Dear (urbanite) Son:
The annual August ant invasion has finally passed, almost—the joys of living in a 130-year-old all-wood house sans insulation. I don’t know what’s going on with Black Flag. The label says “Kills on Contact,” but some of them just seem to swim through it. Maybe Black Flag has changed the recipe, or the ants have built up immunity?
After a couple of weeks of spraying I bought some ant traps. This morning I put one of the traps on an open shelf where their path still straggles by. After a bit there were ants crawling all over it. Against all instincts I did not spray although I had bought a different brand of aerosol insecticide as well. The box said they would take the bait back to their nest and it would wipe out the colony. By this afternoon there were only a few ants—two or three on the trap and a couple on the wall—so it appears to be working. Hooray! Or it could just be the end of ant invasion season, i.e. the peak of summer heat which they are just trying to get out of.
Speaking of pests, I forgot to tell you I found a huge, black widow spider living in an upside down plastic tree pot this spring. I expect it was full of babies or eggs. I squished it with whatever garden tool I happened to have on hand. Remember that little dead one you found a couple of summers ago when you were working under the house. Maybe it was a male because it was a lot smaller than this one. Like I said, it was a good thing I had the whole house tented and fumigated a few months before your visit.
I just happened to think of that because today I found my very first scorpion, in the Tupperware drawer, in a Tupperware dish, alive and well until I scalded it and flushed it down the toilet. My research says California scorpions can give a nasty sting, but are not deadly.
Got to get back to planting my winter garden. Looking forward to your holiday visit.