The ants were all over the kitchen! Every day, I would kill up to eight ants on the kitchen floor. I kept doing all sorts of google searches, including: 'how to get rid of ants', 'how to kill ants', 'how many ants are considered an infestation' . . . Since my father is the land lord and has recently spent a lot of money on us and our house I felt bad asking him to spend hundreds of dollars on pest control.
Instead, I did lots of research on these little buggers. I came up with some fascinating information.
Apparently, carpenter ants have a queen ant who will hide out, while her 'followers' will gather food and bring them to her.
Once you kill the Queen, then the rest of the followers stop coming. So it's almost like a chess game. You kill the queen ant and you win the battle against the little pests. Of course, the trick is to find that queen, which is not so easy.
I guess I must have a lot of spare time on my hands, as I decided to try to find the trail of where these ants were coming from.
I sat in the kitchen with the raid can in one hand and a shoe in the other. Suddenly, I noticed ants kept on coming from the top of our doorway from outside and coming into our house through a crack and then going into another crack behind our kitchen cabinets.
The raid worked really well, along with the cocking of the cabinets and doorway. At last the queen ant has been killed. It was true once she was killed, her followers vanished and never came back as if they had no more purpose in the world any more.
These made me first think about the mitzvah of kibud av va'em. Here we have the mother ant and she sits back and rests, while all the other ants carry food, even 10 times their own weight, and bring it to her. All day they are just there to serve her. Imagine if we would be like that in our lives. Serving Hashem constantly. Without Hashem, G-d forbid, we would have no more purpose. We would cease to exist, our lives would be useless. We are hear to serve our creator, day in and day out. Even having to carrying 'burdens' 10 times as heavy as our own 'weight'. As we learn so beautifully from perek shira, each and every animal and insect from the biggest elephant to the smallest little 2 cm ant, we can learn something about Hashem's creations. Not only that, but we can learn from their actions and their habits.
May we all have the energy like all these ants. Working together as a group, a unit, with one common goal: Serving Hakadosh Baruch Hu together.