Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Help me win the battle against tiny marauders

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They're baaaack!

And, for once, I am not talking about mice. No, I am proud to report that our home, thanks to the courage and intestinal fortitude I demonstrated in picking up the phone and calling the number for a professional pest-control service, we have remained proudly mouse-free for more than a year.

It is an incredibly liberating feeling. If, for example, I decided to deliberately plop a delicious freshly baked cupcake on the floor of our kitchen, do you know what would happen? Yes, one of our three dogs would snork it down in a (bad word) heartbeat, but that's not the point.

The point I am trying to make is a delicious cupcake parked on our floor would be perfectly safe from mice, which is comforting.

What is not comforting, on the other hand, is staring out the window at our lawn, which currently resembles the pimply face of a sugar-addicted teenager, except instead of unsightly blemishes, our lawn is marred by disgusting mounds of earth that, day and night, spew forth an army of marauding ants the size of mature grapefruits.

It's the same story every year: As soon as the snow disappears, the ants in our yard poke their heads out of their mounds, waggle their antennae in a threatening manner and begin the slow, inexorable march in the general direction of our kitchen.

"We are coming for your cupcakes and there is nothing you can do to stop us," is the cruel telepathic warning they send us every spring.

And the ants are right. We have tried (extremely bad word) everything to wipe them off the face of our lawn, which now resembles the Australian outback, whereas all our neighbours have immaculately manicured yards groomed by crackerjack teams of lawn professionals wielding power mowers and hedge trimmers like precision drill teams.

The truth is, I have tried everything short of a flamethrower to kill these ants. I have not tried nuclear weapons yet, but the ants in our yard are clearly not fazed when, in a fit of righteous homeowner rage, I drive my gas-powered mower over their mounds, sending clods of dirt and tiny legs and antennae flying in the air.

"There's nothing you can do, puny human!" they shriek in response. "There are just too many of us!"

But there is one thing I can do. Yes, when the going gets tough, the tough hold a contest. So what I want you to do, is to look deep into your hearts, then email me your most lethal methods for killing ants.

I am counting on your innovative ideas to save the day. I will review every entry, publish a bunch I find amusing, then select the one I believe has the best chance of bringing mass destruction to the marauders in my backyard and award that creative genius a fabulous prize of my own choosing.

I cannot say at this precise moment what that fabulous prize will be, but off the top of my head, cupcakes sound nice.

doug.speirs@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 28, 2012 A2

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