About a week or so ago my sister left for a mini-vacay in Florida. I was so sad that she wouldn’t be home, but at the same time, I was a bit excited for some much needed Claire Time. After a trip to Meijer for some veggies I headed home to chop up my peppers & cucumbers, and make baggies of my grapes to take to work. I forgot oranges, so I detoured to stop at another grocery store, and on my way there saw my dad taking his afternoon walk, and then ran into my mom at the store. It was kind of funny to run into them both, but nice too.
When I got home I noticed a stinkbug on the screen of the window that’s next to the door. Being the “bug lover” that I am, my pace quickened and I unlocked the door and slammed the door behind me in record time, because there was no way I was having some bug come in the house! Now, perhaps you think I’m exaggerating a bit, but if that’s the case, then you don’t know me as well as you think you do. You see, I’m actually the world’s biggest wimp. There’s a good chance that if you look up WIMP in the dictionary, there’ll be a picture of me fainting next to it. I’m okay with an insect or two…OUTSIDE! But even then, I turn into a screeching 9 year old when bees come around, and don’t even get me started on lady bugs! Sure when I was a kid I played with lightening bugs, counted the dots on ladybugs and wanted nothing more than to catch the most caterpillars…but then I became an adult and learned that the best way to deal with something that was smaller than my pinky was to scream and run.
So, I enter the house, and go to put my groceries on the kitchen counter when I realize that someone spilled coffee grounds all over the place. Muttering to myself, I instead walk into the dining room to put the groceries on the dining room table. Going back into the kitchen I reach for the sponge to clean up the coffee grounds when I realize that the coffee grounds are moving, and they are in fact, not coffee ground, but ants. Taking a few deep breaths and trying to remain calm, I remember that you are supposed to vacuum ants up.
So I go to the front closet and drag out the vacuum cleaner. I pull it into the living room, then look around for an outlet to plug it into, but what do I find instead? ANTS! They’re all over the dining room floor!! I see them crawling towards the living room and realize that they are in the carpet and on the floorboards of the living room too! Well, I’ll tell you what, whatever calmness I had was gone. The tears came faster than I’d like to admit and I called my dad (remember that my mom was in the store, I knew she’d never hear her phone, but I knew my dad had his with him on his walk!) and as it rang I cried out, “they’re everywhere!! EVERYWHERE!! They’re everywhere!” in the midst of my crying he answered, and through my tears I all but yelled through my phone, “They’re everywhere!! The ants! There are so many! You have to come over!” And my wonderful father just said, “okay, I’ll be right there. Start vacuuming. Don’t worry, it’ll be okay!” Although I’m pretty sure all he heard was “sob sob sob…everywhere!...sob sob sob…come over!” He probably thought we were overrun with mice or something…poor dad, if only his daughter could maintain herself…
But I did just what he said and started to vacuum up those little baby slab ants (Who were apparently looking for water). After I’d cleared the dining room floor of at least 100 ants, I turned to the kitchen. Putting the attachment on, I started to vacuum the ants off the counters, then noticed them on the kitchen drawers, and the cupboard doors, and the floor, and the sink…I really did try to not worry, but it didn’t really work. Fresh tears kept spouting out, try as I might to make them stop, I couldn’t. Through my tears I vacuumed somewhere between 50 to 75 ants throughout the kitchen. I turned around to turn off the vacuum cleaner, and that’s when I saw MORE ANTS!! I swear, it looked as though the vacuum cleaner threw up ants! There were so many, and they were all over. I didn’t understand where they could be coming from! But they just kept scampering all over the floors and counters! Everytime I’d vacuum one section, I’d turn around there would be more somewhere else!
As I attempted to remember how to breathe, I dropped the vacuum and ran to my room where I threw my gym bag on my bed and quickly started throwing clothes into it. There was no possible way that I would be staying the night in the ant hotel! I would stay at my parents tonight, they would totally understand. As I was packing I heard my dad knocking on the door. As soon as he came in he took control, stopping only to laugh at my packed bag and insistence that I was staying at his house. He helped me vacuum, made me watch the ants after I vacuumed so we would know where they were coming in, duct taped those areas, and did our dishes since I wouldn’t go near the sink. After a lecture on leaving dishes in the sink, he helped me explain the situation to my sister who contacted the exterminator.
My mom soon arrived to relieve my dad (who still had three sermons for Holy Week that he was working on!), and she sprayed Bug Killer along all of the floorboards and areas that we saw ants, then she put down two different kinds of ant poison both inside and outside. We vacuumed and sprayed so many ants I couldn’t even give you an exact number, but it had to be in 2-300’s…I thanked my mom for everything she did, and then thanked her for letting me stay the night at her house since there was no way I could stay in the house. And do you know what my wonderful mother said to me? “Oh yes you will! You’ll be just fine! You just watch your show, leave the vacuum where you can get to it, and vacuum any stray ants you see. It’ll be fine. We killed most of them anyways.”
Well, I have to say, with my parents taking control and ridding the house of the ants, and my mom not letting me stay over (“face your fears” is just another way to say, “we just got used to having the house to ourselves!”), I stayed the night in my own bed and did not see another ant! I didn’t stop shaking until after lunch the next day, and for the next week every speck I saw turned into an ant (until I realized it was dust, a piece of dirt, a pen mark, a chocolate chip…), but now I know that I am fully capable of handling slab ants…as long as I have a vacuum cleaner, duct tape, LOTS of ant poison…and of course, my parents!