The Grasshoppers Are Away, So The Ants Will Play

The Ant and the Grasshopper, one of Aesop's Fables, tells the story of the perils of failing to plan and prepare for hard times in the future. As the story goes, during the summer months when times are good and life is easy, Grasshopper spends all of his time playing on his fiddle and enjoying himself. Grasshopper teases Ant when he sees him working hard at laying up stores for the winter months ahead rather than playing. Inevitably, winter comes, and Grasshopper finds himself starving. He goes to Ant to beg for food, but Ant refuses him, in some versions of the tale telling Grasshopper to, "dance the winter away now."

Aesop's tale was a cautionary one for humans, warning us against allowing opportunity to slip past in times of plenty, especially when we know that it will not last. As for the insect characters Aesop used to deliver his message, I suspect that his choice of ants and grasshoppers was based on something close to home: despite the coming of winter, Aesop must have noticed that his house still had ants in it.

Summer's grasshoppers are long gone, as are the wasps, boxelder bugs, flies, many spiders, etc. Ants, however, are still in abundance during this time of the year indoors. When outdoor temperatures dropped to freezing, many folks around the Walla Walla valley suddenly found themselves with little black ants inside their house, whereas only a day before they had none. This is typically what will happen when over the summer a nest of Odorous House Ants (and sometimes Pavement Ants) established themselves within the structure. Foraging outdoors all summer unnoticed, the freezing temperatures outside force the nest to begin foraging indoors, the only option the ants have due to the limits of their biology.

If you are having this issue now and you are looking for help, please give me a call! For a typical house around the Walla Walla valley, I treat this problem for $40-$45, which includes touch-up visits over a 30 day period. The treatment methods I use do not require people or pets to leave during the application, and because the ant colonies are essentially trapped indoors at this time of the year, eliminating them is frequently easier than during the summer since it is too cold for new colonies to travel overland to the structure and invade again.

Z Pest Control LLC
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