Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

April Showers Will Bring May Flowers - and Ants

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

April Showers Will Bring May Flowers - and Ants

Article excerpt

Informed sources tell me that ants "are social insects belonging to the family Formicidae," which may or may not explain why they are suddenly attracted to my mother's Formica.

When I was growing up in Queens, we had plenty of ants outside, but none inside.

I have no idea why. Perhaps it was because my mother kept a home so spotless that there was nothing for the ants to come inside for.

Since then, I have lived in an assortment of ant-filled and ant- free environments.

When I moved into my house in Wood-Ridge in 1998, I noticed ants tramping around my kitchen -- but only during the merry month of May.

Concerned friends advised me to invest in ant traps and/or attack them with ant sprays, ant bombs, ant hand grenades and other weapons of ant destruction.

I opted, instead, to spray blue glass cleaner around the area where they were congregating.

Since then, I've seen an ant here or there, but nothing to be concerned about.

Three ants in 15 years isn't exactly a reason to call the exterminator. But I have one on speed dial, anyway. He stops by every few months and puts out all sorts of traps for mice, bats, alligators and other undesirables.

A few years ago, I found two mice the size of fingernails in my kitchen. Naturally, I was upset about this, especially when my trusty hardware store guy told me, "If you have two, you have 2,000."

Oy.

I eventually related this teeny tale of rodent woe to my parents who had a mixed reaction to the news. My father fell asleep. But my mother, who is the Ervolino family's worry-wart-in-chief and Pestmaster General, told me I should go down into the basement to investigate.

"Poke around downstairs," she said, "and see if you find their business."

"Their ... what?" I asked.

"Their BUSINESS," she repeated.

"Ohh," I said. "Their business."

So, I went downstairs and, sure enough, right next to the dryer, I found a tiny pizzeria that said "Mickey's Italian Specialties" on the awning.

Not.

Two days later, Dear Old M. called back. "Well?" she asked. "Did you find anything?"

I told her I didn't. "But there is so much junk down there," I added. "I found a green blanket, snowshoes and a grandfather clock - - but no mice were running up it. …

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