A few weeks ago, we had a warm day and after the endless winter we've been enduring around here, we opened the windows to enjoy the fresh air during the night. In the morning, I went into the bathroom to brush my teeth and wash my face and encountered these beasts roaming around my bathroom:
4 were running around in the tub and tile around the shower, 3 were running around the rest of the bathroom, and one on the ceiling. As I was doing a final sweep of the room, I saw the piece de resistance. The MOTHER OF ALL ANTS was lounging about, of all places, on my towel. The towel with which I dry my body. The towel with which I was about to wipe my face. MY CLEAN FLUFFY WHITE TOWEL.
These ants were huge. Large, very very large. I'd say the length of my thumb nail. And they weren't bashful. Even when I turned on the shower to flush them down the drain, even when I approached them with a wad of toilet paper to smoosh them, they didn't back down. Now, we don't have ants like these in California, or at least I've never seen them. We have small, respectable little ants that eat your food or break into your house in teams to steal your sugar, but we don't have these monstrosities.
I took immediate action. We closed all the windows, taped off the bathroom vent with saran wrap to make sure they weren't coming in another way, and I searched the rest of the house to see if we had any intruders. We had a few. Two in the downstairs bathroom that were huddling near the sink, one hanging out near the coffee maker, one running around on the ceiling of the kitchen, and one brave sucker on the couch where I enjoy my breakfast. Thank goodness I saw him before he came too close to me, or we'd have had some serious pesticide bombings in that living room.
Closing the windows and saran wrapping the vent made a big difference. We didn't have any invasions that even closely resembled that day when the whole family came in at once. I've decided, however, that these ants are engaged in intimidation tactics. I'm not joking.
The ants are coming in one by one, through some secret entrances that I haven't discovered yet. They appear out of the blue in the middle of my shower, hanging out on Gabe's body wash. One comes running out of my medicine cabinet in the middle of my nightly routine. Worst of all, yesterday, one was hanging out on the toilet paper. I repeat, the toilet paper, with which I wipe my girly bits. Now tell me what that is, if it isn't intimidation.
I initially panicked, thinking these were carpenter ants that were consuming our house shingle by shingle, but according to my neighbors, these ants have been around for 30 years, breaking into the houses every Spring and slowly trickling away as the Summer begins. I forced Josh to go buy a tree cutter and remove every branch that was within ant jumping distance of the house, and we're sleeping with windows shut until we come to some sort of truce. I'm reluctant to put out ant poison, although I did break down and buy it, because of the many small people in this house who I'd like to protect from unnecessary poisons.
So for now, I'm checking the toilet paper 3 times before I use it, I keep my towels in our bedroom, and I find myself creeping around our bathroom terrified of running into another one of those guys. I know they can't hurt me, but there is something about their enormous beady bodies that creeps me the frick out. Really. I'm not normally a person prone to running screaming from a bug, and I've been known to kill spiders more often than my husband (especially after the whole bullet ant incident*), but I have serious issues with these ants.
I wonder if I can come up with some form of warning system. Maybe I should leave a pile of their murdered compatriots to encourage them to find another home?
*By the way, that entry still makes me laugh out loud, 3 years later.