A few weeks ago, our kitchen was suddenly overrun with ants. The little ones. Marching all over the sink and countertops, making themselves perfectly at home. I discovered, to my surprise, after leaving an almost-empty can of tuna in the sink, that ants are huge fans of tuna fish. It looked like Times Square on New Year’s Eve.
That was when I caused my first ant holocaust, wetting a paper towel and swiping up a few hundred of them, and turning on the faucet to flush the rest down the drain. I felt bad while I was doing it, wondering if to the ants I was their tsunami — a cruel and powerful force of nature.
I didn’t have any moral qualms when my husband brought home baits and set them out. Didn’t think twice about it. I was just relieved when, almost overnight, the ant armies began to disappear. The violence apparently happens offstage, back in the ants’ nest, where the whole colony, including the queen, devours the poison and dies. Kind of like Jonestown.