How to clean your ants foraging area
So, you fed your ants and now you have a mess to clean up. Somehow.
This can be a lot more fun with aggressive species or species with a painful sting.
There are many ways to clean the foraging area, the method often depends on how large the colony is and how many ants hang out in the foraging area.
Here are several methods:
- Tweezers to remove large pieces
- Paint brush and scoop to sweep up the garbage
- Suction (I use a dust buster)
- Convince the ants to pile their garbage in something easily removeable
- Detach foraging area from nest to allow for a thorough cleaning
Tweezers (I like the anti-static tweezers)
Paint brush and scoop (works best with few ants in the foraging area)
I use a dust buster with a homemade aspirator attached, and then use featherweight forceps to pick up ants that got sucked into the aspirator and put them back into the outworld. Very good for quick cleans in larger colonies as the dust coats the aspirator and the ants can't climb out.
Easily removable garbage pile
Some ants will always pile their garbage in a lid, or containers in a distant corner. Some ants pile garbage on tin foil with traces of old sugar water (as you can see in my very top picture). Easily removable for cleaning. My Lasius were kind enough to always dump their garbage in this pill bottle. If there always seems to be hundreds of workers on or in these containers, raise the containers and most of the ants will go back down within a few hours (which is why the green cap in the top picture is raised).
Detach foraging area from nest to allow for a thorough cleaning.
I will often just tidy up the majority of the mess every week or so. Once or twice a year, I detach my foraging area from the nest and give it a thorough cleaning. I attach a second foraging and use feather weight forceps to move all workers in the dirty foraging area to the clean one.
Edited by Crystals, December 28 2017 - 3:56 PM.