After reading this article, I also wanted to run a simple experiment by painting them with non-toxic acrylic paint.
I googled and found this video on youtube.
Since I don't have CO2 tank setup, my original plan was to:
1) disconnect the nest from the outworld (covering each end with cotton balls)
2) put the outworld into the fridge
3) when the ants slow down, take them out from the fridge and start painting them with non-toxic acrylic paint.
The result was a big failure, and I ended up killing 2 worker ants.
* The species is P. rugosus.
They slowed down quite a lot after 20-25 min in the fridge, but they could still walk around. I didn't want to put them inside there too long, so I took them out before it goes beyond 25 min. But as I took them out and tried to paint on them, they were slowly getting back on speed. And when I actually picked one up to paint on it, it actively resisted, jumbled with the acrylic paint, jumped back into the outworld, mingled with sands and another worker ants... it was a mess. I tried couple more times but the result was the same. I also couldn't even paint them clean like ppl in the video above.
So I googled how to anesthetize ants after all this mess.
Cold anesthesia is slower; 4 °C is sufficient, and colder temperatures are not recommended. (reference)
Average household fridge is around 4-7 °C. I don't know why it didn't work. Should I wait longer than 25 min? I don't know.
On the other hand, I found this interesting post about making this "insect anesthetizing" tool in here.
But I wonder if I can achieve similar result just with this baking soda and vinegar setup.
I might come up with a simple anesthetizing chamber with a plastic case, a jar, and 3/8"tubing, and try baking soda and vinegar method.
What do you guys think?
Would it be dangerous and inefficient because I cannot control the amount of CO2?
Or would it be fine if I take em out as soon as they pass out in the chamber?
Any opinion, advice, questions, all welcome!