Move to the countryside, I thought. It will be peaceful, idyllic and your whole family will morph into a wholesome, happy family and look like they have stepped off the pages of Joules catalogue. So far I have been wrong on almost every front when it comes to my expectations of country life. Don’t get me wrong, I am loving it but it is certainly not quiet. Who knew birds were so noisy? Although, I could almost become a bird spotter. I became rather over excited when I spotted a robin the other day. My family also still remain rather messy and ramshackle in appearance. It turns out moving to the country didn’t make me more organised and I still dress my children in clothes that are decidedly creased (I’m not sure where the iron is, oh the shame).
We Have Housemates
However, the countryside might look idyllic, and on a lot of levels it is; there are no more pests like Barry scratching his balls on the balcony opposite. Instead, Barry has been replaced by real life pests. First of all we had Woodjie part 1, part 2, part 3, we are now on Woodjie part 22. Yes, this is the name Youngest gives the woodlouse. She has adopted lots of woodlouse and carefully placed them in her Lego home. Sounds rather sweet and lovely doesn’t it? Don’t be fooled because it’s really not. Youngest seems to have morphed into the Kathy Bates character from Misery and she will not let those woodlouse leave that Lego house. I now spend my days creeping through the house, rescuing and setting free miserable woodlouse.
I don’t mind the woodlouse and I was happy to let them amble their way around the house. What I wasn’t prepared for were the ants. Our landlord has told us to leave our conservatory (I say conservatory but it’s slightly a step-up from a glass lean-to) door open when the weather gets warmer. He believes that this will help our damp issues. I’m not convinced but who am I to argue? Well, last Tuesday saw the sun finally coming out and the temperatures were practically tropical. Therefore, being the well-behaved tenant that I am, I left the conservatory door open and went to go and work in the bedroom.
I spent the morning beavering away, meeting all of my deadlines and squeezing in a couple of episodes of the Netflix drama Love (if you haven’t seen it, you must). I then realised it was time to dash to school and pick the girls up. The sun was shining, the birds were singing and all felt well with the world…….until I stepped into the living room. In front of me was what looked like a massive wave of black. That wave of black was actually a tsunami of ants marching towards the kitchen. It was an ant Armageddon. I did what any sane person would do, I panicked and sent Mr C a WhatsApp message.
“Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuk. I’m under attack. Ant Armageddon. Send help. Tsunami of ants. What the feck do I do?”
I think Mr C thought I was exaggerating. I know what you are thinking, why would he ever dream that I would exaggerate ;-)? In the meantime I had hundreds and hundreds of ants heading towards my kitchen. I can only assume that they had sent an ant soldier out first who had probably followed a path of crumbs to the kitchen. My children are like Hansel and Gretel, constantly leaving a trail of bread and biscuit crumbs and I spend my days forever cleaning up after them; obviously not well enough. I made a note never to feed my children again (jokes) but to look into the price of a robot hoover who can follow my children around the house.
Google To The Rescue
A quick google later and I was building a wall of cloves and sprinkling cinnamon liberally around the living room. It seemed to work as the majority of them retreated into the hole in the conservatory skirting board. I then dashed to school, praying that the cloves and cinnamon would hold the ants at bay. On the way home I picked up ant traps and spray as clearly the landlord would not be happy with his living-room being turned into a spice cupboard. The girls were with me as I perused the options. Do I go for traps, spray or powder? All of a sudden I heard a gasp and I turned to see Youngest grasping a powder with a woodlouse on the front of it
“Mummy, you aren’t going to kill my Woodjies are you?”
“Nooooooo” I reassured her “Of course not, they can stay, it’s just the ants we need to get rid of”
“Oh that’s good mummy”
When we got home we set up the traps and I used powder on the outside of the house. The ant traps (touch wood) worked. What we didn’t realise is that they would bring out all the woodlouse too. The next morning Mr C and I went into the living room to find a wave of woodjies, legs in the air, very much dead. Not good; I had visions of Youngest becoming hysterical and we quickly had to hoover them up. The ants are now gone but we still have lots and lots of woodlouse. I am now on Woodjie watch. I have to intercept them before they go into the traps or before Youngest kidnaps them for her Lego home. But, I will happily take these insects over Barry balls any day.
Update – ant traps don’t work. Instead the ants are using the traps as some sort of podium! They stand on the top of them taunting me