Cyndi: What was the commotion on the front porch about a little while ago?
Marcus: Oh, that was Jan dropping a 3.5 pound bag of fire ant killer on her big toenail.
Cyndi: I'm glad I don't go outside. It seems this is a bad year for fire ants.
Marcus: Yes, new mounds are popping up all over. A week or so ago, Jan decided to level the lawn beside a corner at the end of our walk. She reached down, grabbed two handfuls of grass and yanked. She then had two handfuls of grass and dirt - and her left hand covered with fire ants. And not a mound in sight!
Cyndi: Ouch. That must have hurt. Those bites not only sting, they blister.
Marcus: She brushed them off, came inside, washed her hands, and massaged several drops of tea tree oil all over her hand. She had so many bites her whole hand burned.
Cyndi: So that's why she went on a mad killing spree.
Marcus: Yep, she killed every mound she could find.
Cyndi: If all the mounds are gone, why did she drop the bag of killer on her toe?
Marcus: It's been raining a lot and this morning she found new mounds being dug all over the yard. She spent the afternoon "edging" the jungle growing over our front walk. Pulled all that grass and the weeds by hand. There was a fresh fire ant mound on each side and about a half dozen more around the yard.
Cyndi: No wonder she was so tired! Counting fire ant mounds must be hard work.
Marcus: According to her, edging the walk was harder. She got down to the end, yanked some weeds out of a crack, and suddenly she had fire ants inside her left glove.
Cyndi: How did that happen?
Marcus: Those things are furtive, sneaky. We went mound hunting in the evening to kill the new mounds.
Cyndi: Wouldn't it be easier to kill the fire ants?
Marcus: That's what I meant. They sure seem to be hard to kill, though. Jan said she thinks there is some kind of fire ant telegraph system and when those in a mound are killed, a message goes out to distant relatives to come hold a funeral and then they just decide to stay.
Cyndi: In that case, we'll never get rid of all the fire ants.
Marcus: Of course, it could be that fire ants are like cats. Sometimes, for reason unknown, cats just pack up and move next door or down the street.
Cyndi: Jan has some totes in the closet. Do you think if we offer each new mound a free tote, the ant's will move to the neighbors next door that don't like us?
Taylor: Excuse me, but do you cats remember the tree limbs Jan cut down recently? ( Sawing Branch as Percy Turns 14. And Let There Be Light.
) Imagine our surprise to find Jan mentioned (instead of us Funny
Farmer Felines) in a Mousebreath article. You might want to stop by to
read Yard Waste Transformed into Cat Furniture. What a nifty idea for a cat tree.
Jan was all for cutting down that last branch she's been eyeing, but putting a cat tree together with screws is a bit above her coordination level. Besides, we're all out of log screws. (Anyone know what a log screw is?)