Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dead Ants and Tomatoes

This post title sounds a little nuts, but I assure you, they are actually two separate thoughts. Although, now that I think about it, it sounds like I could have written about finding dead ants in our tomatoes....

Ok, moving on! First up is a pic of the latest crop of tomatoes. I've picked about ten of them so far, not including the green one my neighbor's three year old grabbed while Wyatt was showing off the tomatoes a few weeks ago. I surreptitiously handed it to his father after he was reprimanded and he told me later it did turn red for them. I think these four are going in homemade mac'n'cheese tonight along with the fresh broccoli I need to use up soon.

I do have to pick them when they start to turn yellow, though. The birds here love tomatoes, and leaving them to ripen on the vine means they get holes pecked into them. They do the same thing to the peppers, sadly, so no red peppers anymore. I could rig some kind of netting and a neighbor offered us some, but I'd have to build a frame first and that is just escaping me on how to go about doing that. So, we just pick them early and it's fine.

This pic is all about the ants. Living on a tropical island, ants are just part of the landscape here. I mean both in and out of the house. It drove me crazy for the first few months, and I was always trying to eradicate them. I realize I don't keep the cleanest of houses, and I never get the dishes done up every night, but we never had a bug problem in Washington. Granted, this may in part me because there just weren't many bugs there (a very nice part of living there), but I'd like to think we aren't bug-magnets despite the lack of a perfectly clean house.

After complaining about the constant ant incursions to a couple neighbors one night, they both nodded their heads and said it didn't didn't matter what we did, the ants would still keep coming. We have even found them in the bathtub - apparently, it's the water they are mostly after, not the food crumbs (although they are quite delighted to bring their friends when we oblige them). At this point, we mostly ignore them, but put out ant traps when we seem to be getting a nest.

This is what is going on in this picture - I put out the lid to a Ben and Jerry's carton with some Terro Ant Killer on it. I'm all about recycling out here, and the ice cream was an added draw, I figured. (Note the half-empty bottle of Terro. I'm sure this is only the first of many more bottles we buy during our years here.) I kept adding more Terro over the next couple of days, and we ended up with an ant graveyard all over our window sill. I left them there, figuring I'd clean it all up when I was done with the trap, but it seems ants like to bury their own (or maybe they are cannibals?). They were nearly all gone one morning, which is actually what prompted this pic. It was kind of weird.

And, well, that's about all I have to say about that. I keep thinking I need a punchline or something profound, but I got nothing people. Just an ice cream lid full of dead ants. Maybe I should go take care of that now...

1 sonar pings:

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah. Ants. We had the little buggers in Singapore too. We couldn't leave anything out. Once, I watched them carry a small piece of scrambled egg up the wall. It was fascinating, really. And the roaches. Ugh. Yep, thanks for the reminder. I like living in Washington.