We all know the oblong plastic traps, death traps, that sit in the corners of kitchen floors and at the bases of windowsills all across the nation. Four holes to enter the poison diner. Ants go in, assassins go out.
Assassins, yes. Because they don’t die on the swivel stools at the borax buffet. According to the box, they take those tiny off-white killer crumbs back to the colony. Coming home with their bounty and pride, none the wiser for what’s really inside. Assassins, indeed.
But there’s something they don’t tell you about ant traps.
Have you ever seen an ant’s egg?
Not the pupae or the larvae, but the actual egg. The little grey dots about the width of the butt of a needle.
Yeah, the “poison” looks like that.
So, our proud provider ant carries their bounty home, but not to eat. It’s too nostalgic. A speck only a little rounder and a little less grey than the egg they were birthed from. Cute, in a way. If you’re an ant.
Instead, they gather their ant spouse and ant children, their ant parents and ant grandparents, their ant uncles and their ant aunts, and they tell stories. “When I was your age, we didn’t have personal kitchen-corner buffets, we had to risk getting squished or sprayed like the best of them.”
And the “poison” sits and it waits. It ages and it listens. It warms and it grows.
Have you ever seen a spider’s egg?
Not a large spider’s, not a tarantula’s or an orb weaver’s. Just a spider’s egg. A small round dot, a little rounder and a little less grey than an ant’s.
That’s what they don’t tell you about ant traps.
Sarah Edmonds is a queer author and filmmaker whose films have screened at Barebones Film Festival, Global Shorts Film Festival, and FlickFair Film Festival. She has published short fiction, scholarly non-fiction, creative non-fiction, and poetry through a variety of outlets and has a novella, LATE NIGHTS AT FULL MOON RECORDS, set for release in September 2023 through Thirty West Publishing House. She is also Editor of the West Trade Review’s Visual Poetics and Editor-in-Chief of For Page & Screen Magazine. You can connect with her on Instagram and Twitter @SarahEEdmonds