I should have known better.
This is the tropics, after all. I mean, even fence posts turn into trees in these hyper-fertile lands. But it was just for a few minutes. I opened my sleeve of Chiky cookies, a wonderful chocolate-covered wafer that goes great with my two favorite beverages, coffee and milk. Unfortunately, I had run out of milk, so I twisted the sleeve, set it atop my microwave, and headed to the pulpería, a small corner store, for a gallon. I couldn´t have been gone more than ten minutes. But that was enough for these wily ants to sniff out the sweetness of my go-to snack.
By the time I returned, the ants had gone marching one by one, all the way inside my cookies. When I opened the sleeve to see if the cookies could be salvaged, I found a them teeming with sugar-hungry insects. I opted to cut my losses and chuck the rest. Then, it was back to the pulpería for some more cookies and a plastic box in which to store them. You win this round, ants, but never again will I leave my cookies unattended.
Reader Ivannia Villalobos wrote me and offered some “Tico advice: If you can’t close the package well, you have to put the cookies on a plate and that plate should float in another container with water. Ants can’t swim, so the food is safe, at least for a while!”
Thank you, Ivannia. And if you have any tips, tricks, or tropical life hacks of your own, let us know.