I seem to have developed *quite* the remarkable herd of ants in the past couple of weeks. For a little while I was worried that they could be carpenter ants (which *would* be an actual problem), but tpau pointed out that it's fairly easy to tell the difference. And fortunately, these are pretty clearly normal garden-variety (as it were) ants, mostly clustered around the kitchen.
It's not precisely clear *why* I have such a sudden ant problem -- the house and kitchen aren't that much of a mess -- but it appears that the issue is the dishwasher. There are a fair number crawling around the kitchen in general, but when I open the dishwasher there are a downright squicky array of them on the door.
My guess is that it comes down to a good idea gone wrong. Jane was always the one who did the dishes, because she liked doing so, and she always did them by hand. I have no such fondness, and I've had years of people telling me that running a full dishwasher is more ecological than doing dishes by hand. But I'm not home much, and only cooking for myself, so I'm just not generating dishes very fast. So my guess is that the dishes sat too long in the dishwasher, and attracted the ants.
So now I'm fighting them off, mostly by removing the attractants. I finished filling the dishwasher, ran it, and am now getting into the habit of doing my dishes promptly by hand instead. Combined with a bunch of ant traps, that will hopefully get rid of the problem reasonably efficiently.
(Although it's remarkably hard to find glue traps, I have to say. I prefer not to use poisons -- with pets in the house, it always makes me nervous -- and glue traps work pretty well with ants. But the supermarkets seem to have stopped carrying them. I may have to resort to Amazon to get some more...)