Friday, March 23, 2012

How to Make Ants Commit Suicide

Got an ant infestation and don't have a pot of boiling water handy?

No problem - with a little bit of maneuvering you can simply trick the pesky little blighters into committing mass suicide.

The quirk of nature, known as an 'ant mill,' only occurs with ants that are blind and rely on scent for navigation.

If ants lose the pheromone trail they are following, they become disoriented, and begin following the ant immediately in front of them. The result is a huge spiral ant formation in which the unfortunate creatures march around in circles until they literally drop dead from exhaustion.

The phenomenon can be induced by forcing the ants into an enclosed space, such as a plant pot.

The largest ant mill ever discovered measured a whopping 1,200 feet in diameter. Each ant took two and a half hours to complete a circuit, and had absolutely no idea that they were going around in circles.

On second thoughts, maybe it's kinder to fetch that pan of boiling water...

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