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. Guiding it out the window or door will always be easier. Simply because the fly wants to live. It’s an instinctive behaviour. You just open a door or window, follow it around the room with a pillow or magazine or even just the hands, et voilà. They always go out. In fact, after years of experience, flies seeking their freedom began hopping on my hands, which I keep steady until reaching a door or window before blowing them away.

Recently, I shared through the last two articles how ants carry their dead and you can read it Here. Also how 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 and their fascinating miniature world, now even more than ever, I think so many times before ending the life of one of these magnificent creatures.

Last night, I found four or five 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 all casually 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 my attempt to communicate 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. Good start.
I slowly moved my hand further as to gain territory on the battlefield. They then 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 found this tiny space between the stove top and the counter, from which apparently they enter/exit to and from the house. Success!

So not only did I uncover their secret gate, but I also didn’t kill few 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 and to perpetuate their existence. That is simply it.

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

It seems they sensed my presence and understood my body language rather than being another random escape.

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.

All that said, teach your children that whenever a mosquito bites them or a fly lands on their food, they are only trying to feed and survive. This is the natural order of things in Life. There is nothing personal about it and there is no reason to freak out or to curse the insects. The more understanding, the less fear.


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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