I have learned that ants don't like their hills to be stood upon or flooded.
I discovered this important fact of life when I was watering my azaleas who looked about ready to succumb to the heat we are currently having combined with a lack of regular watering while we were out of town. Thirty eight bites later, I have concluded that these must have been fire ants due to their aggressive defense of home sweet home and the fact that I am still itching and sore more than 48 hours later after the "Great Battle of the Hill" as I am sure it will be known in their ant history text books.
What the ant historians do not yet know though, is the significance of this battle. This is not just a simple, one time battle but much more akin to an inciting incident and could also be the new ant Pearl Harbor. I am now on a vendetta because this particular hill happens to be a little to close for comfort to my children's swing set. Am currently planning a run to Lowe's to pick up fire ant insecticide. Like I said in an earlier post, apparently my commitment to being green only goes so far...
As I was lying in bed last night, trying with all my might to resist scratching all these little and not so little bites, I was incredibly grateful that the kids had not discovered the hill of horrors under all the pine straw first since I know they would be even more miserable than I am. Kids can't deal with stuff like adults can.
It took me back to the time when I was in kindergarten and I came down with Chicken Pox and all I wanted to do was scratch but due to the ever watchful eyes of my parents, I was prohibited. I remember my baby sister rolling on the carpet trying to find some relief and my toddler brother trying to sneak scratches. Later, our youngest brother came along and he was blessed to be one of the earliest recipients of the vaccine for Chicken Pox. I think the rest of us were a bit jealous that he would never have to earn his stripes, or spots rather, with this childhood milestone.
And now, after my ant encounter, am ever so glad for vaccines since Chicken Pox is one itchy adventure that both my boys and I will be happy to miss out on!