Apparently it’s that time of year again when ants invade my apartment. They tend to gather mostly in my kitchen, especially the sink. Unless I accidentally drowned one when running water, I don’t kill them. I can’t bring myself to do it. I usually grab some sort of junk mail, scoop up each ant and then deposit it outside my door. It doesn’t stop them from coming, but it does appear to reduce the number of ants. However, I have no idea if each ant makes its way back in. I don’t seem to get rid of them completely. There does seem to be less ants than when I first noticed them. That could do with the fact that since I first saw them I’ve tried to keep my kitchen clean, particularly in and around the sink.
They’re not really doing anything, so I don’t know why I get so bothered by them. So far they haven’t touched any food other than whatever might be on some dirty dishes that I left out on the counter (hence the reason I’ve been trying to keep up with that aspect of cleaning as well). If anything, they’re cleaning up whatever crumbs that I may have missed when I last swept. Otherwise, they’re just crawling around on the countertops and other assorted areas around my apartment. Why bother killing them?
My respect for life extends to even ants. I don’t mourn for too long should I mistakenly kill one, but I can’t do so intentionally. It just doesn’t feel right. If I had a practical reason for killing any I might be able to justify it to myself to do so. But so far I haven’t. Still, I can’t help but cringe a little if I see an unusually high number at any given time.
I should point out that it’s not like this places is infested with them. I’m only talking about two or three at a time. It also seems that they show up for a short period of time each year. In another few weeks they’ll be gone. It isn’t a major problem to start with. Then why obsess over it? Obviously, I’m short on ideas for a blog post right now. Even with all of the news topics I could react to (Baltimore, Nepal, etc.) I’m too tired and worn out from a rough day at work to try writing a well thought-out post tonight. This also means I’m too tired and worn out to try chasing ants out of my apartment. At the same time, it is something to think about.
I grew up thinking of any sort of ants in the house as the “bad guys.” My parents gave no second thoughts to killing ants when spotted. If ants got into food, they panicked. Sure, that meant we’d have to replace the food. But is that such a big deal? My childhood experience with ants went a bit darker than that. My parents had no problem with me killing ants in the backyard for fun. Anthills sprouted up all over the driveway during the summer. I never did the thing with a magnifying glass, watching them burn. But I did get them with water guns or if I felt more blunt, my foot.
I do feel bad about that. Nevertheless, the feeling remains ingrained in me that ants need to be removed from my living quarters whenever possible, by any means necessary. That goes even though, as I have illustrated above, they’re more diligent about cleaning this place than I am. How much longer can I ignore them?