War is hell.

My brother and I slept in the loft of our A-Frame house. No walls, only open space separating us in reality and mentally. We didn't get along very well.

We had each bedded down in our respective cots when it began to rain. My brother noticed it first - it was raining inside the house. This confused him, so he came over to my side of the loft to wake me up. I heard him coming from the crunch crunch of his bare feet.

I dug out my flashlight and prepared myself to go wake up my drunken stepdad to fix the leak. The problem was it wasn't raining water, it was raining hordes of carpenter ants.

The ants had invaded the structure of the house, and we had been trying to get rid of them. The problem was that another competing colony had sights on our humble abode, and they were fighting for the comfortable indoor nest. Hundreds of squirming ants, random legs, thoraxes and the occasional head rained down on our stuff. As you can imagine, this freaked us kids out enough where we ran downstairs and woke up Mom.

Always the pillar of common sense, she said, "There's nothing we can do right now, so just get the sleeping bags out and sleep in the living room."

We did just that. The only problem was that the losers of the war had to go somewhere, and they decided to run through the living room and out the patio door. Unfortunately, this was where I was sleeping.

I woke up in pain - an ant on my nose was chewing on a pimple. Several of his cousins were in my sleeping bag looking for a good place to hole up. They weren't friendly neighbors - they were biting and crawling around me, as if frisking me for any spare telephone poles or wood. I jumped around until they were off or dead. I moved to the couch and finished my restless night.

In conclusion, carpenter ants hurt when they pinch you with their mandibles. They are difficult to get rid of, as sometimes you need to fumigate the entire structure. If you find a couple running around your kitchen, start tracking them back and blocking the entrance they use. Take care of them immediately, lest you find ants in your pants too!

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