Thursday, July 31, 2014

Considering the Ants

Yesterday I was all determined to call a pest control operator to deal with the ant situation, a situation I probably caused by putting out ant so-called traps. Shame on me. During my ad agency stint I worked on a pesticide account. 

That's right! Two years of writing about insecticides and termiticides in general, pyrethroids in particular. Two years that included hanging out with National Pest Control Association members. Guess what? They do not want to be called exterminators and I don't blame them. References to extermination of any kind make me want to sew jewelry into my jacket lining, triple wrap my food, and go into hiding. 

About ants...

I've been wiping them up with a damp sponge and rinsing them down the drain for the past couple of days, using the vacuum crevice tool to suck up the army of ants marching along the quarter round molding leading to the cat's dish. Tonight I'm wondering why I should bother. 

Turns out I really don't mind the itty bitty brown ones. Big burly carpenter ants with their tools belts and mandibles can take down a house. These "sugar" ants are harmless. And very industrious. I admire that.

Tonight, as I leaned against the kitchen sink eating watermelon and dripping its juice onto the counter I watched them scurry into action. Very organized. I admire that, too. No surprise that a verse from the Book of Proverbs soon moved from memory to consciousness: "...go to the ant; study its ways and learn."For now that's what I'm going to do.

*Proverbs 6:6, JPS