Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Summer Means...


One of the perks of living in Southern California in the summertime is that the weather is pretty much the same, day in and day out-- Sunny and dry. Now that we're past the gray "June Gloom", July is making up for it and it's been pretty glorious.

That means barbecues, swimming, fresh tomatoes from the garden and, and, and..... Those gawd awful ants that appear seemingly out of nowhere and, in most cases, for no reason.

They drive me crazy!

The thing is though, I don't mind ants with a "purpose" so to speak. At least then I know why I have them and can easily figure out how to get rid of them-- Like when an unnamed husband leaves a big glob of strawberry jam on the counter after making toast for breakfast.

If I don't see it, we're going to get a mountain of ants marching across the window frame, down the wall, onto the counter, down, into, up and over the sinks, then onto the toaster area for a bite of jam.

In this case I know where the ants start and where it ends... And by ending, I mean dinner reservations because the glob of jam cost me about 90 minutes of scrubbing the kitchen to rid the annoying creatures from our eating area. These types of ant encounters are not fun but at least I can resolve the "attack" relatively quickly.

But today-- Today is a very different ant attack and I am one unhappy girl. Today, I have ants in my pants (Eeeek!!!) and it's going to take way more than 90 minutes to rectify.

A few years ago I splurged and had my bedroom closet built out with drawers and shelves and all things organized. I'm a neat freak and it truly is paradise for me. It was done by one of those closet organizing companies in one day. I love it so much that some days I just stare into it and admire everything in its place. Ahhhh.

This is so not my bedroom or closet, but a girl can dream can't she...

Today is a whole other story and it shattered my world. The damn ants arrived-- in my closet-- My beautiful pristine closet! It's my oasis of organizational calm that holds everything from the leather gloves I wear once every ten years to my pants-- My underpants.

And I so am not happy.

To make matters worse, after two hours of removing, "de-anting" and searching high and low, I still cannot for the life of me figure out the source of the annoying creatures and why they decided to attack my granny panties rather than, oh say... the half eaten piece of toast with peanut butter and honey that I discovered in the kitchen sink when I went searching for the "ant attack" supplies. (Apparently that same unnamed husband forgot where the dishwasher was this morning. Big sigh.)

I'd be happy with this closet but I wouldn't share it with
my jam dropping, dishes in the sink unnamed husband.

So far, every single thing is out of my closet, some has been taken outside and shaken to insure the tiny pests are gone, others things-- like my panties, are in the washing machine with the hottest water possible. But still I see those tiny specs walking around on the white closet surface.

Where? Are? They? Coming? From?

If I had this closet would I have to wear all one color palate of clothes?

I scrubbed and cleaned some more, then inspected the perfectly clean, white surface and saw no ants in sight. But by the time I sat down-- really in a blink, smack dab in the middle of the drawer was another ant! How could that itsy-bitsy four-legged spec move so fast-- and from where?

The only thing I know for sure is that I refuse to surrender! The entire bedroom will be cleaned, scrubbed, vacuumed, dusted, sprayed and cleaned again and again before I sleep in there.

Not my closet either but I'd be very happy with it.

As for the ants in my pants. I'm pretty sure I'll be shopping for all new ones before the day is done.

Any tips to get rid of the creepy crawly feeling of ants?
Welcome to www.TheFiftyFactor.com - Joanna Jenkins
Photo Credit: Top - © mark huls - Fotolia.com

51 comments:

Kristina P. said...

Oh, man! I totally forgot about the California ants. You are right. They are everywhere.

Bernie said...

Wish I could help, I think it is too cold in Alberta for ants to survive.....good luck......:-)Hugs

Webster said...

I hope I don't hex myself by commenting, but here's my ant story.

I live in Tacoma, and lately we've been having visiting ants, too. The big black carpenter variety. I have mostly seen them in the living room, but twice in my bedroom, and a few times in the kitchen. They always travel alone, and aren't going where there is any food.

Husband's solution: to kindly pick it up and escort it out the door. I don't know, maybe it's the same determined ant. Nah, can't be 'cause I've stepped on a couple of them. (I don't have his scruples.)

I haven't seen one in almost a week. I hope they stay away.

Robyn said...

I'm very pleased that my ants are sticking to the bathroom and kitchen... in the wardrobe is too much for me to consider.

Good luck with it all... I know they can be a nightmare and I don't like their smell when they die :(

Pink Martini said...

So where is this wonderful weather you are at? It has been hotter than heck here except today was very nice. I am dreading my electric bill next month. A few days ago I found ants by my shower up stairs. Couldn't find where they were coming from or where they went but they are gone. They always seem to know when we go on vacation and move into the kitchen. :)

Lisa said...

I love all those closet pictures! I also dream of such a set up! *sigh*

Brian Miller said...

we used to have them bad in florida...and still get them here...we bait them and i end up looking for holes....T does an external spray as well..will find out what it is....

BLOGitse said...

oh no...we don't have ants but if we didn't put some stuff in the kitchen we would have cockroaches.. small though but I don't like any size of them!
ps. I linked you today here > BLOGitse

Fireblossom said...

I haven't seen an ant indoors all summer. Hey, stop smacking me!

That really stinks about the ants invading your beautiful closet. I would have them all hauled up before an insect judge.

"Unnamed husband." LOL.

angelcel said...

I've already named this year The Year Of The Insect. We're currently plagued by flies. Before that we had a monumental battle, lasting weeks, with ants. They were coming in *all* *over* *the* *house*. So...I sympathise, I really do. :)

slommler said...

I have been battling ants too...they come in from I don't know where!!!! I have looked and scrubbed and sprayed and put out traps to no avail. I have tiny black ones and they are driving me crazy. It is like they are tenants here now. Ack!!! Good luck on your fight...I will rally on with you!
Hugs
Sueann

Betty said...

We have those little buggers here too! They are really a nuisance! I totally get it. When they invade our house, the only thing that really gets rid of them is doing a poison spray from the outside of the house. My hubby sprays in every crack and hole that he can find, especially at the base of the foundation. Of course our houses are build different than yours, but this seems to help for many months.
I hope you find the "root" of the problem. I know it sucks!

Nezzy said...

Golly gee, ant in your pants...for real! We have had a huge infestation of those teeny tiny ants in our soil. Every time I dig or turn soil a mass of those little boogers charge up my arm....but so far their outside. I finally sprayed the hummingbird feeder lines and the eve with olive oil that seemed to detour them. I keep the foundation sprayed and spray inside..spring and fall. You'll have to find the beginning of the trail before you can do any good. {{{SIGH}}} Poor girl...until then you'll just have to do the boogie dance! :o)

You have a jivin' blessed day

Joanie M said...

Every summer, I have ants arrive on my kitchen counter. I never see them on the floor (unless someone... ahem dani... drops food and leaves it) I can never find the source. I did find an ant spray that is safe for kitchen counters and I use that every few weeks.

Good luck getting rid of the buggers!

TechnoBabe said...

Ants are industrious aren't they? I have to admire their tireless strength but they are not welcome in the house. So sorry you have the job of combatting thousands of ants. Give them the heave-ho, Joanna!

Jeanie said...

My guess is that it may be time to call "Antbusters". It would be the "from where" that would worry me before everything went back into the closet.

Sassy Pants Freckle Face said...

HATE All bugs, guck!!

Eva Gallant said...

The only solution I see is to go commando! Stop wearing them!

Big Pissy said...

I can't even imagine ants in a closet such as you've described. All those drawers and nooks and crannies!

Nightmare!!!!!!! :(

Good luck with getting rid of them!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

How icky. We have ants in our bathroom--using Terro to some success...but the wet weather keeps driving them up!

Formerly known as Frau said...

Call a professional....have thwe closet sprayed! I hear they dont like baking soda sprinkle some in the corners of closet might work! Yikes! Now I'm itchy!

Matty said...

Is there anyone who hasn't had a ant problem at one time or another? Been there, done that. I can remember walking into my kitchen one evening and seeing literally thousands of them walking in a column across where the wall meets the ceiling, down the corner where the walls meet, and onto the floor. For the life of me, I couldn't find the origin....where they were coming from. But they seem to have a knack for knowing that something good is out there waiting for them. I went out and got bait traps, the kind where they carry the poison back to their colony. If I were you, I wouldn't put my stuff back into the closet for a while. Leave it bare and see where they are showing up at.

lisleman said...

The story tells you why you have ants in your closet if you look closely.

Your husband is a closet jam eater. Stay up late and see if you can catch him.

"...I love it so much that some days I just stare into it and admire everything in its place..."

That reveals so much about you. Not a chaos type of person then?

Joy said...

Stinkin ants. We fought those things when we lived in CA.

You'll have to give us organization tips. Post your closet now we are all curious.
♥ Joy

Gotham said...

ants are everywhere, you cannot prevent them from enterting anywhere, in some people's places, i have also seen them in fridges and freezers, can you believe it??

Willoughby said...

I totally feel for you, Joanna! I can't stand any bug of any sort in the house. We don't get too many ants inside, but we usually have some bees make their way indoors in the early spring. I have no idea how they get in.

Good luck with your ant battle!

deb said...

brutal.
we've had them coming in under our baseboards and up through the vents.
brutal.

otin said...

Ants are the worst!! You just can never seem to rid yourself of the little bastards! They are like the IRS! lol

SE'LAH... said...

I hear this product terro works great for ants. Guess they have a purpose in this world.

Ann said...

I had a go around with a family of ants this year and like you I could not find out where they came from except maybe up the side of the house and in somewhere. I got some of those little black ant houses that you hide around and they go in and die. They definitely DO WORK. Can't remember the name but they are in the grocery store with those type items. The ones I had outside every year in my driveway had decided to climb the carport and go some where so I finally called the sprayer man and had him declare war on the ants. That worked also.

VM Sehy Photography said...

I feel for you having lived in both southern and northern California. Have you considered checking the outside of the house near the foundation to see if they are getting into a crack there and then climbing up through your walls. Just a thought. The other thing you can do, although it might be a bit difficult in the closet, is to lay down a line of dawn dishwashing liquid. They won't cross it. The only problem there is you have to keep it fresh. Once it dries, they just crawl over.

This leads to two quick anecdotes. When we lived in southern California we had a wall behind our washer and dryer that was covered with grand daddy long legs. I kept the numbers in check, but I left them there to eat the ants. Well, one day I woke up and the wall was clean. And we had a nice little invasion of ants coming through the kitchen door. I didn't know whether to cry or scream.

In northern California I would give my dog a bath on our small back patio. Well, one day she wouldn't hold still to get rinsed and I just figured she was tired of the bath. Not her favorite thing. So I told her to hold still. Then I felt this very light and weird sensation of something crawling on my leg. I look down and I have a bunch of ants climbing up my leg. (I almost literally had ants in my panties. Yuck!) So I rinsed them off with the hose and looked at Cassie and sure enough she had ants on her. We had drowned out a nest. So I got her in and finished the bath inside.

Well, I wish you luck getting rid of the persistant little boos.

Casey Freeland said...

I'm sure someone will bring this up, but with Borax you can easily create the same traps the professionals use. Its what we do and it knocks them out. And the good news is they go away to die.

Anyway, e-mail me and I'll send you the recipe if you like.

Good luck.

Casey

Jen said...

They use the electrical wiring as a highway, traveling from outlet to outlet. They are annoying and hard to get rid of. The last time I had a problem with them, the exterminator gave me bait that worked. Good luck.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I felt itchy just reading this. Wishing you luck. I am still struggling with a smell in the closet of the house we moved into a few months ago...

I miss dry, sunny S Cal this time of year. But my favorite is the East Winds. I know they've taken a bad rap with the fires and all, but as a kid it was like summer was resurfacing.

Alison said...

Ants on the bench are a pain, but in the wardrobe (closet)? Aaaagh! That sounds ghastly. But I AM envious of your Southern California weather!

My name is PJ. said...

I don't know about California ants. I'm guessing they're more robust because of the dry weather.

One 'green' solution I learned years ago was to peel cucumbers and put the peel where the ants are invading. It dries without molding and I've had it work for long periods of time. It's inexpensive too.

jane said...

i´d come and help- but i´m laughing too hard... ahem... sorry joanna- but it does make one hell of a post:) good luck girlfriend! p.s. at least you´ll probably get another dinner out ;)

lime said...

when i lived in the tropics we used to sprinkle sevens powder to prevent them in cupboards and such. i'm not sure that's available here but you could try borax sprinkles in the corners.

thanks for stopping by to read my POTW. and thanks for your kind words. :)

Tammy said...

I wish I had good advice for you, but dog gone I get them here too and those freaking things drive me nuts. I had a few in my bathroom - no food around and discovered they were comeing in through the plug in of all places. How'd they find that I ask. Oh I feel for you girl, I know what you're going through!!

noexcuses said...

I don't miss those days, but I do feel for you. Sounds like you've got a few remedies to try. My mil used to take a container of cinnamon and pour it all around the outside perameters of the house at the base. They lived in Anaheim, and this worked for them quite well.

Rent an anteater; they are really cute!

Good luck!

Kelly H-Y said...

Ughh ... ants! I feel your pain ... we've had the same problem a couple times over the past year. Turns out ants are really smart! You kill the ants, so they don't return to the nest, so the queen sends more ants. Finding the nest is critical ... or baiting for it, so the ants take it back to the nest. And, forget the baits you get at the store ... we tried those and the ants MADE a nest out of one of them (I am NOT kidding). Call Alpha Ecological or a 'safe' bug control place like that and let them take care of them! Good luck!

midwesttomidlands said...

I know it's not funny, but you have me laughing anyway. We too have (HAD) ants in the kitchen and this week they were all over the drive. Haven't seen any in the bedroom though -knock on wood. I did just deep clean the bedroom yesterday, so they better not find their way there. Has your husband been eating toast and jam in bed? LOL I can totally relate to your post anyway, I know how unsettling and annoying it can be.

The Empress said...

oh, closet lust BIG TIMIE over here...

pita-woman said...

I wouldn't know what to do if I had an organized closet (or oranized ANYTHING for that matter). I prefer to think of my home as organized-chaos. I know where most everything is despite the fact it's all hidden under piles of stuff and a thick layer of dust and doghair.
We get those annoying little ants as well at random & unexpected times. I can kill then all off, then one will suddenly appear as if by magic. Very frustrating!! I had them swarming out of an electrical outlet once. Seriously! Why weren't they getting shocked? If I'd stuck my finger in there, I'd been zapped.

Slamdunk said...

Yikes--sorry to hear about the Ant takeover. We only have sporadic problems with them--which is good since the counters are a collecting place of left out food by those always hungry kids.

mizzmarycontrary said...

I feel your pain! We have ants in Arizona too especially after the rain because it's usually so dry out here. I woke up this moring to an annoying trail of the little monsters in a bedroom! Anyway stumbled on your blog through Ami. Your blog is funny!

Tracie said...

Ugh. I have no idea other than to call the exterminator ASAP.

I'm jealous that you have a nice organized closet. That's on the list for my dream house. *sigh*

Mel said...

That's your punishment for living in S. CA Ants!

Lynne said...

How awful for you. It seems they're a real pest for lots of people, reading through your comments.

Lynn said...

We have annual infestations of the big black carpenter ants at the beginning of the summer her in PA. We have an semi-annual date with the pest control man.

But I hear you on the little ones. When I was living in British Columbia, Canada, I had those teensy weensy ants EVERYWHERE for a time. They were coming up through the carpet, of all things--and like you, I noticed them especially in the bedroom. I'd vacuum, all would be clear, and two seconds later, they'd be back. Another date with pest control, and they were taken care of.

In both instances, it had nothing to do with food being left out. In PA, it's simply temperature. In BC? Who knows. But those itty bitty ones, that appear to be similar if not the same to your bedroom ants, were frustrating, for the reasons you've described so well in this post.

Janette said...

Simple Green
Ants hate the smell and leave the area immediately!