It happens every spring, though I always forget that fact until it happens again. (I call this SAD: Seasonal Amnesic Disorder.) The weather gets nice, the spring rains begin, and the ants appear in the house. Usually it’s the largish black ones, the ones that make me worry that maybe they really are carpenter ants. (They’re never actually that large; I just get paranoid at times.) They drive us crazy for a few weeks, and one day they disappear as mysteriously as they appeared.
This year, the annual invasion was by tiny, black Argentine ants, also known as sugar ants. Even the smallest of crumbs isn’t too small to be overlooked by these tireless little scavengers, and it takes a horde of them to break up and carry off anything bigger than a poppy seed. The upshot? My counters have been immaculate since the beginning of April! I wash dishes as soon as they are dirtied; I even wipe behind canisters and small appliances EVERY DAY!
Sometime in the last week, the ants pretty much disappeared, without warning or fanfare or apparent reason. I see the occasional scout ant here or there, but I make a point of wiping around it when I do. I don’t wish it any harm; in fact, I’m rather grateful to it and its cohorts for reforming my habits a bit. Knowing what a lousy housekeeper I am, the universe has found a way to get at least a little spring cleaning out of me by means of a few (thousand) humble ants.