VIDEO. In her house in the Pyrénées-Orientales, Liliane has been infested with ants every summer for ten years

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Since the beginning of the beautiful season and in the last ten years, Liliane Berrier’s house has been infested with hundreds, even thousands, of ants. They settle into electrical boxes and nibble on the wires. And every morning, the Catalan collects their corpses lying on her floor. Armed with her powder and vacuum, she leads the fight alone while waiting for someone to come to her rescue…

They’re slowly coming back. Dozens, even hundreds. As every year, for almost ten years, Liliane Berrier’s house on the heights of Ria-Sirach (Pyrénées-Orientales) is invaded by corpses of ants at the dawn of fine weather: “There, the n “It’s just the beginning, warns the Hostess for fear that we will be disappointed with the trip. This year they landed a month late.” Two weeks ago, Liliane started her morning ballet again. It starts with the vacuum cleaner to suck up the dead ants that fell on the ground during the night. Wherever there are sockets and small holes in the wall, she sprinkles her anti-ant powder all day long.

Despite her back pain and limited mobility, the 84-year-old Catalan wanders back and forth in her large house. We use it to pull out the beds, move the furniture, lift things to reach the back of the closets. In the end, she knew by heart the favorite places of these insects, which invite themselves to her house every summer.

This year, the ants landed a month late. They gradually break into Liliane’s house.

Its allies – powder, spray, electric diffusers, … – are positioned in the four corners of its home: “I’ll be on my second bottle of powder in just two weeks. You know, I did the math, I spend €100 a month on these products. And I’m not the only one, on the shelves I meet my neighbors. They don’t want to say it, but they too are infected!”

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“They nibble on the cables, that’s terrible”

“Pay, pay”, Liliane is fed up. But nobody gives him another solution: “There are many procedures for cockroaches, then why does nobody do anything for ants? I read that they caused a fire elsewhere because of circuits.” Because the ants, which have a special appetite for electronic devices, come into their homes primarily via the power grid: “They sit in the boxes and nibble on the cables, that’s terrible. That’s why my doorbell hasn’t worked for a year.” ” To help her in her struggle, Liliane has also removed the plastic guards from all of her handles. And with a brush, she rummages around inside to remove the bodies stuck there.

Ants enter Liliane's house mainly through the electrical grid.

Ants enter Liliane’s house mainly through the electrical grid.

“The mayor* tells me there’s nothing he can do, I don’t know where to turn anymore,” the pensioner is desperate. Unfortunately, last year she invited the local press to come and see the damage. Impressed, the Paris editorial team sent their journalists to film this oddity. “I received messages from all over France. People advised me to put sugar cubes, coffee grounds … They told me that it works at home. But nothing helps here.” A media report that brought him allegations from his neighborhood: “They are afraid that their houses will lose value as a result. Nobody wants to live in ants.”

Convinced of her rights, she nevertheless continues the fight. Last summer, she forced herself to pick up the hundreds of corpses that gathered outside her home every day. She put them in bags on which she wrote the dates: “To have evidence so that people finally believe me … Then I stopped, it was for nothing.”

Installed on her terrace, with the Canigou in the background, Liliane bangs on: “They won’t make me walk.” Running out of solutions, she wonders if she might end up thinking of Jean Castex, the former mayor of the neighboring town and ex-president of the community of cities, will write: “There I shall wait until my house burns, that at that time my insurance will reimburse me.”

* Contacted by the mayor of Ria-Sirach, Jean Maury, did not want to answer us.

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