Ant Misbehavin' / by Courtney Mehlhaff

Well, against all odds, and following a late April snowstorm that buried us one last time just to show us who's boss, it's finally spring here in Minnesota.

Which means I spent part of last weekend spraying my house for bugs. It took me so long to dismantle the Spider Kingdom when I moved in last year that I don't want to open the door for a surprise coup now that the weather's nice.

But my real concern this season is another creature. Because last year I went down to do laundry and saw what I thought was a pile of dirt in the far corner of my basement . . . it turned out to be a huge mound of ants. Hundreds and hundreds of them, thankfully all dead, though that fact was also a bit disconcerting. It looked like a tiny insect Jonestown, minus miniature cups of Kool-Aid scattered about.

As I stood there horrified, I noticed one little ant still wriggling slightly. And I couldn't help leaning over to whisper, "Buddy . . . what HAPPENED here?"

Alas, there was no answer, and thus no explanation for the massacre, so it remains a creepy crawly mystery that I quickly hoovered up. Then I fought the urge to burn my vacuum cleaner.

Somehow "kill it with fire" doesn't seem the most practical go-to solution now that I own this pile of bricks.