Tuesday, November 20, 2012

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.