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  • Ken Ilgunas


I have ants in my van.

Of all the potential disasters that could have befallen me vandwelling, having ants was one thing I never considered.

I woke up the other day to see them crawling in my food storage drawers. At first I saw just a couple. But then, on closer inspection, I could see hundreds of them scrounging in my trail mix bag

and in other drawers too.

How did they even get in here? Hell, the van is a foot and a half off the ground.

They weren’t those big shiny-shelled carpenter ants. No, these ones were tiny and easily squishable. I probably thumbed 100 of them to death before fleeing the van with all infected food in hand. I carried my five-pounds of trail mix by the very corner of the ziplock bag, held as far away from my body as I could, as if it was a rag that someone with polio just wiped themselves with.

I’m usually not too squeamish with bugs. In Alaska, I didn’t bother removing the many mosquitoes that would often kamikaze into my oatmeal. And on other occasions in the outdoors I’ve had little issue eating food that had been infiltrated by retinues of ants.

But sleeping with them was another matter entirely. I imagined them spelunking into my orifices at night like cave-divers or that legions of them would haul my beloved cereal boxes away while I was at class.

To remedy the situation, I moved my parking spot two spots down (so their scent trail would be disrupted), and started hanging bags of food from my ceiling to make it really hard on them.


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