I keep a very clean house. I’m not even going to go through the motions of pretending with the old “please excuse the mess” schtick over an obviously clean place.

I clean almost every day and make it a point to keep things very nice. It’s just who I am as a person. Also, now that all of my grandmothers are safely in heaven, I fear them marring their afterlife looking down in horror at my unswept crumbs.

Because of my basic ability to keep the house established, imagine my surprise when I woke up to find that we had been overtaken by little brown ants overnight. And I do mean overnight. One minute they weren’t there, and the very next, they were. Did they arrive by bus?

I don’t know if there was some sort of a coup, and the Asian lady beetles finally lost their foothold on our property, but I am here to tell you that the tiny, tiny, barely visible to the naked eye little brown ants have definitely come up in the world. In fact, they’ve come up as far as my kitchen counters. This trespass shall not stand.


I am a realist. Practical. We live in an old house in the country. Historic structure plus farm fields mean a certain number of visitors seem inevitable. I have come to terms with the fact that I will never live in a hermetically sealed environment. I’m not sure I’d even want to. It sounds kind of unhealthy actually.

Nonetheless, I do accept —  although I will never be okay with — the fact that we get the seasonal mouse. That’s how you know winter is coming: one dead mouse dispatched by the cat.

I imagine this is some sort of scout mouse who wasn’t as fast as he initially believed himself to be. Overconfidence will get ya every time. I don’t know if he got the short straw or willingly volunteered. I have no idea how vermin “Hunger Games” work.

I’m here to tell you that a mouse will venture into our home. Our cat will say, “no thank you, sir,” and he will venture right back out again — deceased.

Honestly, I would expect that after years of this, the mice would have evolved to realize that entering our abode is not a good life choice. Nope. They continue to make bad choices. I guess because they never returned home to tell of the horrors they witnessed, the other mice just think they went out for cigarettes and never came back?

Clean fight

Mouse stupidity aside, I do my best to fight the good fight. I don’t keep food in its original packaging. Everything that is in bags or boxes is transferred into tightly sealed glass or plastic containers. I allow no moisture and no bugs.

This is why it is amazing to me that these little brown ants are flourishing. What are they eating? Dish liquid? Air?

I am all about health (ours, not the ants). I tried all-natural methods. I scrubbed again. I crawled into cabinets looking for clues. Nothing.

As the ants continued marching along my otherwise pristine kitchen counter, I called in the big guns. Mr. Wonderful stomped around with a sprayer and chemicals with lots of warning labels. I hate that it had to come to that, but this is war.

The cat, for the record, is useless against ants. Although to be fair, I am too.


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