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Austin Daddy's Corner

Saturday Project: “Kill The Bastards”

Fire ants
Image via Wikipedia

I’m generally pretty environmentally-friendly. All of God’s creatures work together to make our little world harmonious. If there’s a pest that I don’t want in my home/yard, push them away. They’re good to someone somewhere, right?

I say this to preface my latest “Saturday Project” that I’m entitling “Kill The Bastards”.

Yesterday, O and I went outside for three objectives in mind: 1. Take pictures of our yard; 2. Take pictures of O in her dress; 3. Get some additional outside time. On Saturday, our yard was “spring-cleaned”, so it was looking better than it has since we moved in. O was wearing a new dress for church on Sunday and O can’t get enough time outside. The perfect plan.

After we took the pictures, O was running around in the backyard as I began to fiddle with some outside lighting, trying to get the timer to work correctly. As I was going back and forth between the lights and the control panel, I noticed she was playing a bit closer to the AC unit than I think is good. I get closer and I see a number of fire ants running around.

Shit.

There’s no other word to use. She’s too little to have any idea what she’s standing on or what they’ll do.

Yes. She’s standing on top of a huge ant pile. To be honest, I can’t believe I hadn’t noticed it before, but it was hiding by the AC unit. We had a couple of mounds before, but I thought I spot-resolved them all. I run and scoop her up. Get to the back porch where I’m trying to get her shoes off and brush all of them off of her. Thankfully, it was cooler yesterday than it had been, so she was wearing pants under her dress. With her socks and all, it meant ants had to get all the way to her waste to get to her skin.

I was able to get the vast majority of the ants off of her while getting V to come out. V took her to the bathroom, took off all of her clothes and stuck her in the bathtub to make sure none were on her. My hands were eaten a bit by them, but O, from what we can tell, avoided being bitten.

I used to play SimAnt in 4th grade all of the time. I loved the game. Really bad at it, but I loved it. My education kicked in. Black ants are the good guys. The red ants are to be avoided at all costs. The major difference now is I’m not a simulated ant that need to avoid the reds. I am in the position to be a major player in these ants’ universe and they went after my little girl.

Game on.

Last night, I researched the City’s IPM program and A&M’s Fireant website. Yes, A&M has a whole site dedicated to management of fire ants. I’m a Longhorn, but this is where I trust Aggies. I’m developing a game plan to eliminate these little devils.

I’ll let y’all know how it goes.

By Brandon Kraft

My life is an open-source book.

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