Sunday, 10 August 2014

Guiding Ants Out Of The Kitchen... Alive

Some years ago I noticed that a fly stuck in a room will always cooperate with you if you want to kick it out than if you want to kill it. I have even shared this observation a few times. Guiding it out the window or door will always be easier than killing it. Simply because the fly wants to live, it’s an instinctive behaviour. I just open the window, follow it around the room with two pillows or magazines or even just my hands as I corner it, et voilà. They always go out.

Recently, I shared through the last two articles how ants carry their dead and you can read it Here, and how also they carry each other as a means of transportation and you can read that one There. So with all that I’ve learned about them, now even more than before, I think so many times before ending the life of one of these magnificent creatures.

Last night, I found two ants on the counter of the kitchen. As I was told, they usually come inside from the garden during the really hot days. Though I think those were scouting for food. So for a moment, I was confused. Should I just swipe the counter with the sponge and squash these little guys, or, try to do like what I did with the flies, and give them a chance to live and go back to their colonies, then swipe the counter? Of course I had no idea if I would succeed or not.

As I stood there contemplating my next move, I decided to put my hand to block their passage. They felt the threat and turned around swiftly and headed to the opposite direction. I slowly moved my hand further as to gain territory. Then they headed to the edge of the counter and disappeared underneath it. I thought they will go down the drawer below but they just vanished. I bent my head to look and I found this tiny space between the stove top and the counter, apparently it’s from which they enter/exit to and from the house.

So not only did I uncover their secret gate, but I also didn’t kill a couple of sentient beings when they didn’t cause me any threat. They never intend to actually, they just flee when they sense danger like a raccoon or any hungry animal. Like all animals, they simply want to survive, to perpetuate their existence.

Besides, no killing means less effort, less blood, less mess, and less chemicals.

Have they understood my body language or was it just another random escape for them, I wonder. 

Funnily, this was the look on my 84-year-old uncle’s face when in another instance he saw me use a paper towel to carry a wandering ant in the kitchen so I can release it in the garden instead of squashing it: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

A month later, I left this house and moved to a bungalow by the beach. This meant there were occasional visits from our cousins, the insects. Just like flies and ants, they too want to live. So in those last few months I’m proud to share that I have given new lives to several moths, butterflies, spiders, ants, three mosquitoes, some drowning bees, and a few other species I never even knew existed. Hallelujah!

It truly is the last thing on my mind now is to run looking for a repellent or a shoe
whenever I see an insect. Because all sentient beings deserve to live in freedom… except cockroaches. Still working on how not to squash those S.O.Bs.

Ants are more than a hundred million years older than us humans. They have a collective intelligence and they literally cover most surface of the globe. I find them fascinating, and just like all other beings they should be treated with respect. The more I learn about them the more I realize how efficient and advanced they are. And since ants do communicate, maybe after this little encounter they will go back and tell the rest of the colony about those compassionate humans who may be able to communicate instead of kill.


Why Do Ants Carry Their Dead?

Ants Carry Other Live Ones As Means of Transportation: Further Evidence That They Must Be Communicating [Video]  

Reviving a Drowning Bee [Video] — Learning The Do’s and Don’ts

Befriending a Flying Insect

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