Monday, April 15, 2013

Invasion of the Fire Ants

ants, fire ants, fire, fire ant, pest control
Courtesy of Microsoft Clip Art

Back in the early days of our marriage, Mike and I were in our first house and had decided instead of having children, we would try out our parenting skills on a puppy.  We figured that if we messed up with a dog he's either retrainable or we'd only have to put up with our "bad parenting" for a finite number of years.  We were trying to potty train our tiny little fur-baby but every time he'd go outside, he'd  get bitten by fire ants.  This was severely thwarting our efforts.  And, because we would go outside with him, we would also become the unlucky recipients of those nasty little bites.

For those of you who've never been introduced to fire ants, they are mean, nasty little ants who are intent upon killing every living thing  and taking over Planet Earth with their giant ant colonies.  Hollywood could make a good scary movie casting these ants as the villains, although the cast and crew would need extra hazard pay because getting a single bite from one will create a scratching, burning frenzy of pain.

Determined to be good "parents" to our fur-baby, we tried every chemical in the home improvement stores to eradicate the dastardly little villains.  We were having no luck.  All they would do is move their mound 3 feet over.  Finally, after our yard had so many mounds it was looking like a low-income housing project, we tried treating the whole yard at once.  Victory!  The ants moved on.......but only next door to the neighbor's house, where they made new friends, hung out and partied together and created an even larger colony.

When the chemicals in our yard lost some of their effectiveness, those partying ants moved back into our yard and brought all of their new mooching friends with them.  There were so many ants going every which way in our yard it was like the toga party scene from the movie "Animal House".

Mike talked with some of his buddies about the best way to rid our yard of these invaders and, using their advice, he decided on a plan of action.  He didn't say much to me about what the plan was except that he found a new "chemical" mixture he was going to try.

One day while I was busy inside the house, Mike implemented his plan, which consisted of thoroughly dousing the biggest mound with gas.  He took great care to get the gas spread all the way to the edge of the mound and then set the gas can a couple of feet away from the mound.  Ever so carefully, he lit the mound on fire.

Through the living room window, the giant flash of the gas igniting caught my eye.  Within seconds the mound was engulfed in flames.  I watched as my husband chortled in glee and danced a little victory jig as the ant mound sparkled like fireworks.  As he celebrated, the fire grew larger, engulfing the entire mound .......... and then he noticed a problem.  When he'd set the gas can down, he'd inadvertently left a trail of gas from the mound to the can.  His chortling and dancing turned to a loud exclamation of fear and a dance of panic as he watched the fire move quickly from the fire ant mound, down the path of gas and hop right into the gas can. 

Without even stopping to think, he picked up the can and flung it with all of his strength toward the concrete culvert behind our house.  As the gas can was flying over the fence and through the air, it exploded in a giant fireball over the culvert.  Thankfully it hadn't exploded when he'd picked it up and nothing caught on fire.  The explosion did bring out all the neighborhood kids as they excitedly asked one another who had the matches.  Mike quickly ducked down before they could see him and turned back to our yard as though nothing had happened.

I stepped into the backyard as Mike grabbed the garden hose to put out the fire that was quickly spreading to the surrounding grass. Trying to think of the right way to ask what he was thinking, which didn't involve the use of words like "idiot", "moron", and "hair-brained", I peered down at the mound.  Hundreds of worker ants were already crawling out of the mound and rebuilding the damage that had been done to their home.  Mike looked up at me and said with a tone of defeat, "Well..... that didn't exactly go as planned.".   I said "Ummm, yeah.....I think you're gonna need a new gas can........ and better pest control advice.".
 
by: Christie Bielss

8 comments :

  1. HAhahahahahaha! Oh gosh, that read like a cartoon comedy! Thank God he didn't get hurt by the exploding can. And smart thinking to throw it away like that in time. Dangerous, but smart. The ants had the last laugh there, didn't they?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Mathew! And yes, those blasted ants thwarted him for several years.......... and continue to.

      Delete
  2. I have had my own battle with ants this spring. Carpenter ants. At least mine didn't bite. This is so funny, and you write well. Thanks and I will explore your site.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Kim! I very much appreciate it!

      Delete
  3. Fire Ants--don't remind me! When living in Florida we had an incident. They are horrible. I can see why you went to great lengths to rid your yard of them. Oh what a story!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are nasty little suckers! Sorry to hear you've had to deal with them as well.

      Delete
  4. So thankful no one got hurt. Those ants are not much fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Cassie, I am too. Those ants have been the cause of much pain and suffering.

      Delete