I forget when I conquered my fear of insects. I'm not sure I ever really had one, even thought I saw the 1954 Oscar-nominated classic Them! Giant, irradiated ants terrorizing the Arizona desert. Or something. It's been a long time. I was one of those kinds who loved killing bugs and yet there was always this feeling that, if a giant, irradiated ant ever really existed, it would come for me first.
Loyal readers (all 4 of you) may recall my argument with some bees trying to nest inside my retaining wall. Or my problem with the underground bees. Well in my ongoing quest to conquer the insect world around my own private suburbia, I may have finally met my match.
Ants. Flying ants.
Flying insects are icky enough, but I've always been able to keep ahead of them because, for the most part, they don't fly that fast. Except for houseflies. But that's another story. If you're patient enough to wait for the moth or Japanese beetle to land, you can usually stomp or swat them with a satisfying crunch. It's the swarms that get me. And these ants have found my Achilles heel. They found it by landing on my leg and crawling into my sock.
I'm mowing the lawn the other day and taking another in a series of extended breaks. Which is why it takes me so long to mow my lawn. From the corner of my eye, I thought I saw something floating. And I followed that something to the swarm of winged ants gathered on the snowblower cover. And on the ground. And along the side of the house. Regular ants are one thing but ants with wings? It's like they mutated to some form of super ant. So I go to the arsenal of canned chemicals: what's left of a can of carpenter ant killer and 2 cans of Raid Ant Spray and made quick work of the little ant insurrection.
Satisfied that the ant horde has been vanquished and having quelled by wife's desire to call an exterminator, I continued mowing the lawn. The yard slants at, like, a 75 degree angle so it's a bit of a challenge but hey, I just killed who knows how many winged, mutant ants? But I keep thinking I see more flying around. And sure enough, one of my plants (I don't know any plant names) has a bunch of the little buggers (ha!!!!) all over it. So I retrieve my Raid and spray away. I lift the plant a little and find more. And I spray. And I conquer.
But as if I'm Porky Pig being mocked by a bunch of termites he can't kill, I spot two more piles of these things. And they're just randomly placed on the lawn. I spray but I soon run out. Okay varmints!!!! You win!!!!! Honey? Call the exterminator!!!! Take that, you three-sectioned demons from below.
Uh oh, is that a bee I see flying around up there???