Monday, December 6, 2010

Ants' Antics!

I was always fascinated by ants, at the way they scent for food and take them away for storing, systematically! If we disrupt their line in some way, they take a roundabout way and reach their storage space, like, if we draw a line with Laxman Rekha chalk (insect repellent), they don't cross the line, like Sita did, but find some other way to take the food outside!

They seem to love my Tupperware plastic?! If the lid is cracked like this, it is easy for them to get in through the crack, pierce the rava (sooji) pack and steal it!

Otherwise, they bite the edge of the lid (you can see so many holes here in this box) and take away the goodies!

They march with white dots of rava in their mouth and store some, in this tray first!

The big group/line of ants are inside the box, collecting the food. They store here and go back, I noticed, to bring some more! A small line of ants, takes the grains out through the switch board frame!

Now, I have found that Tupperware is useless for storing rava or sugar or anything which are ants' favourite food. I keep the packets in the freezer. Tupperware boxes are quite expensive but I feel that they don't serve the purpose of sealing the box completely. I am happy with their freezer storage boxes than these boxes now! Or, we should be particular about what to store in them...not eatables, when the ants are around! Once the lids are damaged, they take months to replace them in the Tupperware outlets and they pressure us to buy more boxes, if we want the replacements early!

Now, back to our ants' antics! Now, I have started leaving a phulka roti or some biscuit, outside the window, on the window sill, for the ants to eat, so that they don't destroy anymore of my expensive Tupperware boxes! Have a look here:

One variety of ant, which we call, Pillaiyar yerumbu (tiny black ants which suddenly crop up from nowhere near the walls, which move about very fast and have white tiny dots on their heads/mouths), if seen at some particular place, my grand mother used to ask us to keep a small ball of jaggery (gud) near them. I have seen them leaving the place within minutes. Even a tiny grain of jaggery could not be seen at the place. They don't select the kitchen, even the veranda is OK for them! I wonder why they chose these places where there is no food!

So, I am following my grandmother's trick...I am leaving some food for these, our house ants, now, so that they don't trouble us any more!

Tell me about your 'ant experience' now!


Swaram said...

Wow! What a way to change the ants' route Sandhya. I hv not had problems till nw with my Tupperware stock, but will def. keep ur advice in mind if they attack our territory too :P :P

Destination Infinity said...

There are some ant-repellent powders available at grocery shops here and they are quite powerful. Even if I leave food on the table, no ants come these days! When I came to this house, there used to be many!! But I really like your approach of keeping some food in the window - not sure how much that has kept the ants out!!

But I am really amazed - can the ants pierce through sealed wrappers and tupperware plastic? I have never come across such ants. Are you sure they were ants and not your cats claws ;) The innocent ants might be taking the blame!!

Sandhya said...

Swaram: Please do, Swaram, hahaha!

Destination Infinity: I am allergic to all these repellents!

Yes, it is unbelievable! I have displayed the box with ant-bites for you to believe what I wrote about!

Never ever blame my poor, innocent, pet cats for these things or else I will send Jinju to take care of you! Oh, or shall I send Golie to you now, which will be a good idea because in another 5 months she will deliver another set of 3-4 kittens at your home!

Bikram said...

we dont get ants here in uk, so no problems for me ...

Though let me share i do have a mice problem and i have got some poison as last resort cause the traps etc have not worked at all.. this is a clever mice and for some reason the mice has eaten all the poison coated food and is STILL ALIVE DAMNNNNNNNN

any ideas wat i can do...

Bikram said...

we dont get ants here in uk, so no problems for me ...

Though let me share i do have a mice problem and i have got some poison as last resort cause the traps etc have not worked at all.. this is a clever mice and for some reason the mice has eaten all the poison coated food and is STILL ALIVE DAMNNNNNNNN

any ideas wat i can do...

Sandhya said...

Bikram: Long back we had used rat poison to catch a bandikoot and it worked. I don't know anyother way, Bikram!

You are lucky, you don't have ant problem. It is very difficult to control them.

I am not able to comment in your post, Bikram. I commented thrice in each for the last two posts of yours and don't see them there at all. What would be the problem?

Harish P I said...

ants are great teamworkers.. hardworking creatures.

Bikram said...

I dont know, email me what u have to say i will put it on... I dont know why this is happening ...

Anonymous said...

Ants are really tenacious, aren't they? They get everywhere! My mother gets so exasperated - whatever she tries, ants still manage to reach everywhere.

I am just lucky that we do not have ants here!

Bikram - Have you tried calling Pest Control? Mice are dangerous!

Renu said...

I dont have any ant problem.But I dont like tupperware much, becaus eI dont want the boxes for life, I like changing the things in kitchen. And plastic is plastic, even tupperware looks worn after some time.

Roshmi Sinha said...

Sandhyaji... you are beginning to look like a budding anthropologist! :)

"So, I am following my grandmother's trick...I am leaving some food for these, our house ants, now, so that they don't trouble us any more!"

... Such a simple yet very effective lesson...

Sandhya said...

Harish: Yes, they are 100% team workers. It is interesting to watch them, when we are bored!

Bikram: Did anybody else face this problem? I will email my comment if I don't see it there again, Bikram. Is the email address there? Let me check.

Smitha has suggested you to call the pest control people in her comment here, Bikram. Please do that, mice are dangerous.

wordsndreamz: Yes, once they enter our house, it is very difficult to control them!

Lucky people!

Renu: I find T.W. freezer boxes very useful. Mine are nearly 12 years old now and am bored of them!

Roshmi Sinha: Thank you, Roshmi!

BK Chowla, said...

So moral of the story is. Give the man it's due.

Anonymous said...

You're fascinated by ants, Sandhya?? I used to find them utterly bothersome you know :).

I like your idea of leaving food for the house ants so keep them away from troubling us. I'll share this bit with my mother for sure :)

radha said...

I got my house pest-controlled. For some time the ants also vanished. They are back. But do most damage in summer, so everything goes into the refrigerator right from rava to cashew. Or stacked one on top of the other in a bowl of water.

vimmuuu said...

LOL, ants are busy taking food from you and you are busy taking that picture ! :D :D :D :D

I hate ants, and thats because Im allergic to ant bites.

Btw, laxman rekha was for laxman, rt? I mean, Ram drew that line for laxman, no? Im curious.

UmaS said...

OMG !!! Never seen Tupperware boxes being attacked by ants...really, this is the first time for me.
Being a consultant, this is news u are giving me.
And any help with replacement, I'll be glad to do it for u. :) And I'll not pressurise u to buy more... ;)

But seriously, these ants are big probs to handle....but after I did the pest control for cockroaches and lizards at my home here, I found that the ants too dont come in....may be u can try that.

But leaving food for them outside is certainly a far better idea too...Good thinking. :)

Anonymous said...

Super post sandhya.Loved it so much.We always think of ants but never thought some one will write about them.

Groundnut,rava,jaggery etc are always in the fridge.In dubai i didnt had this problem.And my mom always uses laxman rekha when ever she makes some sweets,in my house it is more of black ants then red ones.

Sandhya said...

BK Chowla: Yes, Sir!

deepsspeaking up: It seems to be working...I see ants in the veranda, where I had left a piece of sweet and on the window sill with the roti, but they don't seem to enter our house to taste the cream from the milk vessel!

Radha: I am keeping milk, curd etc. (they come for eating cream!) in a plate of water, I keep other things in the freezer now!

We did use pest control while building the house, but did not work.

vimmuuu: It is very interesting to watch them!

I started writing the story of Laxman Rekha in the Ramayana style and on a second thought, got the link to you here:

UmaS: You are a Tupperware consultant? I was one, until a few years back!

Sure, I will contact you if I have got problem, changing the lids of boxes!

The main problem is, they change the colour of the lids while replacing them and it looks very odd/out of place with the set, esp. the Exe.lunch box! Many of the lids I got exchanged for myself and my old customers, are not nice at all. I don't like their attitude when they are not keeping their promise to exchange and they say that the boxes are for life. Many people are facing this problem. They treat us like creatures when we go with a broken lid!

varunavi: My freezer also is full of packets now, Saritha!

Indian Home Maker said...

I used a chalk kind of thing and drew lines near all the places where ants could come from. And once when the ants reached the Dining Table before we could, I had placed bowls of water under the Dining Table legs (in Kochi)... but the chalk worked better.

Sandhya said...

IHM: Yes, the chalk is good, but we have to draw the lines, nearly everyday because the effect weakens slowly within hours. The ants are too smart and continue with their job!

kanagu said...

Somehow me too fascinated by the ants... love them actually.. generally I won't do anything to shoo them off... :) :)

they are pretty talented and they go and live through any conditions... :)

தக்குடு said...

எனக்கும் இந்த புள்ளையார் எறும்பு கூட விளையாடர்து ரொம்ப பிடிக்கும். பயங்கர சுறுசுறுப்பா இருக்கும். நடுல நடுல பக்கத்து எறும்பு கூட எதோ பேசிக்கும், அது பேசி முடிஞ்ச உடனே திடீர்னு வேகமா போகும் இல்லைனா வந்த ரூட்டுக்கு எதிர் திசையை பாத்து போகும். நானும் கிட்டக்க போய் எல்லாம் காதை வெச்சு கேட்டு பாப்பேன் எதாவது பேசர்து கேக்கர்தா?னு...:)

Destination Infinity said...

I like cats too, how do you manage so many of them in a house? Do you give it away?

Destination Infinity

Unknown said...

Ants eat through tupperware?!!!

I would not have believed it if it weren't for these snaps! Boy, those are some pertinent ants!!

So you keep food for them now! :D It's safe to count them as pets then! :D

We have a lot of ants in native place... and when ladoos or sherbets offered would have an any or two, my grandma would tell me that they're good for vision, so to just ignore and eat! :P :P

That's not true...erm... I have specs! Heheheh! :D

Sandhya said...

kanagu: I feel so too! They are too brainy!

thadugudupaandi: One more admirer of ants, here! Yes, the balck ants are the fastest moving ants and they never seem to bite us too...they just roam about on our body like feathers!

Destination Infinity: Yes, I give them away! Black cats/kittens have great demand, but now I have sent them off! Just Zorro and Jinju (she has been sterilized!).

Crafty: Yes, they are too smart...they will go to any length to collect food!

They are coming home to steal food and if we give them in a platter, they will go off happily, don't you think so?!

I was also using your grandma's dialogue when the curd was full of ants and I didn't have the heart to throw so much curd into the ditch!

They don't wear specs!

Chandrika Shubham said...

Intelligent ants! :)

R. Ramesh said...

i was reading very interesting facts abt ants recently but forgot what i read..will try to check n get back with more details..cheers

R. Ramesh said...

i was reading very interesting facts abt ants recently but forgot what i read..will try to check n get back with more details..cheers

Sandhya said...

Chandrika Shubham: Yes, they are!

Ramesh: Waiting....!

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