Discrimination Opportunity?



Last week in Attitude is the Key, I shared that I am attempting to be thankful for the moles in my yard by taking the attitude that they are providing free aeration services.  Two or three days ago, I had another chance to work on attitude… and discrimination.

When I arrived home that day, I noticed that there was a small mound of dirt on the top of one section of my new brick-lined planting beds.  There was also some dirt on the sidewalk in front of that section. I was puzzled. Had children been playing in the garden?  I walked over to the dirt expecting to brush it back into the bed, but was horrified to discover that it wasn’t dirt… it was millions (or so it seemed) of ants!  The video below is only five seconds long, but it gives you a glimpse of what I saw.

Moles I can live with, but what was I going to do about this?  I don’t like to kill anything but I couldn’t leave the ants there.  In India, if a trail of ants enter my room, I use a few drops of water on the wall or floor to divert them. There was no way a little bit of water was going to work in this situation; there were too many ants and no trails.  And if a child, or anyone else, walked into this area they could be hurt.  I knew I needed to do something about it, right away.

I thought for a few minutes and decided I did not want to use poison; I would wash them away with a water hose.  I sprayed water along the brick wall several times and then checked the area repeatedly that day and the next.  I don’t know how many ants I killed and how many just moved on.  Regardless, I feel relieved that the ants are gone.

Where did those ants come from?  There was nothing that I know of in the dirt that should have drawn them there; it was as if they manifested out of nowhere.  I like to see life as a series of lessons and tests, sent to help me learn something.  This seemed like one of those lessons. I believe I used discrimination and took appropriate action.  I hope I learned what I was supposed to learn.


14 thoughts on “Discrimination Opportunity?

    1. Most were on the sidewalk rather than in the soil. Maybe they were going towards the water in the garden beds, because I’ve been watering quite a bit, but it doesn’t seem like there were many in the dirt, at least not at that time. And if there was a big nest inside the dirt they would have come out after the sidewalk dried. Was very strange.


    1. I didn’t know that they encourage aphids; that is interesting. I wonder why. I have inadvertently stood in a red ant hill in India twice; once from being unaware and the other time was during a nighttime cremation ceremony where I couldn’t see the ground. I have also been bit by singular red ants there numerous times. I know how much it hurts to be bitten by large number of red ants and also how much it stings to have even one bite.

      I don’t think that standing in black ants would have hurt like that. But I think it would have been terrifying to have that many start crawling on you, especially for the very young children who often wander into my yard while their parents hang out and talk next door.

      Maybe they would have disappeared as fast as they came. And maybe if I had taken more time I could have found another way to divert them. All I could see, in addition to children or adults walking into the swarm was them taking up residence in the garden and their already massive numbers growing. I only sprayed the water for a minute so I’m hoping most of them survived and found a different place to live; a place where they can live in harmony with humans.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Apparently there is something of a symbiotic relationship between ants and aphids, though it is not a predatory one on the ant’s part – they don’t eat aphids but rather feed on the aphids’ honeydew, which is a sugary excretion. Ants encourage the development of aphid colonies by protecting the aphids from predatory insects and ensuring the aphids have adequate food by moving them to new host plants as necessary. So, rather than eating aphids, ants encourage their survival and will never purge any plant of them. Studies suggest that hormones which ants exude may effectively dope the aphids into making their departure from the ants’ territory less likely. Ants also guard aphid eggs over winter.

        Liked by 1 person

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