Yes, it’s quite possible I missed a queen. But going from an insignificant number to 1500-2500 ants (I used the console to check game state to count) in a single day is far too excessive nonetheless. The huge slowdown in game performance pushes past the point of “really hard” all the way to “frustrating enough to make you quit”.
It’s not the first time either. Ants spawn so fast that if they appear on map while you’re sleeping, it’s usually too late to reasonably wipe them out by the time you take up. Unless maybe you’re willing to waste tons of rare and valuable ordnance in exchange for meat and chitin. Which is usually isn’t.
So when you see ants, you just have to leave the area to escape the lag. For me, they’re nothing but an area denial weapon… but if that was the case, radiation can do the same with a ton less lag.