Is it me, or do ants have one of the most futile lives of any creature?

For about 9-10 weeks each summer our house is invaded by ants.

There are small crawling ones, large flying ones and medium flying ones. They appear from various points in the skirting board throughout the downstairs rooms and head for the nearest source of light, which is usually the windows.

We also have them outside in the garden. Both sets seem to emerge in waves, periods of calm are punctuated by periods of intense activity when the room and garden are awash with them.

Needless to say, as much as I hate killing things, when they are in the house I have no option. Yesterday I watched a medium one on the kitchen windowsill writhing in agony as the effects of the insecticide took hold. It didn’t make me feel good. But it did make me think, what’s the point?

The outdoor ones don’t fare much better. They launch themselves into the sunlight only to be picked off by the waiting sparrows who perform wonderful aerial acrobatics as they pluck the ants out of the air.

What a futile existence. I have mixed feelings about them to be honest. Whilst I freak out when they’re all over my living space, I do admire their social structure.

If I disturb them in the garden, they rush around frantically trying to save and protect their eggs. In the house they send out ‘scouts’ before the main wave emerges.

As much as I find them fascinating, I do feel sorry for them and wonder at their purpose, but I certainly don’t want them in my house.