be sure to check out Joan's latest on her website:

be sure to check out Joan's latest on her website: (usually she updates her blog every Sunday evening but she can and will surprise you) **Special Note: all of Joan's archives are now up--almost ten years of 'bitter girl.' As Joan says, go wild!**

Monday, November 30, 2009

Return of the Ants

A few years ago, I was having a problem with ants coming up from nests in the ground and trying to get into individual apartments' windows and the roof of the building. After calling the management company for our home owners association and not getting much help out of them, I decided to see what I could accomplish on my own.
The ants' strategy was obvious--once they got into the roof, they could go into any apartment they wished with impunity. If that happened, the only way to eradicate them then would be to tent the building, which no one wants to do.
In backtracking the ants to see where they were coming from, I discovered that these ants didn't like the water--as every time it rained, they'd have to come up out of their nest to stay somewhere else until the water dissipated. This ultimately proved their eventual undoing, until their reemergence a few days ago.
Around the time that the roof was being repaired from the two hurricanes in 2005, I began to notice the ants more and more. Whenever I would see them, I would get my liquid insect killer and spray until they were all dead. Also, whenever I found a hole in the building that they were using, I would plug it up with clear caulk.
Finally I called the exterminating company that does our lawn once a month and explained the problem to them. The person I talked to there asked me what the ants looked like and I described them and he allowed that there were poisons they could set out for them and that they would try this.
Meanwhile I was still spraying and plugging whenever I saw them, until one day on the stairs landing half way up I noticed a few of them on the edge of the field rocks facade that adorns our building. This was just after a lot of rain. After I started spraying, I noticed one rock was pushed away from the concrete about an eighth of an inch. Just to be safe, I shot some spray in there and suddenly hundreds of ants began pouring out of their hiding place. After I finished, I hadn't seen hide nor hair of the ants since, until last week when I discovered they were back, swarming over an almost-empty small plastic bottle of light corn syrup.
I knew they'd be back, that it was just a matter of time. They've been here much longer than we have and they'll be here long after we're gone.
It has cooled off considerably by now--presently I have the windows open, although I may have to close them later and turn the central air back on. Today is the end of hurricane season, and we got lucky once again--every time I saw a system starting to form on the National Hurricane Center's satellite map, they would caution, "Upper level winds winds not conducive for further development," so it sounds like the wind shear saved us this year, which I gather is from the jet stream. If we could do the same thing every year, we'd have hurricane season beat.
Haven't been to the beach in a while. Did some cooking yesterday as I'm now out of chili and the tomatoes this time of year didn't look good at all, so I went with chicken stew. Last night was the first night in a while I haven't made the Parmesan steak fries that I didn't realize how addicted I had become to them. But now I have 38 quarts of my white stew which again is mostly potatoes and carrots, safely stowed in my two refrigerators, so that should last me a while.
Still waiting to hear back on the book. Still waiting for UPS to call on the temporary package handler position I applied and interviewed for--although I'm pretty sure they won't call until they get busy, and that's dependent on how much people around here Christmas-shop on the internet. Still editing the first and second books in the meantime. The saga continues.