My alarm chimes in mourning of the morning like the soundtrack of a shitty scary movie. I reach over and turn off the notification of too-little-sleep and another long day, and I place my phone back on the ledge and say a reluctant good morning to the ants crawling on my windowsill.
It takes a minute, but I eventually get out of bed, slip into my dog slippers and head toward the bathroom sink where I have to fight the ants for counter space and my toothpaste. I saunter into my bathroom and have to scream at the ants for using my shower and swimming laps in my tub.
After a shower, I’m in my kitchen and ready for breakfast. I open my cupboard, and begin to yell at the ants for their roommate-like behavior: getting into my food — which I don’t really care about but would they please just ask first! They drink my water, my coffee, take up space on my desk and scour my trash.
Maybe I did want to eat that cookie on the counter or that one piece of candy I left in my closed purse.
My plants complain about the ants tormenting them with their quick feet and touchy feely antenna and regardless of what the ants think, my laundry basket is not their playhouse.
Ants are starting to drive me mad: my behavior becomes irrational, even violent. The distressing power complex between the ants and I creates sadistic pleasure in destroying lines of ants and I am beginning to love the smell of Raid in the morning. But I am not the only one.
According to a very precise Facebook survey I conducted, 22 people expressed that they have ants in their apartment. Multiple people have affirmed that ants do indeed enjoy living in the bathtub faucet, rendering my own shower useless. I’m starting to think there are more ants than dance crews.
It may be hard to narrow down where I live from my description of the infestation of ants because practically every housing community at UC Irvine so graciously hosts them, rent free. I have devoted a fair amount of time to myrmecology: a study of the ants so present in my life.
They go by the name Argentine Ants, those who quarantine my shower because they really crawl and dig the water pipe/faucet head lifestyle. First floor, or fourth, these equal-opportunity-invaders will creep their way into any apartment through outlets, water and gas pipes, air ducts and, like respectable insects, right through the front door.
How do we in Camino, Vista Del Campo Norte, VDC, Puerta, Campus Village and Park West rid ourselves of these no rent payin’, food eatin’, good for nothin’ ants? We can’t. We’ve tried. American Campus Communities has offered their minty pest control but two years into my residency, I have yet to be ant free. We need a change, a radical solution. I believe, ladies and gentlemen, it’s time we called in the big guns: I’m talking Peter the Anteater and his friends.
I am starting a petition to get Anteaters on campus and into the housing communities so they can feast away our problem. We need their expertly created snouts and their hunger for small grub.
We need our people, our mascot: the animal that gives us hope and spirit every day as we walk past the flag poles, over the giant tile version of an Anteater and whisper with courage underneath our breath ZOT. ZOT. ZOT.
This petition is available at change.org, because if we mobilize quickly enough we can change the climate of our campus and live stress-free, ant-free lives. Why put up with creepy ants that stalk your every crumb?
If you’re with me, and you believe like I do that we need more Anteaters and less ants, then please join the movement. Go to http://goo.gl/90750Y and sign the petition, which is hosted on change.org. We can do this. We can co-exist: just human Anteaters and actual Anteaters.
Tess Andrea is a third-year French and literary journalism double-major. She can be reached at email@example.com