The ants on which our house was apparently built finally crossed the line. War broke out, and we’d had enough. Well, Christie had had enough, and I had the time to make the call to the exterminator. We had one of those when we lived in the desert, and the children were very small. I would go on Black Widow hunts after the kids went to bed and could crush 4-5 a night outside the house. And then the occasional scorpion would wander through the kitchen. So, with small and inquisitive children, we would get the bugs exterminated every once in a while.
But along the coast, the creatures are not nearly as exotic. But we have ants. By the millions over the past 17 years I’m sure. And they usually congregate where you’d least appreciate their presence — the kitchen sink and the light-colored bathroom tile. They aren’t good at hiding, and we had had enough. This is war.
On Tuesday, the bug guy came. He sprayed environmentally acceptable (unless you are an ant) and pet-friendly liquid all around the interior and exterior of the house. Then I was summoned on a tour of the most infested areas, where he pulled back the bark in the planters to reveal the mother-lode of all ant trails. I guess we need a follow up visit in 30 days.
But then his instructions were the most counter-intuitive I’d ever heard. He said we would have ants in the house for the next day or two. Maybe three. DO NOT USE RAID ON THEM, our standard defense. Let them wander. He wanted their little hoofs to walk through his poison and carry it back into the nest outside the house. Really? We aren’t supposed to kill any ants for the next few days?
Let me just say this has been very difficult. Our house is now an ant graveyard. They lay there by the hundreds in piles in the corners…but there are some stragglers walking around, so we have to let them do their thing. This has been most difficult for my wife. Ants that are moving should be immediately nuked and their remains removed from sight.
But we can’t do that. Not if the goal is long-term eradication. So, we are living through an ant-apocalypse. It is quite humorous, at least to me, though not to everyone in my house. But if we do this which is so counter to every strategy we’ve tried before, we should keep the ants out of the house and off the counters for the foreseeable future. It’s been tough to obey. Very tough.
But sometimes obeying God’s instructions are very similar. He asks us to act in a way that is counter-intuitive to the natural man, to the way of the world. Give to Him first, before the bills are paid. Love your enemies. Pray for those who give you grief. Love all. Submit. And the list goes on. And on. But we are called to do what we believe to be true instead of what we see to be true. That’s tough. But that’s faith. I’ll let you know if it works in the ant department. But I do know it works in the God department.