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Jack B. Simpson - Those little buggers

Let me ask you something. Have you been bothered more than usual with ants around the house of late? Even during the recent snow, those little buggers showed up in the kitchen and the bathrooms. I thought they went underground in cold weather!

We have responded to their presence with spraying and extra calls to our pest control company. We have tried everything and still cannot get rid of ants, ants, ants.

I am convinced that there are more ants on earth than any other of the many insects hanging out around here. It is one thing to see thousands of them in warmer weather, but seeing them in the coldest time of winter just blows my mind!

Ants live in colonies, so where are the rest of these few stragglers? Are they in the walls, in the attic, under the house? We asked our pest controller, and he didn't know either. He just keeps on spraying and hoping for a miracle.

Someone once suggested a solution to our problem: "put grits on the mound." I don't know how you feel about this, but I enjoy eating my grits with some dippy eggs for breakfast. I'm not all that keen on ridding myself of ants by pouring my breakfast grits over them. Besides, they might like grits, too.

Actually, I have always relied on Amdro as the thing to pour on an ant hill. "It kills the queen, destroying the mound" so they say. Yeah, sure! And, then the colony just moves over to another spot in the yard.

Perhaps these ants are hanging out with us because they have seen our kindness to the resident stray cat, Mr. Gray. We do not encourage the critters.

Everything ants could possibly eat has been sealed away in airtight bags or containers. Dottie will not leave sugar, meat, seeds, grains, or anything else on an ant's diet out in the open. Still they come, probing our defenses. The recent drought may be bringing them inside for water, or maybe they just want a nice warm place to hang out.

If we do manage to rid ourselves of our unwanted winter visitors, we can always look forward to seeing them again in the spring. It is an everlasting problem with no apparent permanent solution. Ants, ants, ants! Even when they are supposed to be hibernating, you will have to make a trip to the local hardware store for some chlordane, because they have decided to visit your kitchen during a snow storm!

Jack Simpson is a former educator, veteran, author, and a law enforcement officer. His column appears each Sunday.