Friday, February 22, 2013


 The ant is knowing and wise,
but he doesn't know enough to take a vacation.
-Clarence Day
ants disappearing by the dozens into a hole in the floor - the hole is sealed now...thanks Mark!
Since our return to our home in Davao,
the ants have been relentless.

First they attacked the kitchen;
their appetites for our unopened, unguarded 
penne noodles and corn flakes was totally understandable.
I mean, it's a free lunch, guys!

But when I secured all the food carefully away in plastic bins,
the ants persisted, starting in on even more delicious entres,
like our paper napkins,

our rolling pin (maybe there were some vestiges of bread dough on it?)

and our ziploc bags.

Those bags are precious.  
And those crazy ants ate holes in the bottoms of them, 
so that when I popped them open to fill with leftovers,
the food fell out the other side.

Then the ants started eating Michael.
Or maybe more accurately, they infested his bed (again),
biting him in the middle of the night.

The whale is endangered,
while the ant continues to do just fine.
-Bill Vaughan 

ants gulping down Terro...the most effective ant poison we've found
 We did many a battle, with chemicals
and perfume (they hate it!) and rubbing alcohol on the walls,
 while sealing more holes
and using elaborate ant traps to keep food out of their reach.

this ant trap is keeping bread dough off limits...
So now, though we see an occasional scout,
life is fairly bug-free.
Except for our bulletin board.
They've been feasting on it for over two weeks now.
They eat into the background paper,
dusting the stairs below with white paper dust.
They bore into the cork, maybe to get at the glue behind it.
And though we've fed them dose after dose of Terro poison,
these ants just keep returning, with no sign of slowing.
They consume the poison, and then go back to the paper.

"It is not enough to be busy,
so are the ants. 
The question is: what are we busy about?"
 --Henry David Thoreau

My mind is boggled by their insistence in consuming my bulletin board.
(At least they aren't eating the photos of our friends posted there!)
I mean, if they have to eat something,
I'm happy for them to eat the bulletin board paper 
rather than our ziploc bags, or our food, 
or our children.

The ants remain unceasingly busy.
But is this obsession of theirs really worth all their work?
Watching them makes me wonder,
What am I busy about?

I'm not a huge Thoreau fan,
but he's got it right in the quote above.

What am I busy about?

Am I busy with what everyone else is currently obsessed, and investing time in?
 Am I consumed with the demands that seem so urgent, that scream for my attention?

Or am I being intentional with my busyness, 
focused on things of eternal worth,
things that will nourish and bless others and myself?

Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; 
yes, establish the work of our hands!
Psalm 90:17


Anonymous said...

At least I'm not buggin you ...
had to beat your brother Carl to that one.
Thanks for battling the Ants
-Your DH

OliveTree said...

That solution to keep the ants off of your bread dough reminded me of my El Salvador days...Bulletin boards and ziploc bags! Unbelievable...Bless you!

Kay @ The Church Cook said...

Ugggh, sound like any good ants over there would be dead ones! What games to ants play with elephants? Squash! Wish I can help to squash those pests who bother my BFF so much!

Rosalie said...

I assume you've tried chalk? The old saying that "ants won't cross a chalk line" has worked for me. The line has to be solid with no gaps.

us5 said...

that's what we need! an elephant!!! :lol:

us5 said...

no, you aren't bugging me, Mark! ♥ thanks for fighting the battle by my side!

us5 said...

not only have we tried chalk, but we've tried chalk laced with Baygon, (an insecticide) drawn solidly all around that bulletin board. (!) these are no ordinary ants. they sacrificed the lives of a whole squadron just to blaze a trail through that chalk.

us5 said...

it's nice to know someone can relate, OT! :) thanks!

Judy said...

So they are kamikaze ants?

Rosalie said...

So sorry Barb! Maybe this is an example in nature of Rev 12:11: "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death."

us5 said...

hmmm...the infamous SUICIDE SPECIES?!?!?

Anonymous said...

Vinegar. Wipe the bulletin board down with vinegar. Ants don't like vinegar. Also, if you see any scouts come in, squash them all. Then they won't go back to the nest and tell their friends about what they found. Ants do communicate that way. The nest folks know where the scouts went and if the scouts don't come back, that means bad and the nest folks do not dare follow. Hank

us5 said...

well, i hate to tell you this, Hank, but we tried vinegar, too. it kept them away...for about 15 minutes. so unless i spend the day continuing to wipe down the wall, i don't think these guys are going to buy that remedy. we even soaked towels in vinegar and put them in kitchen drawers, but even so, the ants persisted in visiting those drawers for a few days! it did eventually drive them away.

and YES, you're SO right about the scouts. we can almost hear them yelling to each other when they've found something good! actually they communicate via scent, so if we can keep them from sharing the good smells, it's helpful. we are all pretty adept at ant squashing. but please, no one tell the animal rights groups! :eek:

Choate Family said...

I was just telling somebody recently that I have to be a much better housekeeper when we are overseas because of those pesky ants. I love how you used a nuisance to turn your mind toward things of the Lord!

Lois said...

Have you tried Vaseline? The ants can't cross it, but those suicidal ants would probably get enough of them stuck so as to make a path across for the others!

us5 said...

thanks for the encouragement, Joanna! :)

us5 said...

no, Lois! we haven't tried Vaseline! i'll have to go and see if we have any around the house. those ants are STILL eating the bulletin board. (and they've downed about 1/3 of the bottle of Terro!) thanks for the idea! ♥