Eek! CA Ants, Spiders, and Fires

Last fall, hubby and I moved to California. Though it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, change is still change. And we have to get used to everything that comes with our new surroundings.

Including ants…


And fires.


Apparently, ants like the end-of-summer climate around here. It’s hot. It’s dry. And who doesn’t like a good barbecue? So, in August, they like to come out and play. Unfortunately, we new Californians didn’t get the memo.

Last week, I saw a few ants in the master bedroom. And then a few became a dozen. And by the end of the night, that number doubled, and I had to call in backup (hubby) to get rid of the pesky things.

I don’t know much about ants, but these little guys (at least they were little!) seemed to be casing the joint. Apparently, they end up in people’s bathrooms when in search of water.

I went on (a very useful resource once you sift through the neighborhood drama) and learned about Terro Ant Killer. We put down two liquid bait traps. And let me tell you: Poof! No more ants.

We added two more traps outside in the back patio, where they were marching in a straight line about a foot from the house. Eek. I set the traps down in their path, and they swarmed that thing like it was a donut.

Later that afternoon, hubby went out back and stomped on a bunch of ants. I’ve never seen him do that before. He’s a “there’s no reason to mess with bugs that are outside in nature” guy, which I get. Seeing him Hulk-smash those ants was quite amusing.

Luckily, our strategy worked. By the next day, we only saw two ants. But Mama didn’t raise no fool–I doubt we single-handedly wiped out an ant colony. I called pest control. They arrive tomorrow.

Did you know? Ants deposit pheromones like breadcrumbs along their path. It’s the scent that guides their buddies to a food/water source. After you set the traps and they’ve done their job, you have to clean the ant scent trail to keep from attracting more scout ants.

Ways to clean an ant scent trail — The Spruce

Something else we have in our backyard? Spiders. Correction. Spider webs. I’ve never seen the spiders themselves. They do a good job of staying hidden, which I appreciate.

But it’s weird to go be-bopping along in the backyard and then suddenly feel hair-like strands on your arms or wherever. You can feel it, but you can’t see it. Super-creepy.

Like ants, this is the time of year, where spiders go bonanza. They put their webs all over the place. Trees. Patio chairs. Trash cans. You name it.

We had a huge web in the backyard one day. A very thick strand went about fifteen feet from a tree down to a smaller bush. I wacked the web down. But sheesh, what kind of spider could’ve done that kind of web? I just hope I don’t run into the spider. Because it’s going to be huge. And it may even have a face.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about the fires raging out West. We’ve got one here about 45 miles southeast. Luckily, it’s almost contained. But it took 600 firefighters to do it, and it burned through almost 18,000 acres of land. Crazy.

Here’s a pic that my aunt nearby took on Sept. 5 after the fire started.

Where I live, the sky wasn’t as ominous, but we definitely noticed an orang’ish tinge and gray haze. I found out yesterday, that the haze we’ve been seeing lately is caused by the fires up north. It’s unbelievable how far smoke can travel. This thing’s got serious legs.

I am thinking of everyone impacted by this season’s ants, spiders, and especially, fires.

A big thank you to the firefighters who risk their lives to keep us safe.

And a shout out to pest control folks. Thanks for saving us from the creepy-crawlies.

Photo by Darrah Worobey on Unsplash, Photo by Malcolm Lightbody on Unsplash, Photo by Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash

Published by Rene Penn

Author. Blogger.

6 thoughts on “Eek! CA Ants, Spiders, and Fires

  1. Have you met the Southern California gophers yet? Our yard had lots of irregular lumps in it when we moved here in 2012. When we needed a plumber to address a problem, he told us those lumps were evidence we had gophers. We found Gopher Patrol and have been monthly visits since then to keep the gopher population down in our yard. But gophers do not respect property lines. We can get rid of them in our yard, temporarily, but they just relocate to a neighbors yard, until they discover the coast is clear to return here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gophers?! Aaagh! No, I haven’t seen them yet. Thanks for the warning. They sound like smart little things, waiting for the coast to be clear only to pop up again. How annoying!


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