We broke down and called Orkin about the carpenter ants in the kitchen. They had actually slowed down while we were gone, but now that we’re back, so are they, and I couldn’t take it anymore. Eric scheduled their visit yesterday at five. When I came home, the Orkin man was just going over paperwork and driving away. “The ants should be dead,” Eric reported, “and if not, they’ll come back again for free. It’s part of their guarantee.” I rejoiced. I wasn’t excited about mass murder of ants, but I wasn’t excited about never putting anything out on the counter again either, so I was ready to embrace better living through chemicals.

However, I went out to the garden today. (I’ve been working in the yard today and yesterday, making up steps for the walking challenge and also moving the daylilies because Eric can’t stand them anymore. I’m moving them to the bindweed-infested area by the driveway because in a daylily-versus-bindweed showdown, I might just put my money on daylilies. And if not, I still won’t have to weed as much.) I’m pleased to report that the corn is forming little cobs, about two per stalk, and I’m already planning a Corn Party. Also that one zucchini is swelling and that the beans are going strong. I am not pleased to report that the Orkin man sprinkled boric acid all through both of my gardens. Not just the part near the house, but all through them.

I admit that the vegetable garden borders the garage, and the garage has a leak in the roof, and therefore it’s not a bad place for ants to be nesting. Even though we haven’t seen the carpenter ants outside. Apparently the Orkin man also put boric acid on the tree on the very edge of our property, where if there are ants they’re more likely to bother the neighbors than us. I also admit that boric acid is not a huge deal, not dangerous to humans or massively bad for insects. I further admit that it’s not like the garden insects seem to have suffered, considering all the flies and leafhoppers and grasshoppers I saw as i was taking stock.

But I am displeased anyway. I decided not to bring harmful chemicals into my gardens (or not ones that the plants hadn’t made themselves, I suppose). I decided to live with the bugs. I decided that I wouldn’t live with the bugs inside, but I thought that was a separate decision. Apparently it wasn’t.