Ants are the worst. Anyone who knows me knows that I loathe ants. They bring out the crazy in me. I despise them in all their tiny creepy-crawly scavenging ways. And gosh, why are there always so many? Perhaps it all started in my childhood. I grew up in the Dallas suburbs and discovered at a young age that relaxing on the lawn on a warm Summer’s day was not a good idea. While the cool grass was enticing, the fire ants living under that green blanket were not a force to be reckoned with. They were so painful, I’ll never forget that feeling.
Fast forward about 25 years. The location is different, here in Africa. The ants are different. Yet they are most definitely no less despicable. My hatred towards them is unwavering. The ants in South Africa don’t make your limbs feel like they’ve just been dipped in fire, like the fire ants in Texas. But they are relentless. Sneaky, determined, prolific little horrors. On more than one occasion, I’ve found a city of ants floating in my drinking water jug. MY DRINKING WATER JUG!
And then there’s the honey. Sigh. I’ve hid my bottle of honey in every nook and cranny in my kitchen, and they ALWAYS seem to find it. You want to see a crazy person in action? Watch me when I find an ant crawling on my honey. Suddenly, whatever I was doing drops to the bottom of the priority list as I take care of the pest trying to invade my liquid sweetness. My husband tries to intervene and tell me to relax, but I assure him that it will only take a moment and that it can’t wait until later. This is my honey.
I recently started making my own face wash. It’s a perfect blend of coconut oil, honey, vitamin E oil, and lavender oil. It’s heavenly. (That, along with my homemade face powder made with cocoa, cinnamon, and nutmeg, makes me want to eat my face, but that’s a story for another time). Back to my face wash and ants, which are the worst. ANTS. I got in the shower the other day and wanted to scream. There sat my lovely jar of heavenly face wash with a trail of ants invading it. Seriously, how did they find it? It’s not like I have ant hills in my house or gaping holes that lead to the outside. I don’t know how they made their way to my bathroom, but there they were filling their bellies with the stuff that cleans my face. My feelings toward them solidified in that moment.
Last week I googled, “What is the purpose of ants?” These probably aren’t the only purposes, but you know what popped up first in the search? One, they clean up dead organisms as scavengers and two, they are important food sources for some lizards, other insects, anteaters, and other organisms. So basically they are food for other creatures and they eat dead organisms…and then eat my honey and drink my water. Gross. So gross. And one more reason ants are the worst.
Now I know there are all sorts of fascinating facts about ants, like how they can carry 100 times their weight. Blah. Blah. Blah. That’s cool, but you can’t deny that they are pesky. I seriously doubt there’s anything that would change my mind on that. And so I continue to keep the crazy at bay by rotating my honey hiding spots and keeping cotton balls doused in peppermint oil by my drinking water. It’s exhausting protecting my precious goods, but now it’s not an option to quit drinking water and eating honey. Is it?
I’m open to any and all suggestions for keeping my personal spaces blissfully ant-free. Share away in the comments, if you please.