I ate an ant and I didn’t like it
If you’ve ever sat down in the park having a barbecue, whether it’s a picnic with friends or just a lunchtime sandwich, chances are you’ve also found the company of ants while trying to enjoy your food in the sun. Some may have climbed on your legand even got to your sandwich of tuna without you noticing.
In the first place, if you ate an antDon’t worry, you’re probably fine. Did you know that ants are incredibly clean creatures? They groom themselves more than almost any other animal on earth – cats don’t even come close! In addition to being so clean, ants also have a lipid layer that covers their exoskeleton and makes it very difficult for bacteria to adhere to themso even if they don’t shower that morning, they’ll still be pretty clean.
Clean bodies, dirty feet
most insects they carry pathogens and bacteria on their feet and paws, which makes them dangerous when they move in our food; flies and cockroaches are a good example. For these little soldiers, your feet are as important as your antennas in the search for food, as they use their claws to crawl and grab food particles. They are also an essential tool in the hygiene process, as they have a texture similar to that of a brush that they use to clean themselves, and therefore also keep clean and stain free.
But that is not all! Not only do ants have an obsession with keeping themselves clean, they also have sterilizing agents within their own bodies, as their external glands are full of antimicrobial substances. Basically, it’s like humans secrete penicillin with sweat. You can imagine? We would never get sick!
Now that we know that ants are actually cleaner than us, we can be sure that the aversion we feel for eating them is mainly psychological and not based on a real threat. In fact, you probably know that the ants are considered a source of food in many parts of the world, as this delicatessen is a healthy source of protein and iron. Additionally, ants are becoming popular on fine dining menus around the world.
Either way, it’s understandable that we don’t want to be walked on or stepped on in our food when we try to enjoy the great outdoors, mostly because it’s annoying. So let’s give you some tips you can use to keep them away from your fruit salad.
Tips for keeping ants off the menu
ants are opportunistic and, depending on the species, they eat a wide variety of foods. So we can’t really recommend an ant-proof menu, but there are a few things that will keep them away: Cinnamon and St. Mary’s Wort. Try spraying a little around the area you are preparing to eat the next day, and a little more when starting out. That should keep you safe!
Another foolproof plan is place ant baits such as cucal ant traps a little away from the area you plan to eat in, as the ants will be attracted to them and not you. This also has the dual benefit of kill the ants and the nest where they come from, making the area less prone to ants in the future!