I feel guilty squishing ants because they are so beautiful. I love watching their tiny legs move and how much they can carry in their mandibles. I admire their relentless drive to gather free things that I leave behind. And I respect their teamwork.

Still, there’s no reasoning with ants. Their assault on my kitchen, my bathroom, and even occasionally my laundry basket never stops. I’d be happy to bribe them, to pay tribute, anything really, if they would just agree on treaty rights.

I tolerated them sucking up the leftover syrup on a breakfast plate. I marveled at their cunning ability to find the tiniest gap in a bag of sweets and sneak in there, but when they invaded the outlet next to the kitchen sink, turning it into a nursery chamber, I drew the line.

I’m now at war with the ants. I can squish them, deprive them of food, and poison them. But as much as I want them to be under my thumb, I fear the opposite may actually be the case.