Southern Ways Tennessee

Southern Ways: Vol. 3.

July 17, 2015
Today I’m giving you a glimpse into a situation that is far from picture perfect. I’m letting you in on the “real life” experience I’ve had this past week, because I HAVE TO TELL SOMEONE. 
While I’m not an official germaphobe (although I’m pretty dang close), I am definitely a bugaphobe, a hundred times over. And no one warned me when we moved to Tennessee that ants are “a thing” here. Like, a big thing. I won’t go into details (because I’d cry) but let me just tell you- the ants did not skip our house this summer. We’ve had a bug guy come to our home monthly since we moved in (again, bugaphobe) but apparently July and August are “big months” for these tiny devils, and three days after the bug guy sprayed our house, the ants came back with a vengeance. Basically, I went through an entire bottle of Raid in one night. (I’m not exaggerating.)

I was up until 2am on Sunday killing these suckers and then up at 5am Monday morning killing more because they JUST. KEPT. COMING. It was like a horror film! (And I’m not going to lie- for a split second I wondered how wrong it would be to start drinking at 5am… because in the song they don’t clarify AM or PM.) (I didn’t do it, don’t worry.) Then I spent the entire day cleaning, scrubbing, washing rugs, etc. And then I killed more of them on Tuesday. I swear, I was obsessed – freaking out with each new ant I found, yelling out loud “DIE! DIE!” while outside. (Apologies to our neighbors.) I’d already called the bug guy first thing Monday morning but the earliest they could get back out to our house wasn’t until Wednesday afternoon… so it would be up to me to take matters into my own hands until he could get over here. Are you starting to worry for me? Because you should, for the love.  Jesus, take the wheel! 

I jumped in the car first thing Wednesday morning, heading straight to Home Depot with plans to RUN to the bug spray aisle. When I got there, I was surprised to see literally 14 other people (yes, I counted. #fortheblog) – feeling almost relieved to know that no, it wasn’t just our house. (This is a whole other story about me trying to convince Christian our house was cursed.) I watched each person as they carefully looked at the 4 rows of bug killer, and then watched each person choose their poison (see how that worked in there?) and then “casually” put the same items in my own cart. A few things here, mkay? 1. I was acting like a complete psycho, watching these people choose their bug spray, and 2. if you didn’t know one could casually put ant killer into a cart, well now you do. 
Oh, and 3. Please note that yes, I took this photo while standing in the bug spray aisle. #fortheblog
I drove home with the windows down, laughing as loud as I could – kind of like the wicked witch in Wizard of Oz. I got home, walked into the kitchen with my 3 full bags, took one look at Christian and said, “THEY ARE GOING DOWWWWWN.” He looked at me with wide eyes and said, “Em, you’re acting totally crazy” and he was right but it was too late for me to recover from any of it. I quarantined The Babes, put on gloves and a mask and I. WENT. TO. TOWN. Never in a million years did I think I would take so much joy in bug bombing ants, but I did. 
You can bet your booty I poured myself a glass of wine at 5PM while X bluntly said to me, “This is the south, Em. You’d better just deal!” Yes, well now that I have all of my cans of bug spray and this glass of wine, I will deal just fine. The adventure didn’t stop there either. Thursday was more cleaning. By the evening I was calling myself Cinderella (pre-fairy godmother, obviously).

Can you tell it’s been one heck of a week?! I’m planning on getting out of the house this weekend… I think it’s imperative at this point. Happy weekend!

Need to catch up on this series? Vol. 1, Vol. 2

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  • I've lived in Texas my whole life and still freak out about bugs, wasps in particular. And I have been known to do the same thing you did when I'm trying to get rid of them, yelling die as I spray them to death. Hopefully you're ant problem is solved now!

  • It would take the whole bottle of wine for me to deal with that! My goodness,it's like the little guys knew you were declaring war and sent in the rest of the troops! You are not alone, most women don't tolerate bugs. Good luck! I hope you win the war.

  • We get ants every spring and I hate it! The centipedes were new this week… Must be all the rain! From one southerner to another- have a glass of bourbon next time. That will really calm your nerves. πŸ˜‰ Hope you have a relaxing weekend!

  • Oy! Our ants have been bad up in MT also but the earwigs and spiders have been insane. I have never had a bug guy but after my mom and sister got bit by hobo spiders my dad insisted we all get sprayed. Well I have had an excess of earwigs and spiders in my house. I swear it attracted them. My stupid little tomcat sticky boards worked just fine. The bug guy has sprayed twice and nothing lol.
    I feel you (though my ants have stayed outside -spiders and earwigs tho ugh)

  • Last year we had an ant issue and I cried and cried because I thought I failed as a home owner. Man oh man, I HATE bugs! I found a bee under my pillow last week (yes, IN THE BED, UNDER MY PILLOW… and I definitely discovered him the hard way… my arm was swollen for a week) and flipped out. We have an old house (est. 1922) and I know that bugs get in sometimes, but I told K that I was calling a bug guy. He promptly told me to chill out. Hahaha.

  • Hahahaha. Oh my goodness. Luckily, we've never had an ant problem in our house. ***knock on wood*** Do you get the outside of your house lined? We have like a serious ant barrier our bug guy puts up a few times a year.

  • Katie @ A Beautiful Little Adv

    Haha, thanks for the laugh! I hear it's been a really bad summer for ants. We have them like crazy too, including in our second floor bedroom, WAH?! One tip that has worked for us: Douse a paper towel in vinegar, lay it on the counter and pour salt around the perimeter of it. It works! (at least in this ant house).

  • Oh my gosh I'd be right there with you, attacking with relish! We have a major boxelder beetle problem…and they get in like gangbusters!! We've sprayed with stuff that's supposed to work for 3 Mos minimum but these suckers are feisty. I'm determined to win. Have called the professionals….I'm not chasing down beetles all day errrry day all winter long again!!! Insect hating solidarity, sister!!!

  • I am sending this post to one of my best friends. I feel like you two could take on all the ants in the world.

  • Jack

    I have been battling carpenter ants over here! I have been very spirited their demise! I have done wayyyy too much research on ants, integrated pest management, and safety in the home. What species are you dealing with? Also, if you have pets or children, I suggest contacting the national pesticide information center, which will guide you through methods and whether a product is ok. Google them and you'll find a call number. I'm in deep w this ant stuff… They drive me nuts. Also, if you have a peanut allergy, the raid bait has peanut butter in it (but isn't labeled). I'm rambling, as my head is rattling with a million thoughts about ants! I wish you the best of luck in your battle!

  • I'm literally dying of laughter here!! Yep, unfortunately they're very common in the south in the summer months. And just wait! If it gets too dry (little rain), they'll be invading your house even more. Oh and guess what! If there's TOO MUCH rain, they'll invade your house even more. It's a lose-lose I tell ya lol! I do think the ants and I have become friendly. We have an understanding that if they don't touch my toothbrush, then I'll let them pass on by. Welcome to the south!

  • the ants in the south are insane!!!! i was at my in-laws in texas and i opened a kitchen drawer and there were literally hundreds (okay maybe like 102 but still) little sort of clear tiny ants EVERYWHERE. needless to say i panicked….

  • this just made me crack up! I would be the same way, bugs just make me feel icky and like things are crawling on me. and i would be with you, ants at 5am = wine at 5am! good luck over there! xx

  • *shudder* I HATE BUGS. One time I had an ant infestation in my room that was terrible, and I went to take a shower to get rid of the heebie-jeebie feeling they were giving me. But THEY WERE ON ME. I was literally washing ants off of my body! I was traumatized.

  • I am laughing and alternately feeling your pain. Those little things are insane. Welcome to the South! Hope it's a great weekend for you.

  • Oh my goodness Em…you are cracking me up! Ants are so darn hard to get rid of. One time when Jordan was about 3 she came into the bathroom one morning and her face was all swollen. I went into her room and was horrified to find her bed filled with ants. They were filing in from the electrical outlet!!! Crazy

  • haha! Thanks, Ashley! They are gone… for now πŸ˜‰

  • Seriously, Michelle- I'm telling you THEY DID. They spread the word. In the end, I won πŸ˜‰

  • ohhhhh no centipedes! gah! Will definitely try the bourbon. Thanks, friend πŸ™‚

  • omg there's no way I could take spiders, Brittany!!! I'd be moving! ha!

  • NOOOOOOOO!!!!! You are kidding me!!! Oh, girl. That is terrifying! (I'll be searching under my pillow tonight, haha!)

  • So glad you're not dealing with them, Ash!! Yes- we get the outside and inside sprayed once a month!

  • It's crazy – and you know if you see one, hundreds are surely on their way haha! Thanks for the suggestion, Katie!

  • Yes, I've heard 3 months as well but it never seemed to work so I just have the guy come out monthly… and clearly sometimes even that doesn't work! It's the only reason I'm ready for cooler weather!

  • I'm telling you- I think we need to make t-shirts.

  • No idea what species, Jack – I'm not about to google these suckers haha! I can't even take the pictures. Fortunately they seem to be gone for the time being. I'd never heard of the peanut butter in Raid?! That's crazy!

  • Exactly what month do they go back under ground, Kel?!?! I need a countdown!

    (Since you're the ant whisperer, come over here and tell them to leave me alone!!) πŸ˜‰

  • Oh Chelsea… that is horrifying!!! And yet at the same time, kinda makes me feel better to know it's not just me! πŸ˜‰

  • Yes, thank you, Kristen! 5 o'clock is 5 o'clock!! πŸ˜‰

  • They are all soooo yucky! (Weekend has been ant-free YAY!)

  • So glad someone's day was made through all of this, Jae! haha!! πŸ™‚

  • STOP IT, NO. gah!!!! I would have been traumatized too!

  • Weekend has been great, Sheryl!! πŸ™‚ Thank you!

  • SHELLY!!!!!!!!!! I just cannot. I told Christian, it's a good thing our little babe isn't here yet because I would have moved out to a hotel for a week or something. Especially after hearing this story from you! haha!!

  • That is one thing about the South that I'm positive I will never like. Some of the bugs here look like they belong in Jurassic Park. No Thank You!

  • Oh lordy!!! I hateeeee ants!!! And that top comment about the ants in the child's bed – NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE. That would be time to wage all out complete and utter war. Also – borax with sugar water – if you put it in something kids/animals cant get to, but bugs can and then just let the ants go for a day (i know, its so utterly hard to let it go – but it works!) they will take the poison BACK TO THE NEST and there it will kill the WHOLE ANT ARMY.

    Also – this makes me laugh now – but my jerky ex once left his cheerios on the counter overnight (opened a new box but didn't put it into the tupperware cereal thing, just left it on the counter). Got up the next morning and had a huge bowl. I get up and go to make my coffee and see ants, realize they're going to the box, open up the CHeerios and ANTS! SO MANY ANTS. The ex blew it off like it wasn't a big deal cause he made fun of me for making a big deal (like you) about bugs in the house (we lived in Florida – the cockroaches – ohhhhhhh the cockroaches πŸ™ ugh). But I hope he felt a teeny bit queesy and disgusted. muahahaha.

  • And yes, I definitely maniacally laugh and yell DIE SUCKERS DIE when I'm waging war on the suckers too. Oh and, I totally would go outside and pour leftover borax mix INTO the ant nests. πŸ™‚

  • Oh girl, I've been there and I feel your pain! Ants are the absolute worst.

  • Hahaha! If I remember correctly, they tend to leave the homestead around Septemberish for us. Just remind them who's boss. LOL!

  • We don't get ants that often, but when we do, I'm the same. Cray! A couple weeks ago I found billions of ants in Coco's food bowl. I couldn't find ant spray anywhere so I grabbed a bottle of winde and went to town drowning ants.

  • Jurassic Park, haha!! So true!!

  • haha!!! Oh man, ants in the Cheerios is such a sad way to start out the day!! πŸ˜‰ If I had a dollar for every time I heard the phrase, "they'll take the poison back to the nest" I'd be a millionaire, ha! Even the word nest – I can't. It makes me cry.

  • So glad I'm not alone in this, Katy! πŸ˜‰

  • The WORST, Emily!

  • hahah – when I ran out of Raid I drowned them with windex too. Great minds.. πŸ˜‰

  • I do not miss the ants. Like, at all. But we did get a few in out kitchen because of all the rain this year. I was flipping out. Hubs just shook his head and walked away. Best to leave the crazy lady alone with her windex and rubber gloves.

  • haha! Yes, always best to just let the crazy lady do her thing πŸ˜‰

  • chall1018

    I can so relate to this post! We got ants really bad one summer and those stupid things even got into Mason's room/bed. One bit him on the face…a day before he was starting his new "school". Mason is allergic and swelled up like crazy. I felt like the worst Mama in the world and went a little psycho on those ants! Sorry you're having to deal with this, too!

  • Poor Mason!!! And poor Mama! Oh man, i would have TOTALLY been going psycho too! I hope you and I both have seen the last of the ants!