What One Ant Can Do

One morning before school last week, the kids spotted an ant in our foyer. This happens every year when the weather first breaks. We get a few ants. Every Spring, the ants wake up and are all "Dude, when did this house get here? Check this out!" and they just wander on in. Truthfully, I'm surprised it didn't happen sooner this season.

One ant turned into two ants, then three ants, then four ants. The kids stomped on the little buggers while I went to get the spray*. Since we were walking out the door anyway, I told the kids to go climb into the van, I would be out in a minute. With them out of the way, I "Raided" the foyer perimeter, did a quick check of some known trouble spots and off we went.

A couple of days pass. I had instructed the kids to keep the foyer floor picked up in order to keep their sweaters and backpacks ant free. We hadn't spotted any more ants, but we know they'll be back.

Then comes the evening Hubby comes home from work to see the foyer floor "moving." There are ants all over the rugs and floor. Thankfully, they kept their party in our foyer. (Lord knows why, all the good stuff is a mere few feet away in the kitchen, but whatev. I'm grateful.)

Judging from the turned up throw rugs and the Swiffer propped in the corner and the smell that smacked me in the face when I first opened the front door that night**, I could tell the ants had returned and a battle had been fought. Little tiny black ant corpses littered the foyer. From the looks of it, Hubby had won the battle.

Now, I could say that I'd left the rugs and Swiffer and little ant corpses as I found them to serve as some sort of warning against any other ants that dared cross the threshold into our living space -- but truthfully, I just didn't want to clean up the mess at that moment... or the next day, either.

So, when the weekend finally rolled around, I knew I would have to straighten up the foyer and "reclaim" that space from all those dead ants.*** I started by shaking out the throw rugs and putting them in the living room. Next, I swept up all the dead ants.

It had been a good while since I gave the foyer floor more than a quick Swiffer. I resigned myself to also scraping off the bits of paint that had dripped on some of the tiles a few months ago, as well as breaking out the bleach (and an old toothbrush) to brighten up the grout in between the tiles. Not the way I wanted to spend my day, but it needed to be done. I also needed to scrub the memory of the ant carcasses and all that spray off "my" floor.

As I sprayed the bleach on the tile, let it sit, then attacked it with the toothbrush until I could taste the bleach in the back of my throat, it occurred to me this was all because of one little ant who got it into his little ant brain to break into our house and bring his little ant friends with him.

Because of one ant, I had aching muscles that I never even knew existed.

Because of one ant, I had to do all this work.****

I hate ants.

The floor looks good though, doesn't it?

Of course it does. I scrubbed the hell out of it, and banned the circus from stepping even one little tootsie on my very clean floor before it was dry. I immediately took a picture of the sparkingly clean foyer floor because I'm all about before and after pictures. I like to SEE the results of hard work, and to be able to sit back and enjoy the "clean."

Two days later, Sweet Pea came home, took off her gym shoes and dumped sand all over the foyer.*****


I'm not a big fan of sand, either.

- - - - - - - - -

* Better living through chemicals, ya know... unless you are completely against using chemicals to rid yourself of pests. In that case, I totally made that up. Bug Spray! Pfft! Who uses that harmful stuff any more?!

** "Country Fresh Scent" my patushy.

*** Say it with me "Dead Ant, Dead Ant, DeadAntDeadAntDeadAntDeadAntDeadAnnnnnnttt" What? Like you've never heard that Pink Panther theme before...

**** Yeah, ok... I would have had to do all that work anyway, but the ants and the spray gave me a compelling reason, and I rather like my fuzzy logic, thankyouverymuch. It lets me blame the damn ant for invading my space, rather than the people who live in this house. Work with me here.

Cleaning the house while the children are still young is like shoveling when it's still snowing.


Sharkey said...

So how are you with wood floors? 'Cause that's what's in our foyer. It's a long weekend--maybe you'd like to take a little trip to PA?

Nance said...

I am too exhausted by READING how much work you did. Good god. Stop it immediately. WHITE TILE?! Such a glutton for punishment.

Claudia said...

I'll trade you ants for ticks. Seriously. What the HELL do they even exist for??! PS - your floors are way too clean. I'll never, ever show you mine.

Mrs. G. said...

We battle ants last year, and I all most lost my mind. I'm glad your husband won. Your floor looks great.

WILLIAM said...

Take some toothpicks and impale some ant heads on them and line them up around your house. That may keep more from coming in.

Mama Zen said...

Exactly like shoveling when it's still snowing1 My floor is almost identical to yours, and I can NOT keep it clean! Perhaps, you should come over . . .

Circus Kelli said...

Sharkey - I've never cleaned wood floors. :)

Nance - Hubs feels the same way. The white tile in the entranceway was there when we bought the house.

Claudia - I have NO idea. Maybe they're just there as food for something else. -- And my floor, singular, WAS clean. For about two hours. Only because I wouldn't let anyone walk on it for the first 90 minutes.

Mrs G - Ants are annoying. Thanks.

William - Oooh! GREAT IDEA!

Mama Zen - Directions for a clean floor - 1) Clean/Scrub it real good. 2) Don't let anyone walk on it. EVER. Simple! :)

eclectic said...

Oh sure... throw a party and invite all the aunts except Auntie Shari?!?!?! FINE. Probably you were just worried I'd walk on your hospital-white floor or something. Sheesh.

Kathy Gillen said...

Aren't you lucky...my ants have found all the muffin crumbs and sugar granuales in the kitchen! And shoot...I'm darn afraid of chemicals in the house, so I just spray outside and hope that like a bouncer at the bar I've kept out the riff-raff.

This is my first visit to the circus. I like the fun! Visit me at www.lessonsfromthelaundry.com

Annejelynn said...

taking a picture of the before and after is soooooo something I would do (um, that I do do?) lol ~ nyce job on the floor! and ants no more! yay!

kcinnova said...

Whoever thought of putting white floors in a foyer? Or anywhere? That is just a way of saying, you will perpetually clean me 24/7.

We had sugar (pharoh) ants in Texas. We didn't know how bad it was until the day we left a pizza sitting on a counter for 10 minutes and returned to find it ALIVE. It was a long, tough battle.

Circus Kelli said...

KC - They were there when we bought the house.

Annejelynn - I love before and after photos. :)

Kathy - Thanks for stopping by! I will definitely check out your space!

Eclectic darlin, you know you're welcome here anytime. You don't need a special invitation.

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