Sunday, March 30, 2008

Fire Ants: Amazing Arthropoda or Minions of the Devil?

one of the many ant hills infesting my yard
The answer is simple: minions of the devil. If you are unfamiliar with this species, I am here to tell you that "fire ant" is no misnomer. They are evil and vindictive and make me want to napalm my yard. You may be thinking, "D, ants are amazing creatures that can carry many times their own body weight, communicate by ESP, and spin straw into gold." To which I would respond, "You must not live in Florida. One bit me on the toe (in my own house mind you!) which hurt, well, like fire and almost made me cuss in front of my babies. Besides, they would never share the gold with us because they are mean. And evil. And minions of the devil." At this point you would have to concede to me because you just can't argue with that kind of logic.

My battle with the fire ants has become intensely personal over the past 9 nine years that I have lived here. I have had my yard professionally sprayed, which worked fairly well, but I always worried about the kids playing on chemically treated grass. We have purchased do-it-yourself lawn spray from our favorite home and garden store, which didn't really work AND made me worry about chemicals. Right now I have a perimeter of 50/50 Dawn & water mix set up around the house, which I have been told is a mystical magical moat they will not cross. We shall see.

Lest you think I am the only person here completely consumed with vitriol for the vile insects, when I call my mother-in-law her response to "What are you up to today?" is frequently pouring boiling water on ant mounds. See, it's not just me. Now it is time for me to don my pith helmet, tuck my pants into my socks, cinch up the laces on my leather boots, say my prayers and otherwise prepare to make war with the ants.

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