Making Peace with Ants

Got ants?!… .. ….. …….  .. … ….  .. ….. . . … ….  …… … ….   ..   ……..  ..

OK…it’s the drought. It’s the rain. It’s global warming. No really, it’s those ineffective ant stakes. Or just Mother Nature (uh oh, I guess I should be sayin’ Mother & Father Nature, given the preponderance of sexual reproduction & all). Whatever. They’re here, they’re relentless, & apparently I’ve got to keep working on (yet another) lesson in acceptance.

My ants (yes, I’m starting to feel some kinship with them…) are enforcing this lesson – we are all in this together on the home planet.

Our particular home technically qualifies as historic – it was built in 1960. I could try to seal up every minuscule space in the moulding, the gaps behind the dishwasher, the weathered seals on those old french doors…yeah right.

Maybe this recent ant invasion is because they’re that dreaded Argentinian species – tiny like the other, more familiar ones, but even more determined, with multiple queens overseeing this current Live Oak Avenue population explosion. I guess we should be happy they’re not the seriously scary army ants who live on other continents (because ants live everywhere except Antarctica… just you wait though, once the ice melts I’m sure they’ll find a happy home there, too).

I’m actually getting used to that subtle but slightly sickening sensation of a wayward ant creeping along my arm, or who knows where else – that human primate ability for accommodation is definitely useful at the moment. & I totally enjoyed the movie Ant Man – a likable human harnessing collective ant intelligence to challenge the dark side – we should all be so lucky.

Did you know that if you weighed all the ant bodies in the whole world & compared it with the biomass of all other terrestrial animals/insects/birds/reptiles/etc, the ant biomass would be 15-25% of the total? When you think of it that way, it’s no wonder they’re roaming here right on my desk, or using their ant-enae (or body odor or whatever other amazing communication strategies they’ve evolved in order to be the highly successful species they are) to tell their fellow ants where that omg overlooked minuscule crumb of [something apparently edible] is located on my otherwise immaculate counter.

The renowned biologist Edward O. Wilson once said: “Ants have the most complicated social organization on earth next to humans.” Since human primates nearly always assume we take the gold for ‘intelligence’ on this planet, it’s probably not a bad idea to pay at least a teeny bit more attention to those guys who are hands down winning the silver.

…because hey, they’re even doing it without guns & Facebook.

…  …  . .   ..  ……  …..   .. ..  ….  … .  …….  …… …  … … ……   … .. …


This entry was posted in A Warming Planet, Just an Everyday Life, Our Primate Nature and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Making Peace with Ants

  1. Jean Brocklebank says:

    Delightful, Linda. Love it! Love the whole essay. Especially your final thought on what ants do — “…because hey, they’re even doing it without guns & Facebook.”

  2. Lindaab says:

    I hate ants. Sorry. I just do. I will not make peace with them on my house. The have the whole outdoors. Leave me in peace.

  3. ziggyrb says:

    we just had our house tented to get rid of termites….never had an ant problem. now we do.
    someone said they fight it out…so the good news is, you probably don’t have a terrible termite infestation or you would not have all the ants. just sayin’

  4. liveoaklinda says:

    & just in case you really can’t stand it: a little bit of borax w a tad of sugar & water seems to provide a breather for humans in the household.

Please let me know what you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.