Fall is here, and you know what that means! Pumpkin spice, holiday breaks, and several hundred new roommates. That’s right, your apartment is crawling with ants. And don’t bother calling your landlord, because they are here to stay, girlypop!
Here at The Westwood Enabler, we know these relationships can get toxic, whether your roommates have two legs or however many legs ants do. That’s why we’ve prepared these 5 handy tips for setting healthy boundaries with the ants in your kitchen.
1. Be respectful of the fact that they’ve had a different upbringing from you. In some families, it’s normal to crawl all over the counter and the walls, and to take tiny bites out of the food that your human roommates have left uncovered overnight. Instead of coming from a place of judgment, come from a place of tolerance.
2. Use “I Feel” statements. Don’t be accusatory. For example, don’t say, “You’re making my kitchen unsanitary and I’m buying more ant traps!” Instead, try, “I really hate to tell you this, but I feel like we should try to share our communal spaces more equally!”
3. Follow the Golden Rule and treat the ants how you would want to be treated. They wouldn’t change the locks on you, so don’t call maintenance and beg them to fix the holes in your screens and poorly insulated walls. Would they spray you with bleach or lure you to your death with tasty chemicals? No? Then don’t do it to them.
4. Nobody likes to come home and be surprised by the loud, grating voices of their roommates’ friends. Let your kitchen ants know when you’ll have guests over, and tell them you hope they will do the same.
5. Negotiate, and make your expectations clear. Try something like, “If you come out of hiding in front of me, I will kill you with my roommate’s flip flop that she never puts away no matter how many hints I drop. And I understand that in turn, you may eat anything I leave on the counter, have free reign of the garbage that I absolutely refuse to take out, and possibly even gather all your friends to swarm me in my sleep and avenge your death.” Cohabitation is all about give and take!