We have ants.
They come up through the spots where the kitchen counter doesn't quite meet the wall. We intend to exterminate them as soon as we find the least toxic way to do so. Meantime, the best way to keep them under control is to kill them.
When the kitchen is spotless, which is often lately, there are few or no ants to be seen. But if Allie or I leave a dish out for a few hours, and that dish has food on it, then the ants emerge.
Today I had two peanut butter and honey sandwiches for breakfast. My plate had a few splotches of honey on it. I didn't rinse it and put it in the dishwasher. When I came downstairs for a late lunch there were hundreds of ants marching in a line from the wall to the plate.
Ants were lines up around the edges of the honey spots antenna to antenna. They looked like they were stoned, like Deadheads passed out around a hookah with the hoses still stuck in their mouths.
I cleared everything away from the counter, except for the plate and a glass the ants had infested. I did this so I could murder more quickly and efficiently.
First I picked up the glass, exposing a huge crowd of them. Some of them started stomping all around, sensing danger, looking for escape. Others were too jacked up on honey to move.
I took the plate to the sink and washed them all down. Some clung to the sides of the sink, writhing. I finished them off with the sprayer. Ants can't scream. At least not loud enough for me to hear.
Then I took a sponge and ran it along the ant highway. Two seconds, dozens gone.
Ants can be anthropomorphized. You can imagine them as little people and picture yourself among them, working away, trying to score a hit of honey, when all of a sudden you're washed into oblivion or smashed by a thumb. It's awful when you think of them like that.
But it's also easy to remember that they probably have little or no brain and that they're vile invaders in a sovereign land and that for this they run a very real risk of dying violently.
That's just the way things are.