Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Pesky Pests

I have two major pests in my life right now.

No! Not them!


And these:

I can't really decide which of these pests is driving me further up the wall. But my nearly every waking moment is spent trying to figure out how to get these guys right out of my life.

I have decided that raccoons may be further up the intelligence chain than I have ever given them credit for. It seems that no matter what I do, they figure out how to get into my trash cans and shred everything inside beyond all recognition. We have talked to all the experts at Home Depot and Lowe's and Ace Hardware, and we purchased top of the line locking lid trash containers. We have consulted the Internet experts and have laced the trash bags with cayenne pepper. We have even gone so far as to make pouring ammonia around the trash area a routine part of our nighttime rituals, along with locking the doors and starting the dishwasher.

And still...

(do you see how they laugh at me?)

After I make my way upstairs in the evening, I open my bedroom window so that I can be on alert for the sounds of the trash cans being rocked back and forth and the lids being unlocked, turned, and tugged off. This is when I make my move. I creep up to the window beside the bed and with a great deal of ferociousness and umph, I bark. Loudly. Like a dog. Like a really, really big mean dog. Until my throat is scratchy and my eyes hurt. Usually this frightens our real-life little dog, asleep in her kennel, more than it deters the demon critters from uncovering the leftover scrambled eggs and peanut butter sandwich scraps in our trash. Oh, don't get me wrong, the lunatic barking usually makes the raccoons pause for a brief nanosecond (they are probably not really pausing, but more like laughing their own secret little raccoon laugh at me), but then they go right back to their midnight snack.

Last night, I tried something new:

Yep, that is the kid's soccer goal thingy, turned so that the netting covers the trash cans, with one of the recycling containers balanced on top. I am hoping that the slightly more difficult access will prompt the pests to move on down the road and rip through someone else's garbage. Kind of like putting the Snicker's bars in the very bottom of the deep freeze so that you forget about them and then if you do happen to find them, it just might seem like more trouble than it is worth to wait for them to thaw and eat.

So far, it's working. (The soccer goal contraption, that is. Not so much with the whole chocolate hiding thing.)

I'll keep you posted.

Then there are the ants.

(This is where I would put in a picture of an ant making it's way towards my sugar bowl, but um, well, the ants are being a little camera shy this morning and even though I went through the kitchen with my camera all ready saying things like "here, anty, anty, come out, come out, where ever you are" in a really high pitched voice, they didn't come out. But the dog thought I was playing some weird game that involved a treat - go figure).

They say everything is bigger in Texas, but Lordy, in all my Texas years I have never seen ants the size of these. They first showed up about a month ago, and apparently they like the place. So far they seem to be confined to the kitchen. Now I know most people would think that this is really a no-brainer - bug spray, right? But here's the deal. About a year ago I went out for Chinese food and my fortune cookie contained a quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln that went along the lines of "an ant's life is a sweet to it, as ours is to us" or something like that. Anyway, it makes it hard for me to kill an ant. I mean, I really don't mind them outside, doing the things that ants do. I just don't want them inside my house - inside my kitchen. It's just a little gross, you know?

And scooping them up and throwing them outside just isn't working. They keep coming back. And they seem to be multiplying. Maybe my kitchen is the new Club Med for ants. I don't know. I think we are going to have to spray some sort of chemical to get rid of them. I am hoping we can find something that repels, more than extinguishes them, because I sure don't want a bunch of dead ants messing with my karma.

And that's the thing, I guess. The ants, the raccoons, bees, mud, the laundry, my sister-in-law, and all of the other pesky things in my life - I don't want them gone off the face of the earth for all eternity and forever, but away from my own personal reality, for just a little bit, would sure be nice.


Matt said...

Here is a website that i visit regularly. Maybe it will give you some ideas about the coon problem.

Candi said...

Ewww! BBQ Raccoon? Now that is just gross! Next you'll be telling me how to serve up some roasted armadillo or sweet and sour squirrel meat!

Anita said...

I wouldn't give away your secret just yet - if it works you may be the next big hit on HSN! You could name it the thingy!

Carl R said...

For the raccoons, try bungee cords on the lidswith little holes drilled in em for the hooks. I also liked to splash not ammonia, but clorox, raw on lid tops and around base they hate it.

For ants, buy the granules and sprinkle aroudn the foundation of the house and water in. Repeat each week. Then get soem combat ant spikes and place then every 10 feet 4 boxes should do it. Works 2 miles away....:)

Mrs. G. said...

We battled ants for nine months. It was horrible. But I don't like raccoons either. This is a lose/lose. Good luck. You're inventive.

Suburban Correspondent said...

TERRO! It works on ants. And it doesn't use pesticides. Kills them, though, sorry!

Maybe those big ants are part of that huge Argentinian colony that is taking over the world. In which case I do recommend being ruthless.