When In Doubt Vacuum

It felt like a lifetime, working to get to this point. Yet it was not even a year. Yes, the pitfalls of moving are numerous.

I remember, only too well, the day we were having the commode replaced in the main bathroom. The plumber was upstairs, doing what plumbers do, and I was down in the library, clearing one of the shelves which we needed for our own books. There were all manner of art supplies, and I was pulling them out, sorting through them when I heard “Uh oh,” from upstairs.

“What is it,” I called out, as I started toward the stairs. The last thing I could have imagined, was happening there in the bathroom. The plumber had pulled the old toilet off the floor, and as I turned the corner into the room, I thought my eyes would pop out of my head! Pouring out of the hole in the floor, like some scene in a horror movie, were thousands upon thousands of ants!

“Do you have bug spray?” The plumber asked. He didn’t seem to be as upset about them crawling all over his hands, as I was watching it. Turning, I ran down the stairs, and into the garage. The only place I could imagine we’d have some spray was down there. But there was nothing. I was frantic. What could I do?

I dashed back up the stairs, and skidded toward our Dyson, dragged it behind me and jammed the plug into an outlet. Feeling a bit like the Aunts and company, in Practical Magic, I started Vacuuming the swarming, scurrying critters up, listening the fupp, fupp, fupp of the little bugs hitting the suck zone of the vacuum. Everything seemed to move in slow motion, except for the ants, which were running for cover out of the  room, or into the linen closet. I kept vacuuming, and the plumber managed to stop up the hole with a rag.

The exterminator was called in, and handled the immediate problem. They told us we were lucky, as this was during the dormant period when the ants are sleeping off all the wood they were destroying through out the numerous years prior to our taking over the house.

That was just five months short of a year go. It all worked out in the end, and we got a brand new bathroom floor out of it.

Before the dreaded time when we knew those which survived would begin making an appearance here and there around the house, we found the remains of many dead ones in just about every room, a month or two later. We had been making the rounds everyday, watching, waiting, to see if there was activity. On this particular day, when we arrived, it seemed these guys may have tried to escape, come up for air, raid the fridge, who can say, but instead created what looked akin to a ‘killing field.’  The clean up was easier, as I walked pushing the vacuum around. A handy machine, that.

We made a plan. We would leave no food out, no scrap around to draw them up from the bowels of our house, as the warm weather was right around the corner. We plasticized the pantry, and bought big bins to store any boxed foods in before we had chance to use them.

It actually worked well. Through out the summer, after we had moved in, we were meticulous with garbage removal each night. We even devised a way to segregate the food from paper kitchen garbage, with what we affectionately refer to as the bio bucket. I’ve been looking for a bio hazard sign or maybe a scull and cross bones, to paste on it to remind us of that day. Lest we forget.

Ever the statistician, Mr. Quantum, my ever faithful beloved life companion, kept a log of how many ants showed up each day. One or two was the usual. We were told were they to come out in gangs – generally seen as more than a half dozen at once, we’d need the to call in the company. All went well throughout that season.

Just this March, while we were still in the depths of winter again, we began discovering a rather disturbing number in the kitchen. It seems, from my own observations, and deductions, that when the heat in the bottom zone got stuck in the on position, the ones which might just be coming of age, were driven upstairs by this situation. When we fixed the problem, gone were the ants, and life resumed at the leisurely pace it is this very day.

The point, I was referring at story’s start, was the day we finally made our first move, into this house, so we could sleep here. Today is the anniversary of that first move, so that we could wake up in our ‘new’ house, on the 17th anniversary of our wedded life together.

Fimnora Westcaw, reporting from the ant farm.


11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. julz
    May 01, 2015 @ 21:12:44

    what a story!
    glad you got rid of most of them – smile

    Liked by 1 person


  2. platosgroove
    May 01, 2015 @ 21:41:28

    You always make me laugh. Much love

    Liked by 2 people


  3. calensariel
    May 01, 2015 @ 23:43:18

    I know it wasn’t funny at the time, but that is one precious story. Or perhaps it’s just the way you tell it! You have a storyteller’s gift. {{{Fim}}}

    Liked by 1 person


    • Fimnora Westcaw
      May 02, 2015 @ 10:00:42

      Thank you! It seems like a comedy of errors with that whole bathroom situation, though I’ve never seen anything like it, except in movies. Which makes me think, they’re sometimes not so far off on what they give us in those horror stories. lol

      At least I came up with a way to get the ants out of the house, without killing them. I mean, they were all still milling around in the canaster. Weird!



  4. shanjeniah
    May 01, 2015 @ 23:50:35

    Icky! And that IS a handy vacuum!



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