My frustrating Saturday (which ended well, so donít be alarmed) actually began Friday night, as I was getting ready for bed and found ants in my bathroom. Thatís not something you need in the middle of the night. There werenít very many of them, and there was no obvious reason they were there, and I couldnít tell where they came from, so all I did was wipe them out, spray a little ant death on the counter, and go to bed.
Then this morning, when I went to pour my first cup of coffee, the ants were on my kitchen counter. Not the same ants, probably, because they were already dead. But cousins, aimlessly wandering around over and under my cutting board. They werenít finding much sustenance, and if Iíd left them alone they might have died of starvation, or boredom. But again I wiped them out, sprayed, and cleaned everything in sight. Vigorously. Thatíll show íem. Or it would if they were as smart as theyíre portrayed to be.
If I thought ants had any purpose, other than as models for cute Disney movies and examples of peaceful nation building and an industrious work ethic, I might feel bad about killing them with such relish. I felt a little guilty when I banged that field mouse over the head with a shovel, even though the mouse was making itself at home on my back porch and making holes in my sliding screen door. But mice have been cute cartoon characters for a long time, so I probably should feel something. Ants are just a nuisance, like dust bunnies and cobwebs. I deal with them ruthlessly. (I could probably stand to be just as ruthless with dust bunnies and cobwebs, come to think of it.)
Umm, where was I? If I knew where the ants were coming from, Iíd be able to stop them there. If I knew what they were after, Iíd remove it. Iím thinking maybe these ants are just coming in out of the cold. Itís been getting down below freezing at night, and Iím pretty sure our California ants arenít up for that. They donít much care for the wet weather, either, so they randomly flee the elements and wind up wherever they wind up, sometimes in the bathroom, and sometimes in the kitchen. If I looked closely, I might find them other places as well. I donít plan to look that closely, though.