Tuesday, November 20, 2012

20 More Amazing Ant Facts

1. Trap-jaw ants can shut their jaws faster than any other in the animal kingdom. They have been recorded closing their jaws at 230 km/hr (143 mph).

2. Bamboo nesting ants that live in Malaysia deal with frequent flooding by drinking the water that is inside the nest, and excreting it outside the nest.

3. The mangrove ant which nests in the cavities of wood in mangrove forests deals with flooding by switching to anaerobic respiration. Anaerobic respiration is breathing that uses an alternative to oxygen like sulphur or nitrate. When their nests fill up with water, instead of drowning, they stop breathing air and start breathing chemicals found in the water.

4. The army ants of South America and the driver ants of Africa do not build permanent nests. Instead they roam freely. In an emergency, when they need the safety of a nest the workers form a temporary nest from their own bodies, by holding each other together.

5. Leaf cutter ants live on a fungus that grows only within their colonies. They collect leaves which are taken to the colony, cut into tiny pieces and placed in fungal gardens.

6. Some species of ants can form chains to bridge gaps over water, underground, or through spaces in vegetation.

7. Australian mangrove swamp ants can swim and live in underwater nests. They breathe oxygen stored in pockets in their nests.

8. Blue or copper caterpillars are herded by some ants species. The ants lead the caterpillars to feeding areas in the daytime and then bring them inside the nest at night. The ants then massage (or milk) the caterpillars so that they secrete a honeydew which the ants like to eat.

9. Many tropical tree species have seeds that are dispersed by ants. Seed dispersal is widespread and new estimates suggest that nearly 9% of all plant species may rely on this process.

10. Some birds indulge in a peculiar behaviour called "anting" that is as yet not fully understood. These birds pick up and drop ants onto their wings and feathers or sit on ant nests. It is believed that they do this because the ants kill and remove parasites.

11. In some parts of the world (mainly Africa and South America), army ants are used instead of stitches. The sides of a wound are pressed together and an ant's head is placed on it. The ant seizes the edges of the wound with its jaws. The ant's body is then cut off and the head remains firmly there until the wound heals.

12. In South Africa ants are used to help harvest rooibos which are small seeds used to make a herbal tea. The plant disperses its seeds widely, making manual collection difficult. Black ants collect and store these and other seeds in their nest, where humans can gather them easily. Up to half a pound (450g) of seeds can be collected from one ant-heap.

13. Although ants are found almost every where, a few ant species are actually endangered. In 1985, the Sri Lankan relict ant became the first ant species to be classified as critically endangered. Today, they are only found in one area of Sri Lanka.

14. It has been estimated by E.O.Wilson that the total number of individual ants alive in the world at any one time is between one and ten quadrillion. According to this estimate, the total mass of all the ants in the world is approximately equal to the total mass of the entire human race. In other words if we could put all the ants on the earth in one pile and all the humans on the earth in another pile, the two piles would be about the same size.

15. The eggs of two species of ants are the basis for a dish in Mexico known as escamoles. This is a delicacy and costs around 40 American dollars a pound (or $90 a kilo).

16. In Santanger, Colombia, hormigas culonas ants commonly called "large bottom ants"are toasted alive and eaten while still warm.

17. In areas of India, Burma and Thailand, a paste of the green weaver ant is served as a condiment with curry.

18. In Thailand weaver ants, their eggs and their larvae are used in a salad called red ant egg salad.

19. In North Queensland, Australia, Aborigines mix mashed green ants in water to create a drink similar to lemon squash.

20. Most ants have stingers. Often when people think that they have been bitten by an ant they have instead been stung.

Fire Ant Bites - Protect Yourself Against Them

Fire ants also known as red ants are one of the must aggressive and violent insects, and they will attack almost everything that can possibly threaten and harm them and their colony. Not many people know that the fire ants are an important member of the hymenoptera order in which you can find also insects such as bees and wasps.

The most awful and long-lasting bite it is possessed by the South American Bullet ant, and can cause great sufferings and pains, but it is not causing death.

The most deadly ant bite from Australia is the Jack Jumper ant bite that can easily kill animals and even humans.

The most agonizing and burning ant bites, are possessed only by two types of fire ants

The most aggressive and violent ant bite is held by the Red Imported ants. Their highly deadly poisonous blow contains a highly toxic substance called piperidine alkaloids. The blows can produce on the skin awful white fluid filled bumps.

The bites of the Southern Fire ants can easily produce itchiness and blisters that are usually very painful and annoying.

Although ants are considered as been one of the most important threats for the modern society we live in now, there are still used in many ways. Their destructive behavior that have been to us our enemy it can become our friend, because in many parts of the entire world ants are use to control other threat full insect populations such as the carpenter, pharaoh and argentine ants.

The home-made antidote for ants and ant bites

In order to have an ant proof home, the first thing you need to do is to seal up all the cracks and crevices, especially the little ones, from where ant can easily break in the home and infest you and your family.

Keep all the time of the year your lawns mowed and clean your garden.

Mint is a very powerful insecticide, so you can plant mint inside and outside your home as well.

You can put on your windows and doors solutions based on citronella, citrus, cinnamon or even peppermint, combined with water.

You can also use non-toxic powders that you can find in specialized stores all around the world, such as the Diatomaceous Earth, that can easily destroy exoskeletons, but take care when you use this product. It will be indicated to use a mask for a better protection.

Another old method of cleaning your home by ants and their painful ant bites is to pour boiling water on the ant hill. It can be effective in some cases, but it can make them only retreat temporarily and after that they will come and attack very violent and aggressive.

Natural Remedies for Ant Invasions

Ants are not dangerous creatures, and if they enter your home, they do not pose any health risks to you, your children, or your pets. If they get into your food, you may no longer wish to eat that food, but if you accidentally consume a few ants, nothing will happen to you. High school biology teachers have been known to feed chocolate-covered ants to their students; this has never resulted in an illness or a lawsuit.

Ants are simply a nuisance; most people would prefer not to have heavily trafficked ant highways crisscrossing their kitchen countertops. Exterminators can spray chemicals in your house that will eradicate your ants, but this solution makes no sense. Why would you flood your kitchen with chemicals that are toxic, in order to clear out small insects that are not toxic in the least? There are plenty of safe, nontoxic solutions to an ant invasion.

You may be tempted to wipe away the ants that are visible on your countertop with a sponge, killing these exposed ants but leaving at least a few carcasses on the floor or in cracks where you can't see them. This practice will only encourage more ants to swarm to the scene; ants are attracted by the odor given off by their dead companions, and they will begin arriving en masse to carry off the dead. It is best to focus on keeping the ants out of your house to begin with.

Try to find out where they're coming in. If they regularly appear on your kitchen countertop, check around nearby windows for cracks or openings. If your countertop is held together in places with silicone rubber or caulk, make sure there are no gaps. Check inside all your cabinets for gaps in the woodwork, and wipe away any spilled food while you're at it. And keep your kitchen clean, particularly around windowsills. Ants have a talent for quickly locating even just a few scattered grains of sugar, an invisible smudge of banana.

There are many common household substances that are repellent to ants. If an ant encounters cinnamon, mint, red chili powder, or black pepper, he will crawl quickly in the other direction. You can sprinkle any of these spices lightly around your countertops or inside your cupboards. Bay leaves dipped in mint mouthwash will also drive away ants; you can place several bay leaves around windowsills. If you want a solution that is less messy, you can plant mint and cloves in small pots and keep these around your kitchen windowsills, or outdoors in small gardens just outside your house walls.

Ants will not cross any lines drawn with chalk or Vaseline; you can try drawing chalk lines along your windowsills or along seams in your cabinetry. Ordinary chalk made of gypsum may not work; tailor's chalk, made of talc, is effective. The active ingredient here is the talc; baby powder is another harmless household substance containing talc that ants try to avoid.

A solution of equal parts vinegar and water, sprinkled around your counters and food preparation areas, will keep ants away, though with vinegar you may just be swapping one annoyance for another. A glass cleaner such as Windex will also prevent ants from coming, but as with the vinegar, this solution may be a bit invasive.

Some species of ants indeed can be damaging. Carpenter ants, for instance, can hollow out woodwork in your house; they don't eat the wood, but build their nests in hollowed-out areas. Termites do indeed eat wood, and can cause extensive damage to your home. Either of these pests should be cleared out as quickly as possible, using whatever means you have available. And fire ants (or "red ants") will sting. There are 280 species of fire ants worldwide, with some species occurring in Australia and the southern and southwestern United States. But, in almost all cases, the ants you find in your house will be harmless, and you can experiment with different safe, nontoxic ways of getting rid of them.

How to Get Rid of Ants With Ant Repellents

It is not essential to make use of strong chemicals or similar ant repellents to get rid of ants in your house. Simple remedies work wonders. These include:

A very effective ant repellent is home remedy of citrus and water. Vinegar is also very effective. The odor of vinegar repels ants and they never come again to such places. Sprinkle vinegar or citrus solution around places where you locate ants to get rid of ants.

Insecticides like boric acid and borax are effective ant repellents. These are harmless to humans. Sprinkle little of any of these on food that attract ants. Allow ants to carry such food back to their colony. Soon, you would be able to get rid of ants.

Red ants prove very irritating. If you want to get rid of red ants, spray chemicals across the area of ant population like lawns. This acts as a very effective ant repellent.

If you locate ants coming through fissures or cracks, pour liberal amounts of boiling hot water at such places. Ants would soon die. Be sure to pour boiling water as ants can live under water and pouring plain water cannot be an effective ant repellent.
Vaseline and other sticky substances are effective ant repellents. Apply Vaseline around bowls or across areas, you want to keep away from ants.

A permanent way of getting rid of ants is to block fissures, seal holes, gaps, and cracks with flexible calk.

Cream of Wheat is natural ant bait. Allow ants to take back the cereal to their colony. All ants would feed on such cereal. When Cream of Wheat is exposed to internal fluids of ant, it explodes. This helps you get rid of ants altogether.

Black pepper and Cayenne pepper are natural ant repellents as their strong smell provides an easy solution to get rid of ants. Sprinkling few pepper grains around your house or across ant nests can help you get rid of ants.

Cinnamon proves to be similar ants repellent like pepper. This is a very effective ant repellent. Although cinnamon does not kill ants, it does help you get rid of ants as ants find the strong smell of cinnamon too repulsive and never come again.

Coffee powder is another effective ant repellent. Sprinkle or make a line with coffee powder and ants would not cross it. You can get rid of ants without killing them.

Baby powder is another simple and effective ant repellent. Sprinkle baby powder across windowsills, corners of rooms, cracks, doors, fissures, and practically anywhere you locate ants. Baby powder is actually Diatomaceous earth. This is a safe and natural substance and does not affect children or pets. This is an easy way to get rid of ants.

Electronic ant repellent is another effective way to get rid of ants. This repellent does not use chemicals. It only cuts off communication signals between any sweet smelling food and ants. This is an environmental-friendly ant repellent.

Understanding Why You Have Carpenter Ants in the House

Having carpenter ants in the house is one of the most common pest problems faced by the people living in woody areas and damp climate zones. There are several types of carpenter ants that burrow inside the wooden crevices of your home; some of them are black ants while the others are red in color.

The black carpenter ants are often known by the name Camponotus pennsylvanicus and red carpenter ants are scientifically known as Camponotus sayi. Usually, red ants are smaller than the black ones though they happen to have the same kind of physical resemblance. Irrespective of the color and type, these ants feeding habits and nesting places are same. The usual diet of the carpenter ants includes honey, dead bodies of pests and insects, fatty bodies, sweets etc. There is a popular misconception that these ants feed on the wood or barks of trees which is not true.

Carpenter ants simply burrow inside the rotten wood, moist places and damp zones and try to chisel away the wood from inside making it hollow, brittle and useless. Summer months are the time when you are likely to find Black carpenter ants in the house. Red ants are most commonly found during the winter months.

Breeding habits, the way these ants procure food, store them, form colonies, all such aspects are the same for both the red and black carpenter ants. One should resort to same type of treatment procedures to eliminate both types of ants from their home. Though concentration of both the type of ants varies from state to state, the same amount of damage can be expected whenever there is an ant's nest nearby. One can surely find heaps of saw dust, holes in walls, rustling sounds from inside the walls, trails on the walls, wires, electric sockets etc. Wherever there is moisture inside the home or drenched wood or rotten mulch, you are likely to find an infestation.

One should be cautious while using chemicals to eliminate the carpenter ants in a house. Some of the chemicals are considered to be harmful to pets and kids and should not be used within their proximity. Chemical ingredients used in some of the aerosol sprays have been banned legally in several states. Before buying these products, go through the label and find out what all chemicals have been used in it. Some of the ant-killers come loaded with harmful chemicals that should be applied by the professionals alone. In such cases, seek the assistance of a professional pest controller who is licensed and has proper registration to deal with this job.

If anybody in the family experiences nausea, giddiness or any other kind of discomfort while using the pesticides to kill the ants, discontinue their use and consult doctor immediately. If there are asthmatic children or pregnant ladies in your home, seek guidance from a medical councilor to find out what type and what amount of pesticides can be used within their vicinity. Click the links below to learn more about dealing with carpenter ants in the house.

How To Stop Ants From Terrorizing Your Home

The invasion of ants inside your own house is the worst thing of all. All kinds of ants are unnecessary pests may it be red ants, fire ants or black ants. That is why ant control is crucial to take if you don't want to say goodbye to your house's great supports, which unfortunately are the usual targets of such creatures.

People consider most ants as a form of irritation. There are ants from the south called fire ants. These ants are very destructive and aggressive, their sting can be a source of simple reactions that ranges to vomiting or nausea to a more brutal and severe reactions. If a fire ant hill or mound is alarmed or disturbed, the ants there can be very destructive and will aggressively sting anyone who intrudes there mound repeatedly. There are also ants called red imported fire ants that can cause damage or harm to buildings and homes. An ant hill that is made inside or surrounding the air con unit will ultimately destroy the unit.

Thousands of Leaf cutter ants or red ants will attack a vegetable garden. They are not as aggressive and destructive as the fire ants, but they destroy and damage your plant tops in a confirmed time. The Florida carpenter ant is a red-black and pure black flying ants with a length of of an inch are not so common compared to the fire ants. Very colony of the carpenter ants will create adult ants with wings once every year to look for a new place that can be their location to be able to start new colonies. Carpenter ants choose soft woods that are decaying to pass into and build their nests.

There are some methods of getting rid of these ants in your lawn or garden starting with organic pest control procedures. You can begin by pouring boiling water into the ants for them to be drowned with as much as boiling water of three gallons to drown each ant hill or ant mound. You can use a natural repellent like water and citrus after the boiling water. You can also blend it using a blender before pouring it over the mound of the ants. Another example of remedy that is natural is combine equal measurement of borax and sugar. Then put the mixture of borax around your yard in small boxes or containers like jars because its lids can work better ants have an attraction to the borax or sugar, these ants will carry it back to the anthill and after one or two weeks, the borax or sugar will kill the anthill. Another example of natural remedy is the usage of cream of wheat or grits. Sprinkle the cream of wheat or grits over the anthill. The ants in there will consume the grits and those grits will explode hnside their bodies after expanding. This procedure is well known to kill ants in just one day or two.

One more deterrent that is still natural for the ant invasion is planting a mint, but keep in mind that mint is a very persistent plant and can invade your garden more you wanted it to be. If you prove that mint are very aggressive, prepare a strong mint tea to make a natural insecticide and put in all over the mound. However, if you still cannot treat an ant invasion with all the natural remedies, the choice of chemical can be an answer to your problem.

Bear in mind that ants are strong creatures and taking them away from your yard is proven to be hard. It is necessary to have multiple attempts before having complete removal of ants from your place. If you still cannot succeed by all your means, it is better to call a professional pest management for the remedial option.

Fire Ants in the Southern United States

If you have never been bit by a fire ant...You don't want to...I was in Dallas a few weeks ago, and I still have a little bump from where I was bit by a single fire ant, also called red ants, by the pool.

I am not kidding!

They call them fire ants because it burns when you are bit by them. They pack a wallop! Problem is, you usually don't get hit by just one. You probably stepped in an ant mound without even knowing it!

They are super quick, and all swarm up your legs, or whatever body part is touching the ground, and bite you. It feels like fire all over.

When I played softball at Texas A&M, and at McNeese State University, we came across the same problems, sometimes even on the field.

Our dog, Kaptain, when he was a puppy, stepped in a fire ant while he was outside, and we happened to be watching him closely and ran over to grab him. Before we could pick him up, in about 1 second, they were all the way up his legs. We quickly brushed them off without one getting to his skin to bite him. This just goes to show how quick they are!

What to do? Stay away from them. They often make huge mounds (up to 40 cm high), if given the chance. Don't mess with them at all! Stay away!

There are over 280 species of fire ants worldwide.

Scientific Classification:

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Suborder: Apocrita
Family: Formicidae
Subfamily: Myrmicinae
Tribe: Solenopsidini
Genus: Solenopsis

Typically, they feed on seeds, plants and sometimes crickets. However, they will protect their mounds from anything.

Why does it burn when you're bit?

Most ants bite and then squirt an acid that burns, but the fire ant bites in order to get a grip to sting you with a stinger from the abdomen, that injects you with a toxin that is an alkaloid venom called Solenopsin.


Now this can swell into a bump that can then form a pustule, which gives you the risk of becoming infected. If they get infected, you may have a scar later.

What Can I Do After a Bite that will Help?

Aloe Vera, antihistamines and corticosteroids may help reduce the itching of the bites. However, some individuals may be very sensitive to this venom and actually need Emergency treatment due to anaphylaxis.

Ant Control - Get Rid of Fire Ants With the "Texas Two Step"

Fire ants, also known as red ants, are stinging ants that can be found world wide. Originally imported from South America into Alabama, these ants have spread with relative ease across the entire southern U.S. to become a growing problem for homeowners and farmers. These ants are very resilient and will aggressively defend their nests from any invaders to include humans. Their sting is capable of killing small animals and can be fatal to those humans with severe allergic reactions.

Due to their resiliency, handling fire ants with a mere bait trap will likely be insufficient. That is why researchers out of Texas A&M University invented a special technique to deal with these invasive ants affectionately known as the Texas Two Step. The Texas Two Step as the name implies involves two steps known as broadcasting and drenching.

In step one you "broadcast" a non-toxic bait insecticide. Spread this insecticide in close proximity to the fire ant nests as well as their food source. The foragers will take the bait insecticide back to their nest and spread it into the general ant population. Over time a significant portion of the ants will eat the insecticide to include the queen ant. As a result the queen will become infertile or may die. This reduces the proliferation of the ants as the queen will no longer be able to lay eggs. This step should be performed during times of peak foraging activity in either the summer or fall. That will help ensure that the bait insecticide has the most prolific effect.

In step two you follow up the "broadcast" with a "drenching" using an organic liquid insecticide. This liquid insecticide should be applied liberally to each and every nest in your purview. This second treatment will effectively kill the remaining ants that survived the initial application of the bait insecticide. Fire ant nests are often hidden from plain sight under logs or similar obstructions so it is imperative that you locate and apply this final step directly to each nest or the ants will simply regroup to form a new nest in a new location. An alternative to the liquid insecticide is 2-3 gallons of boiling water. This will kill the ants that remain but is much less effective than the liquid insecticide. The boiling water also has the tendency to kill other vegetation such as grass or plants, so the organic liquid insecticide is generally the preferred method. This step can wait until after the winter months have subsided entering into the spring months. This will effectively eliminate the ants before they ramp up for peak activity during the summer months.

Ants and DIY Ant Farm

Ants are insects known for their diligence and preparedness. Many children's stories depict ants as reliable and industrious insects as opposed to grasshoppers. Ants are even commended in the Bible. Proverbs 6:6 reads, "Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise!"

Ants are not just the perfect exemplar of hard work but they also make interesting and inexpensive pets. If your kids wish to make ants as pets, you need to build an ant farm first. Making an ant farm is a thrilling and entertaining means of learning crucial things about ecology and entomology. Ants teach kids their important role in ecological balance.

How to Make an Ant Farm
o Small aquarium or glass container with cap
o Smaller glass container to fit inside the bigger one (1 inch distance)
o garden soil
o funnel
o scotch tape
o construction paper
o pail and shovel
o honey
o cotton ball
o ants (If possible, hunt for big black ants because smaller types of ants are hard to view)

Put the smaller container inside the bigger container. The smaller glass container will consume space and allow the ants to put together tunnels touching the outside container so they can be easily seen.

Hunt for an ant farm. Using a garden shovel, burrow with care in the portions where there are many ants. Move soft soil bearing the ants into a pail. Make some effort to hunt for a winged queen ant or some bigger ants together with maggots. Queen ants are generally black and possess a bigger abdomen and thorax. Worker ants will become extinct without the queen. Look beneath stones and logs. Queens are normally making new ant colonies in spring seasons. It is the best time to hunt for a queen.

By means of a funnel, put in soil along with the tinier worker ants to the gap flanked by two containers. Then, put in tenderly the queen ant and eggs last. Typically, the tinier ants will become busy and start to transfer their queen ant together with her eggs in their new dwelling place immediately. Refrain from moving the container as this could drop the dirt in the tunnels of the ants.

There are certain types of ant species that bite. Red ants are particularly aggressive and their bites can hurt kids. Black ants are passive types. Have kids stay away from ants while you build the ant farm. Ants can scale glasses. Make sure to firmly cover your bottle or container. Create tiny air holes in the cover so that ants cannot get away. Put together a paper sheath to shield the bottle from top to bottom of the soil. This will dim the ant farm and will make ants feel that they are home to an underground setting.

Ants are crazy over sugar, tiny bread morsels, fruit pieces, and what else, honey! Put only extremely small quantities. These creatures obtain fluid mostly from their food, yet every two days you can place a water-soaked cotton ball into the container to supplement the reserve. Do this carefully because thumping or knocking the container over will break up your new ant farm.

How to Get Rid of Ants Naturally - Stay Ant-Free This Summer

Can anyone really say they like ants? Is there anyone not interested in how to get rid of ants in your house and garden? I hate ants. I particularly hate red ants. And they don't much like me either. I still have scars on my ankles where I ran a power lawn mower over a red ant hill which sprayed the little devils all over my sandals and ankles.

Maybe the only thing worse than ants invading your home are the commercial sprays and liquids available to keep them out. Yes they can kill the ants but if you're not careful you can do damage to yourself and your pets as well. And if you're using them outside you aren't doing the ground water any favors either.
There are some practical preventive methods you can do to minimize the attractiveness of your home or garden to the little party crashers. Ants are looking for food and water. The idea is to deny them those treats and they will look elsewhere (your neighbor's house perhaps). This means that you need to do a number of things.

First, get rid of trash as soon as you create it. If you have scraps from a meal take them outside and put them in the garbage can. Keep the garbage can away from the house. If you are one of those people who keep it in the garage for convenience you are just sending out an invitation for the ants.

In the summertime when the little guys are active, keep fresh fruit refrigerated and not laying out on the counter. Ants thrive on the sucrose found in fruit. Any food that you have on the counter should be in tightly sealed containers. I learned that a metal cake cover does not qualify as a tightly sealed container when I came home from a 2 day trip to find a line of ants running from the sliding glass doors, across the dining room, up a counter wall and into the chocolate cake.

Okay I was really tempted to buy some spray and nuke the little buggers. But you can make your own magic sauce and do it naturally. Mix a teaspoon of boric acid with 21/2 ounces of corn syrup and heat until the acid dissolves. Then using a dropper, put the stuff down on likely points of entry to the house.

If you don't have boric acid handy, and the wind isn't blowing real hard, you can achieve the same thing by sprinkling chili powder, paprika or borax on the ant trails. If you want to take the battle to where they live, boil three quarts of water and pour it down the ant hill. Hey, its you or them right.

So you don't have to live with ants and there are natural nonchemical ways to send them on their way. Enjoy your summer without having to deal with uninvited guests.

Killing Ants With Natural Insecticides

Ants appear to be pretty harmless to most people. In the majority of temperate climates, ants do very little damage, although red ants bite people all over the planet. However, there are more serious ants in warmer countries and some of these ants can even be responsible for hospitalzations and even a few fatalities. Red ant bites itch or even hurt, but imagine a baby falling onto a red ant nest.

What if that baby fell onto a fire ant nest or a red carpenter ant nest? Carpenter ants can be an inch (25 mm) long and a bite can draw blood. There are poisonous ants in South America and exploding ants in Southeast Asia, although they will not kill humans. Soldier ants are quite frightening too. In fact, the number of dangerous ants in the warmer countries can be disturbing.

Indeed, only a fortnight ago, my male dog was plastered in big red welts all over his stomach and under carriage. He was clearly in great pain when he walked and was off his food. It has been very hot here in Thailand this summer because the monsoon was late, so he most likely dug a shallow hole in the soil to keep cool. He was probably swarmed by ants while he was napping, but could not shake them off. He was in a very bad way for three days.

Some ants are vegetarians but others will happily eat meat, if it is on offer. Most ants will eat dead insects and small, dead animals. Some will also attack healthy animals, including humans, if they feel attacked.

One problem is that insects can become resistant to chemical controls and sometimes this immunity is localized, so it is better not to use chemicals if you can do anything about it. Chemicals can also present a hazard to children, which makes storing them and using them even more dangerous.

Boric acid is a by-product of boron which is a natural product. Boric acid is very good at destroying insects that take food back to their colonies, so this encompasses ants and termites. It can be mixed with sugar and water to make it more attractive to ants or can be spread around the garden with no danger. It is harmless to children and pets alike.

Cayenne pepper is another repellent-cum-killer. Grow your own cayenne peppers, blend them and add to boiling water, then spray over ants and ant runs when it has chilled. It will not eradicate a colony, but it will stop foraging ants.

Corn meal is a way of ant and cockroach control. Sprinkle it about and when the insects eat it, it will swell up with their digestive juices and cause them to blow up. Not very nice, but satisfying all the same.

There are other biological remedies for destroying or discouraging insects too, some are favourites of one country or local people. Why don't you ask around the older people where you live and find out what their parents used to use to control ants and other insects the natural way?

Ants Versus Termites - The Battle Of the Micro Titans

Termites are very annoying and not to mention very, very, very destructive insects. They are quite stubborn too. Even applying insecticides in order to eradicate these pests, they will always, sooner or later, manage to come back. These insects are mostly attracted to paper and wood. They can make colonies under the cement floor and then work their way in the house by creating secret passages through the walls. One can't even notice until damage has been done. They are so fast. They are also so efficient that they can eat a wooden box overnight.

I can no longer count how many times I sprayed our house with anti-termite insecticide.

There is another but more annoying yet not so harmful insects, the ants.

They are attracted to food, specially sweets and sugar. They appear in different kinds of sizes and colors too.

The ants are more than powerful compared to any man-made radar system when looking for food. They are so efficient food hunters. Just leave something sweet and edible anywhere, the ants will be there within a couple of minutes.

I have this habit of drinking coffee under the mango tree. Mainly, because it is cool under the shade.

As I was staring at the thick branches of the mango tree hoping that it is already starting to bear fruits, I noticed some white crawlers going down to the bamboo pole used to support the tree.

I dismiss the crawlers as the busy ants. Then I took another sip of my coffee, I suddenly feel some odd taste. The thing stuck in my tongue that seems like a little bit larger speck of sand except that it pinches like a very small vise grip. It hurts.

I have no other choice but to take it out with my fingers. It was a red ant.

It occurred to me that the crawlers I saw on the branches of the mango tree must not be the ants, so I look up and to my amazement I saw termites crawling down to the ground.

The termites were heading towards the piece of log I was sitting on. I jump up to stand and yes, unnoticeably they reside inside the cut down wood.

An after thought came to my mind, where did the red ant came from? I look around and there is nowhere near the log the red ant could have come from.

I look up and there it is! A red ant colony resides inside a hive looking make shift made up of mango leaves hanging from a mango brand three feet above my head. Right down from where the red ants? colony hangs is a colony of termites living inside the log.

An experiment came up instantly in my mind.

What will happen if I can make the red ants invade the colony of termites?"

So I pour a cup of red sugar on the log seeing to it that most of the sugar granules will fill the holes where the termites use as passages.

The effect is like the battle of Mactan, Datu Lapu-lapu versus Ferdinand Magellan, insects version!

The soldier termites position themselves on top of the log while the big red ants started to fall from above. I can see the hand to hand grid lock, a termite to an ant. Some duelers started to fall from the edge of the log. It was magnificent. It reminded me of a scene in the movie 300.

Furthermore, surprisingly some other kinds of ants started swarming from everywhere towards the log. Big red ants, big black ants, small red, small black, much more smaller red and black ants joined the battle. It was like People Power 1 and People Power 2 combined with the fleet of Douglas McArthur in tow.


The colonial war between the termites versus the ants lasted for three days with the queen termite's skin ended up on top of the log.

Wow! I will not be needing termite insecticide to get rid of the termites. All I need is sugar.

Concerning the ants, I think they are the kind of insects I have to live with.

I don't want to end up like the queen termite. 

How to Get Rid of Those Red Ants in Your Garden

Believe me, you'll hate those small creatures in your garden that are really painful once they bite on to your skin. It's really bothersome to see them attacking your eggplant, tomatoes, pepper, and almost majority of your vegetables are victims of these little ants, yet a problem in our garden.

I have experience the tremendous pain by these ants when I was weeding my plants and I happen to dug into their colony, not knowing there was any, when suddenly my feet was already half covered by these tiny creatures.

I suffered too much pain and was sick during the night after being beaten.

So, what I did, the next day, I mixed my homemade insecticides with the following formulation...

For one gallon of water, I measured two tablespoon of powdered laundry soap, two tablespoon of vegetable oil, two tablespoon of baking soda, and one teaspoon of chlorine powder.

After mixing all the ingredients I placed the solution to the hand sprayer, about one half gallon in size and immediately I went to my garden where the ants colony was located.

Upon seeing that the ants were somewhat enjoying their work, I immediately sprayed directly to them the solutions I made. You could just imagine once the solution hit them, it only took about 30 seconds all those that were hit instantly died.

I continued the process until almost all were totally killed. Those that were below the soil, I used a digging tool to let them come out to the surface, and do the same process sprayed them directly.

It took me about one hour to continue spraying until almost all were totally eradicated.

So, if you have these tiny creatures in your garden, don't panic anymore, follow my formulation and say goodbye to the red ants. It's really effective, although you've to spend a little amount to buy the needed ingredients for the mixture, but any way it's worth the amount and efforts.

Happy gardening.

Red Ants! They Are Ferocious!

One of the earliest memories I have as a child is when I was playing with one of my first childhood friends, Jason Vanzant. We had to be around 5 or 6 years old. Anyway, we were in the backyard of our house down at the end of Mahogeny Circle by the freeway in the old part of town. Our backyard was shaped like a giant wedge where the tip of the wedge was the furthest part of the yard away from our house, and was the only part of the yard that wasn't landscaped, or set aside as a play area.

Well, Jason and I were climbing one of the large trees in the far back. Jason and I were basically joined at the hip. We did everything together. Jason was older than me by a year, but I was a little more "in charge" of things as far as taking the lead on what we did and stuff like that.

Well, we were going through a stage where we liked to climb trees. Jason decided to give it a try first. So, he started shimmying up the tree to the first branch, which was a good 5 or 6 feet above the ground. This took some effort and I stood at the base of the tree giving my shoulders as a place for him to step. Well, as I stood there I noticed a small group of red ants. I don't remember why I had the idea that red ants were "killer ants," but for some reason I was afraid of the red ones and thought that they could eat through your flesh. I'm sure one of my older brothers talked me into that.

Anyway, Jason is dangling from this branch and is almost secure when all of the sudden I scream like a little girl "RED ANTS!!!" and I jumped back from the tree. This spooked Jason and he lost his hold on the branch and came falling down. He jumped up and was startled. "WHAT DID YOU SEE?" he asked, thinking that I had seen a large spider or a snake. I pointed at the tree and showed him the small group of red ants. Needless to say, he wasn't very happy that I had just made him fall from the tree over a couple of harmless red ants. Not only that but I think he ended up chipping a piece of his tooth off. I sure felt dumb and learned quickly that those red ants really were harmless.