Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Ants that Ate Earlwood

As usual, I had planned to spend an hour or so per night in the garage working on the railway. Monday went to plan and I spent some time repairing the horseboxes etc that needed some work after the paint stripping exercise. All is good. Tuesday night comes around so I wander out to the garage, lift the roller door and turn on the lights. And I see them. There's a trail of ants wending their way across the floor to the back of the garage where I've stacked some 3mm ply. I check to see if they've made a nest in the ply but no, they obviously prefer something more tasty (and more expensive). The ant trail continues on along the back wall of the garage to where I have a book case where the laptop and ALPS printer lives. You can see where this is going. I look at the bookcase and see that the ant trail leaves the garage floor and climbs up the back of the bookcase to disappear under the laptop........
I lift up the laptop and the little buggers scurry everywhere but this isn't their main objective. I lift up the printer and it's a seething mass of ants and eggs, hundreds of the little %^&$s. But it doesn't end there. There's still ants coming from the printer so I open the hood and there's an even larger mass of writhing insects. I won't bore you with every detail but there were literally thousands of them infesting every nook and cranny, the printer ribbons, the control board, the power supply, the print head even inside one of the paper rollers. So out with the vacuum cleaner and 3 nights later, after dismantling every component, I'd gotten rid of every ant. It then took me 2 nights to get it all back together again as one of the paper feed components fell out when I was dismantling it so I didn't see where it was attached. That took a couple of hours to work out. Fortunately, they didn't like the taste of laptop so I didn't have to pull that apart as well. The good thing is everything appears to work after the ants had been evicted which is a relief as ALPS printers haven't been made in years and I don't where you'd be able to source one. Aust-N-Rail was where I purchased mine but they haven't stocked them for years.
Next week, I'm off on training for the salt mine where I'll become a new and improved being but unfortunately I have to stay on site so no train time this week. Boo!!!!


  1. Ah ha what you have here are mountaineering ants, they are attracted to the printer and think they are climbing the Alps.

  2. LOL Bob. The trick now will be to stop any further mountaineering by the little blighters.