Thursday, June 30, 2011

I Can Smell Ants

Something you don't know about me is that I can smell ants. No seriously--I can smell them. There is a little colony of them living in my computer, so clickety-claxing on my 5-year-old MacBook means I have to kind of suffer through ant stench. Like right now I'm suffering.

When I was a kid we lived in central California where there were all these oaks that were great for climbing. Unfortunately, they were covered in these big, shiny black ants which absolutely reeked. Sometimes I would climb the trees anyway until my nostrils started burning. Those were good times.

I didn't know not everybody smelled ants until recently. Bryan's always been pretty quiet on the subject. Usually when I walk into the kitchen and ask, "Do you smell ants?" he responds with a carefully considered, "umm, no." It never occurred to me that he didn't know what I was talking about.

However, this evening we were eating dinner out on the porch and I said something like "Yurch, it smells like ants out here," and Bryan closed his eyes, put down his fork very slowly and said, "Whatthehellareyoutalkingabout." It only took like eight years to get around to asking me that. So I found an ant, caught it and held it up to his nose. "It smells like your finger," he said.

Anyway, you're not really missing anything if you don't happen to have my superhuman ant-smelling power. It's gross. Like being able to smell all the farts in a mile radius or something.


  1. Wait, you have ants living in your computer?!

  2. you're such a super-smeller. can you smell other bugs?

  3. Have you read The Ants by E.O. Wilson?

  4. The red ants smell like Murphy oil soap. I'm a tree planter...when I get near them, I can smell the colonies. Noticed the smell as a kid, in the spring, the nests, and the flying ants have a slight smell.
    Stink Bugs, of course have a sweet concentrated apple.

  5. I can smell them as well, so you're not alone. Apparently it's the formic acid. Some people can smell it and some can't and, yeah, you are NOT missing out by being unable to smell them. One ant in a soda and I have to throw it away. It is a very unpleasant scent, and the madder they get the stronger they reek.