Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Attack of the Ants!

Ever since we moved into our new place, we have had to deal with ants on our first floor.

I’m a killer no doubt about it. We bought some “Doom” but I’d only use it where the dogs can’t reach. I usually use a spray cleaner (for counter tops or windows) and it stops them dead in their tracks. 

They come in through the cracks in the window sills, doorways; really, they find the tiniest, teeniest spaces to crawl through.

The ants seem to be attracted to the weirdest things- sweets of course, but onions? 

I have no idea what was on this paper towel...

I decided to do a little bit of research to understand these creatures better.   
I used these sources: Wikipedia, Ant Stuff, About, and Live Science.

Fire Ant.  (source)
  • They come from the family Formicidae belongs to the order Hymenoptera; they are related to wasps and bees.
  • Over 12,500 out of 22,000 (estimated) types of ants have been recorded.
  • Ants live in colonies that can be very small or very large.
  • The large colonies are made up mostly of sterile wingless females with jobs such as "workers", "soldiers", or other specialized jobs. Some males are fertile and called "drones". The fertile females are the “queens.”
In case you're interested....    (source)
  • There can be more than one “queen” in a colony.
  • There are types of ants that will actually raid other specie’s colonies, steal their pupa and enslave the ants once born. They make the “slave ants” do everything for them.
  • Ant homes can look like little “hills” or gigantic “mounds” that are 3 feet high and 6 feet long. However, some are nomadic and don’t stay in one place for very long.
  • Some when crush smell horrible, others smell like honey.
  • Some ants are farmers- they grow fungus in their mounds and then harvest it when its ready to eat. Yum!
  • Some ants like warm places and will crawl/colonize electronic equipment like computers, for warmth and for cooling (from the internal fans inside computers).
  • In a flood some rain forest ants will link legs and make a life raft out of their own bodies. Once they get washed onto a river bank, tree, or whatever, they unlink and go on their merry way.

Zombie!  (source)
  • Did you know that “zombie ants” exist? A certain type of fungus invades them and makes them leave their colony and bite/attach themselves to the underside of a leaf. Then the fungus kills them. Why? Because the fungus needs transportation so that it can grow and spread!  

And to make the zombies more real…watch this! 
But beware, its gruesome...interesting, but gruesome.

Song of the Post:   Tiger, My Friend by Psapp. No video, but the audio is great!


Tanya said...

Eww, that ant thing is creepy. I remember in The Poinsonwood Bible (a great book if you never read it) there is a scene where the ants go through the village and eat EVERYTHING, everyone had to run to the water to get away from them. Interesting what you read up on, but creepy:)

Vanisha @ Vanisha's Life In...Australia said...

I can't stand ants! argh! Thankfully I'm back in Australia now and haven't seen a single ant in our apartment! yay!

Candice said...

It gave me chills just seeing you picture! Best of luck getting rid of those critters!

Sami said...

Yukkk! The ants here at my place have been dormant trough winter, but now with the spring warmer weather they are starting to come out of their holes and my garden is once again being invaded. Luckily they don´t come inside the house! I pour hot water over them.

Miss E said...

My answer for you: Blue death. It's a powder insecticide that comes in a blue container. You just sprinkle a little on the cracks that they come out of and you won't be seeing any again! It' should be available in any supermarket, possibly near the doom.

Anonymous said...

Although it is slightly inhumane, you should get yourself some Ant Trap. It's sold at most supermarkets and works like a charm.