the smell.”  Of course.

At the hardware store (the only one in the county) the young clerk sold me some (sic) Snake Away instead of the moth balls (less odor); but I returned it the next day after reading the fine print on the label.   Toxic, toxic, toxic; don’t touch or breathe or look at.   It was clear the owner wasn’t particularly pleased with the return and tried to intimidate me into keeping the product; along with the ant-killing pellets which had similar warnings.

“They all say that; to go along with California standards.”

I stuck to my guns.  “I’m staying in public campgrounds, and I don’t want anyone’s dog (or child) getting in to it by mistake.”  By the time I finished reading all the labels I told the owner he should hire me, pointing to the kills within minutes Ortho Bug B Gon concentrate SAFE for humans and pets once dry. Works like a charm.

While my battle was successful, I still have the heebie-jeebies that ants are all over me.  Older and wiser, I dance like a Shaman shaking Comet on the ground (especially around the tires), followed up with some Ortho for good measure, whenever I move.

Checking in yesterday in Mississippi I asked, “Any wildlife here I should be aware of?  Ants? Snakes”

“Well, we do have plenty of Armadillos.”

I saw some squished on the roads coming over. You can’t miss their telltale tails.

“They’re don’t…attack, do they?”  I felt like such a fool but wasn’t taking any chances.

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