Learn From the Ant (WARNING: Do NOT imagine you have an itch while reading this post.)

Yesterday, I heard someone spraying the Raid bug spray inside the “pink bathroom.”  That’s not unusual these days.  During the ongoing drought here, we’re finding large cockroaches arriving almost daily coming up our sink and shower drains.  Just one of these things you have to deal with this time of year.

Fast forward.

Last night, I came home from an extended Bible study at midnight and after catching up on correspondence and some reading, I headed to the dimly lit pink bathroom and happened to notice that there was some unusual movement in the corner of the room.  I flipped on the light switch and discovered ants all around the back of the toilet and crawling up the wall.

I grabbed the can of Raid and started blasting them when something else came into view.  It made my skin crawl.  There was a think layer of these small red ants complete with eggs in between the folds of the hand towels on the shelf above the toilet.  So, I let them have a good dose of Raid too.  By this point, I was ready to just get to bed and try not to think itchy thoughts.

This morning I told Beth about the situation from the late night, ant invasion and we checked it out.  Dead ants.  Lots of dead ants.  We removed the towels and Beth began looking for something under the sink.  There are two long shelves under the sink with almost sliding wooden doors.  After a few moments she says, “There’s a lot of dead ants under here too!”  Hmmm…I hadn’t sprayed under there.  Then I remembered that Cameron must have been spraying them the day before.

So, I found Cameron and asked him if he had sprayed in the pink bathroom on Tuesday and if so, what was he spraying.  Yes, it was he who had sprayed, but he says he didn’t see any ants.  He was after three cockroaches that had taken cover somewhere underneath the sink.  I know he had sprayed quite a bit.

So, then I realized that in his efforts to spray the cockroaches, he had unwittingly and unknowingly upset the large nest of red ants that we had no clue were even under the sink.  Beth began pulling things out and I decided to go ahead with my morning shower.

After a few moments with the water running in the shower, I noticed something moving on the shower knob.  Ants!  More ants!  I couldn’t believe it.  So, I quickly removed the hanging wash cloth and grabbed the Raid.  I began spraying and spraying again.  Ants were falling in globs from inside the shower knob!  Man…this is creepy!

I finally began using a container and filling it with hot water to douse the shower knobs.  After a few minutes the globs of ants slowed to just a few.  I went and grabbed a couple of slotted screwdrivers.  I pried the plate from the wall to expose the hole behind.  More ants.  I sprayed some more and threw some water in for good measure.  Don’t tell the landlord.

Finally, no more ants.

Beth removed everything from under the sink and got the shop-vac directed toward the mess.  Uh-oh.  The wall still has ants in it.  More Raid.  We noted that the ants seemed to have eaten the masonry.  Wow.  At least, we were finally done with the ants!

Not so fast.

By this time I realized that the ants were thirsty.  That’s why they were coming into the bathroom.  It has been dry here for a very long time. The drought has persisted for I don’t know how many months.  It’s normal to have dry season, but when it stays dry for too long, the lakes and ponds dry up and the water begins to disappear from not just the surface, but from the water service.  Two of our teammates have been either completely without water for the past 5 or 6 days or with just a few hours of water delivery during those days.

I hadn’t really done a complete job of checking out the toilet area.  So, I started looking around the top of the toilet tank and moving the books and stuff there and sure enough, more ants!  I took the top of the tank and the ants were hiding against the wall, on the lid to the tank, under the lid and even inside the porcelain lid because there were two holes in it.  Many ants had gone inside to take refuge.  Even more ants were drowned in the water inside the tank!

Whew!  After getting rid of all of those ants, it was a relief to have them all gone.

Until…

Dayton was ready for his evening shower and yelled that there were ants in the shower!  I told him they were dead.  He pointed out that dead ants don’t walk.  Good point.  OK…they’re not dead.  Sure enough, there was what I hope a final outpost under the track of the shower door!  I worked on killing those for about 20 minutes by pouring hot water over the track, and I THINK, I HOPE, I PRAY that we’ve finally seen the last of them.

Somehow, I suspect there are still some more ants in the walls.  I hope it rains soon so the ants can have something to drink out there, and maybe they will be happy to stay in the great outdoors.

In the meantime, I will remember the Proverb that tells us to learn from the ant.  I already know the lesson that these ants are teaching:

The water in the bathroom can kill you.  Don’t drink it.

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