Monday, July 22, 2013

Mail order ants

There are moments as a parent when you think, "What was I thinking?"

My son Jacob has been really interested in ants lately ever since we had a problem with them in our house a few weeks ago. So when we were at Hobby Lobby and saw ant farms there, I let Jacob get one.

When we got home, I began to learn how little Jacob and I actually know about ants...

"Where are the ants?" Jacob asked when we opened the box.

"Oh... I guess we'll have to get some," I said. Clearly I hadn't thought this whole thing through.

We looked at the information that came with the farm and saw that we could order ants, which would arrive in 4-6 weeks. Yep... 4-6 weeks. That wasn't going to work for my 4-year-old, obviously, but I thought, no problem. We'll just catch our own.

"Let's see if we can find any more ants in our house," I said.

"Last time there were some in my room," Jacob said. "Let me go check."

While he checked his room, I checked the kitchen, sun room, and bathrooms. No ants. Apparently, we did quite an effective job at killing them.

"We'll have to get some from outside," I said.

"Let's go check the ant rock!" Jacob suggested, referring to one of the big stones along our garden that ants live underneath.

I followed Jacob out to the ant rock, fully aware of the irony of this situation. Here we had just killed off all the ants in our house, and now we're looking for new ones to bring inside.

It took a little time, but we were finally able to catch one of those quick little buggers and drop him in the ant farm. I think Jacob and I both expected the ant to crawl down into the sand and start tunneling around like the picture on the box.

Well, this ant was only interested in escaping, and after a few seconds, he crawled out one of the ventilation holes.

"I think we need bigger ants," I said to Jacob. "These ants are really tiny, so they fit though the air holes."

"Where can we find bigger ants?" Jacob asked.

"I think there are some that live by the strawberries, but maybe we should just order some," I said, not feeling at all confident about catching one of those big creepy ants.

When Andy got home and I told him about our ant adventures, he gave me the my-wife-is-nuts look and said, "You know why the ant crawled out, right? It's because you didn't have a queen. They don't know what to do without a queen."

Oh yeah. That does sound vaguely familiar.

Well it doesn't matter anyway. We ordered a tube of 30 ants from a site that would ship them in a few days (along with ant food), for a grand total of $6.... which is probably about the price we paid to kill the ones that were living in our house before.

So once again, what was I thinking?

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