Thursday, May 22, 2008

When Nature Attacks

So last night I am doing the dishes and happen to look over at my hanging plant, Harvey, and notice that another one of his leaves is dead. It's weird because he has been around the block for several years without a problem, but recently I noticed his leaves are dying at a rapid rate.

I pull off the leaf and see that there is an ant on it. An ant! I live on the third floor and have never seen an ant in my apartment. Maybe an occasional cockroach, but those things are as common as a weird roommate. My eyes focus and I see another ant....and another, and another....and 10 more. So I really start to freak out. First of all, I am not okay with bugs entering in my apartment. Secondly, I definitely don't need a hundred hard-working ants infesting my plants.

It was 11pm and I couldn't deal. I didn't want to kill all the ants, but I didn't know how to get them out of my house. We don't keep pesticide in the house - nor do I really want to use it - and this seemed like too big of a job for a little ant trap. (FYI - I am itching just talking about the ants).

I decided to invent a trap so I took a cap from a milk bottle and poured in a little dollop of honey. Abe suggested that I needed to put in rubbing alcohol so they would drink it and drown. We didn't have any rubbing alcohol, but we did have a bottle of Burnett's vodka (basically the same thing)! So I mixed the concoction together and placed it on the window. Within minutes all the ants were marching towards the cap and checking out the goods. You could see them freaking out over the smell of honey, but they were all hesitant to take a dip. It was actually kind of cute - I just wish they were outside and not in my kitchen.

Finally Abe made me go to bed. I had nightmares that I was an ant. I woke up in the morning to take a look, my fingers crossed that they all got drunk and passed out in the "trap". Seemed like a happy medium - they would be dead, but at least they would go out with a bang. Instead, I woke up to find the ants hanging out poolside on the rim of the cap just dipping their toes and enjoying the taste of honey. There was but one casualty.

I also discovered where the ants were coming from: they were living in Harvey's soil! That must be why his leaves were dying - they were gnawing on his roots. There was a whole world living in that pot. Siiiiiiiiiiiiiick!

Desperate measures needed to be taken. I chopped off some of Harvey's vines, pulled him out of his macramé hanger and tossed the whole thing out on the fire escape. Next, I began wiping up the leftover ants (sorry, guys - but you can't take a hint) and poured a touch of bleach down the window. I waited a half hour and the coast seemed to be clear - we'll see how it looks when I get home. I guess Harvey will be living in the back yard from now on.

Note: I had to go out and buy ant traps when I got home. I think that did the trick.


Anonymous said...

ooh first comment!!!!

We've just moved to a 1st floor flat and have two pot plants so will keep an eye out for ants!

Love your blog

Congrats to your sister for graduating!!!

Ryan Green said...

I'll be posting some ways to get rid of ants without using sprays and poisons - I've learned a lot in the last few days! But hopefully you won't need them.