Friday, March 2, 2007

army ants

I believe I got Gab to post a picture of the army ants by our house. They look rather non-threatening I must admit. Never judge a book by its cover. Army ants eat everything in they cross. I have heard stories of them eating whole chickens, parrots, babies and anything smaller than those leaving only the bones. They travel in long lines and when their line is disturbed they scattered to best defend the attacker. So if let's say Leah walks in a line of army ants they will immediately scramble up her legs to her waist and start pinching. It is supposedly quite painful. Their method of attack is to use claws to pinch at the skin. They stay stuck until they are pulled off or the chunk of skin is separated from its owner. If the get into a house your best off to move out for the couple of days it takes them to clean the house out of bugs, bats and other critters.

My story starts late Monday evening. I had been reading my book, as it was my afternoon off, when an explosion of furry tore through the front door. Leah had come upon multitudes of army ants and was in a bit of a panic. They were covering the road to our house. She proceeded to tell me every gory army ant story she knew.

Monday night: My malaria pills give my some pretty strange dreams the night after taking them. So Monday night the army ants were making a feast of me. Was really tired the next morning.

Tuesday: Leah notified Mr. P of the encroaching predators.

Wednesday, after Birthday Party, in the dark: We were running home along the road hoping that if we did step in a line of the ants they wouldn't be able to react fast enough to climb up us. We safety arrived at our house and took our time entering and putting our away pieces of our costume. We made it to the hallway and Leah starting jumping up and down and yelping at me to get her dress off her. It was a longer than floor length dress from the attic. I yelped at her to stop jumping so I could manage the zipper. In went the dress to the tub. It was covered in big juicy ants. They were also all over the bathroom floor. Leah started filling the tub with water to try drowning the ones in there and I got my trainers to wallop the ones on the floor. All this was accomplished while we were hoping around so no more would attack us. Leah got around 4 bites and we counted about 30 ants in the tub the next morning. I ran out to the kitchen to see if there were any in there. There was a line all along the outside of the house right in front of the door, and a smattering of other confused ants that had been swept along by Leah's dress to various part of the house.

There was no way either of us were spending the night in that house. By this time the ants in the bathroom had started marching up and down behind the sink. Mr. and Mrs. P let us stay at their place overnight so we packed up. How to lock the door with a line of ants precisely where I needed to stand? First I dosed them with bug spray. (I bought 4 bottles of it for something!) It didn't kill them but it did stun them. Leah shone the flashlight at my feet to watch for attempts at climbing me while I locked the door. We both were jumping up and down and swatting phantom itches along our legs so the process took a while. (Note: it's very hard to watch someone's feet while your flashlight is bobbing up and down.)

The next morning the maintenance crew hunted down the anthill and dosed it with petrol. Then they found the marauding ants and burnt them. Our house is safe- for now. I also have my trusty rubber boots, doused with bug spray, that will hopefully stun any attempts at attack.


sms said...

lol, als!! that made me laugh!! sounds like you:) hey, have u gotten a tan yet?? im acking for one, im paler the a piece of white paper!!!love u lots!!

krista said...

this is very strange. i can actually feel them crawling all over me. well, not actually all over me. one just bit me on the elbow, that's all.
so you managed to escape unscathed??? i thought leah has been there for a while! - what business does she have getting all squirmish about army ants?? that's the business of you rookies!!

cand said...

love the boots idea

Gab said...

african army ants are resilient to canadian bug spray?