ants in your pants

I’m slowly accepting that I don’t see messes as they actually are. I’ll have the nagging feeling that something needs to be done about a particular spot, but there are so many of these nagging spots that no individual one stands out and cries “Start here! Start with me! I’m the most important!” Something will have to be done about them in the future because they’re not that bad yet. It’s a lie! They start off as “not that bad yet,” but my mind never upgrades them to “now it’s that bad!” Until something forces me to notice and act immediately. Which is what happened at the end of last week when I noticed a few ants crawling across my bedroom wall.

To give myself a tiny bit of credit, I’d decided to spend some time Thursday evening picking up trash from my bedroom in preparation for next week’s deep cleaning. I’ll be that much closer to a finished bedroom if all of the surface trash, like tissues and teddy bear fluff, has already been picked up before I start my deep clean. I also started putting my dirty clothes in hampers without getting sidetracked by laundry. If I hadn’t been in my room cleaning, I probably wouldn’t have noticed this issue until it was bedtime.

While I was cleaning, I noticed a big black ant crawling across my wall. I squished him and kept going. Then there was another. And another. By the time I was at ant #5, I’d accepted that this wasn’t just a scout that had gotten lost. Someone had reported back to the nest that there was good eatin’ in this room, and the brigade was about to be sent out. I hate dealing with ants. I’ve lived in a trailer that had a sugar ant problem, so I particularly dislike the little ants. They’re fast little bastards. At least these big ants can’t hide that well.

I tracked them back to the wall behind my bedside table. My bedside table that was surrounded by tissues and other miscellanea that had been nagging, ignored, at the back of my mind as a mess that needed to be addressed. Well, it was going to be addressed now. There weren’t a lot of ants, they hadn’t formed a chain yet, but it was obviously developing into a capital-P Problem. I started picking up the trash from around the bedside table and OH MY GOD it was such a bigger mess than I’d thought. How could that much trash be hidden around such a small piece of furniture? I must have filled an entire trash bag just in that area. I found a piece of chocolate that must have fallen off of my bedside table, along with other sugary scraps that would have attracted the ants. Ugh. What a waste of chocolate.

After picking up all of the trash, even the stuff that had somehow gotten under the nightstand, I cleared everything off of the top and out of the drawers. Everything got wiped down with Clorox wipes. The drawers were removed and the inside was wiped, too. I left the drawers out for couple days to let everything air out and remove a potential ant hiding place. I moved the nightstand out and vacuumed the area. Then I sprayed poison along the baseboard and bed frame. No doggies or humans were allowed to sleep in the room on Thursday night. I didn’t see any ants on Friday night, but I resprayed poison just to be sure. By Sunday night, I was certain I’d gotten the bastards, so I moved my nightstand back into place and put its drawers back in, although I’ve yet to fill them with anything.

Upside is that this one little corner of my room is now clean. While I was emptying out the nightstand, I took the opportunity to throw away both trash and things I didn’t think I still needed or wanted. I also had to throw away a really cute journal because some kind of liquid (probably soda) had seeped under it and ruined the leather. Ah well. I hadn’t used a lot of pages. I could have ripped out and saved the entries I’d made, but they were mostly not-very-nice memories, things I didn’t want to dwell on, so I chucked the whole thing.

Downside is that picking up stuff that hadn’t been moved in a long time plus vacuuming raised up a lot of dust… and I’m very allergic to dust. So I’ve been sneezing all weekend and have had to take Nyquil just to be able to sleep. It does help, but it leaves me really groggy the next day, so I spent the entire weekend wanting to lay down. That plus not sleeping well due to the allergies made for a very exhausted weekend. I just wanted to sleep the weekend away. We still took the doggies out for their walk each day and I got a few other chores done, but it was a difficult weekend. When my allergies are set into overdrive, my joint and muscle pain kicks it up a notch. It’s like the allergic reaction makes everything that can hurt, hurt. A hot, salted bath on Sunday really helped.

I hope to have less of these situations occur as I make progress in my home. There are so many messes already, though, that I don’t know if I can get to them all before something else notices them first. There are areas of my house I can’t get to right now because of all of the stuff piled and built up. I’m worried that if/when I make progress into those areas, I’ll find some infestation just waiting for me. I don’t want to deal with it. I don’t don’t don’t don’t. But I’m going to. I’m not going to let the fear of what I might find keep me from making progress. One day it will be better, but only if I keep making this effort. I can do this. I can change.

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