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Column: Ants went marching into the car



Of all the bugs in the world, ants weren’t at the top of my hit list.

Most of all, I hate bugs that are fast. I’m somewhat terrified of the ones that sting. Ants were by no means my friend, but now we are sworn enemies.

The hit list was something like this:

Cockroaches, guilty of racing across my kitchen counters if we forget to have the pest man come out.

Yellow jackets, guilty of stinging me once when I was 5. It got lost in my frilly dress and stung me on the palm of my hand while I was sitting in the backseat of the car. I’ve never forgotten.

Mosquitoes, guilty of swarming my front porch, forcing me indoors to avoid their itchy bites.

Fruit flies, guilty of multiplying in my trash can. Yuck.

House centipedes, guilty of being the most horrendous looking things — also fast.  

Joro spiders likely top some of your lists these days, but they don’t get inside my house, they don’t sting me and they don’t make me itch. So, we’ve got a truce for the time-being; though I sure wish they’d catch some of these hummingbird-sized mosquitoes they’re hanging out with on my porch. 

Termites may be at the top of some lists, too, including that of our production director, who recently found termites in a few rolls of newsprint. That was a first.

The ants, though. They got in my car.

My oldest, sitting in the backseat as we were leaving my sister’s house, noticed them first. He cried ouch and said an ant bit him. Sure enough, the ants had formed a line up the car door and invaded.

We brushed at them and had to get going.

The next day, they were still crawling around back there. And the next day.

We cleaned out the car and vacuumed everything. The ants still showed up. Not by the dozens, just one here and one there — enough that I stashed a napkin in a cup holder for ant smushing. Ant smushing while driving is only slightly less dangerous than having a yellow jacket in the car.

Then one day I left an empty cup of coffee in the car. You guessed it, I was greeted by a line of ants.

I quickly grabbed the coffee cup and gingerly placed it on the garage floor. Where in the world have these ants made their home? I turned my phone flashlight on and found them appearing out of the floorboard carpet on the passenger side. My sister had recommended Windex, so I sprayed it down. I didn’t see any for a day or two.

Then I had to grab breakfast on the run one day. I left a mason jar of oats in the car during an appointment. If it was a test to see if the ants were still there, they passed.

So, I’m standing in the parking lot of a local doctor’s office staring at a jar full of oats and ants and wondering what I’m supposed to do with that. I walked to another appointment and thankfully the ants had left the jar when I got back. They were still in the car. 

I drove to work looking over my shoulder hoping the ants weren’t all coming for me, marching one by one.

The next day, I got out some ant killer we had in the garage — the kind you sprinkle around a mound. I still don’t understand where they’re living, but wherever it is, maybe they’ll take this poison back there and die.

I put the ant killer on the hood of my car; I’d seen them crawling around on the outside of the windshield, too. Sure enough, the ants, came out. But they’re still not gone.

Now I’ve got the ant killer inside the car. An expert on YouTube said I may need some other kind of bait, and without that they may live in the car up to a year. A year. Great.

Apparently, they can just make a colony underneath the carpet and live off the “residuals” of whatever crumbs might have at some point been in the car.

So, I’m buying more ant bait. And keeping the ant smushing napkin in the car until further notice. Hurrah.

Shannon Casas is director of audience for Metro Market Media, parent company of The Times. She is a North Hall resident. 



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