For the past four decades I’ve lived on the southern coast of Maine. Some sort of pest has defined every one of those years. This year, the formidable foe is defined as some of the smallest creatures I’ve ever seen. Most of the time I can’t see them, but having a wife who keeps an immaculate home gives me the capacity to know when every one of them dares to attack her kitchen. I am not talking about an infestation even though, if left alone, this could happen. I am talking about a dozen of the little ant-holes that appear every day.

In the past I’ve battled multiple pests. I clearly remember the year of the voles. These appeared as multiple runways that connected tiny openings in my lawn. They must have lived beneath the 3-foot snowpack of the past winter that decided to make its own neighborhood with all of its streets and alleys in my backyard. It was bad enough to view this carnage in my lawn, but I actually watched it grow. At the peripheral of the lines of lawn that had been ground up were trails I watched pushing out into what little lawn I had left. This pest never came back because instead of fertilizing my lawn, I decided to poison it. Hopefully this did not take too many of my years of life away.

Another year was the year of the “the sons of beetles.” The first thing I could see was the damage. I couldn’t eat as much as they ate in one night and I have to tell you eating is something I am really good at.

I tried to shake my trees of them, but they wouldn’t move. The few that fell to the ground looked up at me and dared me to step on them. Turning to my vegetable garden, I noticed a brownish cloud hovering over my zucchini and green beans. It was as though they were circling for the kill.

In past years I’ve battled mosquitos that took most of my blood, pigeons that decided to cover my roof with their excrement and ticks that left viruses my physician refuses to believe in.

There is no doubt this year is the year of the ant. Attempting to purchase the best mixture of poison, I met an elderly woman at Home Depot who was in tears because she never had a pest problem before. There were few choices because most were sold out. The assistant tried to help her but saw there was little he could do for her.

For the past four decades I’ve lived on the southern coast of Maine. Some sort of pest that drives me crazy defined every one of those years. I just hope the pests from my past don’t form some sort of alliance that will be difficult, if not impossible, to defeat.