Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Little Green Monsters

You guys know how I'm always having problems with dying myself unnatural colors right? I've outdone myself. Really.

A couple days ago I was pulling a shirt out of my closet, when I noticed a little black ant sitting on the shoulder of the hanger. Gross. I had no idea how it got there, but given the amount of time Wes and I spend outside I figured we must have brought it in with us.

Later that day I went to pull out a sweater and noticed another ant on the shoulder. Um... 12 times grosser, because clearly one is a fluke and two is an indication of a situation. Especially since I can't imagine ants see anything especially nice about the shoulders of my clothes, so there are sure to be more elsewhere. I made a mental note that when Cam got home it would be time for an investigation.

Cam got home and I was putting away some stuff in the kitchen. I found a cake decorating tip that belonged with my other tools upstairs. Just the week before I'd packed up all my cake decorating tools for our move and stored them... in my closet.

As I pulled down the box I realized it was crawling with ants. I ran it down to the kitchen and started washing off the ants. I just want to make it clear that I clean all my tools well- the ants had found a little icing on a piece of paper, and apparently the lid to my green food coloring was not screwed on tightly enough and they were LOVING it. I cleaned everything. Throughly. And then went upstairs to clear everything else out of the closet.

We started pulling things out from around where the box was, discovering dozens of ants. When smashed, each ant would ooze an astonishingly vibrant green. Cam, who would smash an ant with his fingers if a rag wasn't handy soon had green spots dyed all over his fingers.

So as you can see, we had a unique problem. I managed to dye our ant invasion green. Ants crawling all over our clothes and everything else in our closet, but if we smashed them they spewed green dye.

I was too busy to get a picture on Friday, so the picture below is of an ant I smashed on Monday, after the coloring had been cleaned up for over 3 days... he was still quite green, but only half as 'plump' if that's the right word, the earlier ones had twice as much green area when smashed.

Of course, this meant we couldn't simply dump all our clothes in the wash to be free of the problem, because they might come out spotted green. Our system quickly became grab a few items, run over to the bathtub, and shake violently. Then smash any and all ants that fell off. Wes thought this system was hilarious and would stand over the tub and point them out as they fell and yell "Mash it!" Then we'd toss the "shaken" clothes in the wash. Cam's suits and such we inspected THROUGHLY before putting them in a safe pile on our bed.

We were at this most of the aftenevening (yeah, I just made that a word), got Wes to bed and thought we were in the clear by about 11pm. I was about to get in bed when I saw an ant in our bed. I told Cam and he said, "I see it too..." then I looked at him, realized he was looking in a completely different spot, and knew there was no way I was sleeping in that bed.

A brief discussion followed about our options. We only have one couch. And our air mattress was in Wesley's closet under a stack of mason jars. Risking an unhappy Wes, we snuck into his room and team-lifted out the air mattress (with jars stacked on top). We blew it up with my hairdryer since there would be no finding a pump in the dark.

I slept terribly on the air mattress and woke up at least 5 times between when we got to bed at midnight, and when Wes got up at a cheery 6:30 AM. However, I'll count that as infinitely better than waking up with ants crawling on my face.

The next day we washed EVERYTHING. That night my mom brought over some super ant killer and we got everything good and sprayed and saw no more ants in the closet. Of course, afterwards Cam read the label which said to ventilate the area and keep out for awhile... so we had another night on the air mattress (I ended up on the couch). Cam and I had a discussion about our situation, and realized that as far as pest problems go, that we'd take green-oozing ants over anything else we could think of. Besides, it's kind of funny, right?

*Note* For all concerned parties, no ants (green or otherwise) have been spotted since Monday. And if they do come back for my other colors, I have a yellow to spare.


  1. Wow you really can't make that story up. Glad all is well now! I hate ants!

  2. This reminds me of a time we were visiting M&A in Kentucky. They were invaded by flying termites. They were drownding them in bathtub water and vacuuming them up, even on the top shelves in the kitchen. As I look back, it was pretty funny too!