On Saturday, July 2, David said to me, “What’s with all these ants?”
“What ants?” I said.
“They’re all over the place!”
“Around my computer, in the bathroom. They’re everywhere!”
“When did you start seeing them,” I asked.
“About three days ago,” he said.
“Why didn’t you tell me then?” I asked. “We have a contract with the bug people. They could have come out then. Now we’ll have to wait until after July 4th. And, I haven’t seen any ants.”
“Ants,” he said, just a little frustrated. “What ants?”
“You said you’d seen ants,” I said, getting a little testy, myself.
“I said, ‘GNATS,'” he said.
“Oh. Gnats. Well, yes,” I said. “I’ve seen a few gnats.”
But I hadn’t seen a lot of them. Turns out, that’s because I’m a senior adult woman with some senior adult-type vision problems. David could see them, pretty well. And when Kevin and April and Jeremy came, they could really see them. LOTS of them. EVERYWHERE.
They arrived on Monday morning, July 4, just ahead of the 4 additional guests we had invited for an Independence Day cookout. Yes, ten people for lunch; and a thousand gnats.
At one point, I was standing in the kitchen by the window. Kevin stood in front of me and said, “Turn around really slowly.” I did. “Tell me,” he said, “that you don’t see the hundred or so gnats in front of the window.” I did not. (They are TINY little things!)
So Kevin and Jeremy took turns walking around the kitchen with the Dust Buster, vacuuming up the wee (almost invisible!) insects.
When the guests arrived, I apologized, often, about the gnats. And the guests were gracious (you know, it’s not like there were flies, or cockroaches, or, I don’t know, snakes, all over the place). The insects weren’t buzzing around, making noise or anything. They’re tiny, and, the boys had done a reasonable job, apparently, of vacuuming most of them away. Two guests stayed into the afternoon, as we played games. The other two stayed into the evening, until they all went to the fireworks. So, it couldn’t have been that bad.
I called the bug guy the next morning. “I have gnats.”
“We’re swamped today,” he said. “I can come at 3:00 tomorrow afternoon.”
“I’ll be here,” I said, relieved.
When he arrived, I said, “I don’t really see them, but my kids do.”
He looked around the kitchen. “I see them,” he said.
He looked all around at the typical sources for that sort of thing. The drains. Nope. The kitchen trash can (“Sometimes, something falls down between the trash bag and the side of the can,” he said.) Nope. In the plants. Not really. (There had been some gnats flitting around a couple of plants in the kitchen, and we had put them outside on Monday. He looked at them, and they didn’t seem to be the source.)
“I’m wondering about the compost,” I said. I have a pretty, lidded container on the counter where I put vegetable peelings, and apples cores, and old, tired lettuce leaves and celery sticks, and and that sort of stuff. He looked at the container. “They can’t get out of here,” he said. “But when I lift up the lid to put more stuff in,” I said, “sometimes I see a gnat or two come out.” He looked inside and said, … “Maybe.”
He sprayed some gnat-remover spray and said to wash out the kitchen trash can (even though it doesn’t look like the source), just in case. Empty the compost container each day (actually, it doesn’t always have stuff, every day). And pour bleach down the drains. And, try apple cider vinegar.
“Put some in a bowl,” he said. “They’re attracted to it, and they’ll fly down and drown. And call me if you see any more.”
I’m giving it some time. But, I did put some vinegar in a bowl.
There are fewer and fewer each day. I think.
How much longer are these wicked people going to complain against me? I have heard enough of these complaints!
Deuteronomy 14:27 (Good News Translation)
It’s a small thing, isn’t it? Gnats in the house. I have a refrigerator in my kitchen where food can stay fresh and protected. I have food. I’m able to pay the bug guy to come and take care of the gnats. I have sons and daughters-in-law and a grandchild. I’ve been able to be with all of them in the past 6 weeks. I have a husband, and we live together in a house that’s air-conditioned. We have cars and can drive ourselves whenever and wherever we want to go. We can pay for the gas and the insurance. We don’t have to plant, grow, and harvest our food. Maybe I’m complaining a little bit too much about a few gnats in the house. Okay, there were a LOT of gnats in the house. But, still, a pretty petty problem. I’ll try to curb the complaining.