There will not be any major issue if you accidentally ate ants. It would not kill you or make you sick. However, if you eat large amounts of ants, it will increase the risk of parasitic infections, because they can carry .
Why are ants attracted to food?
Literally, anything with sugar attracts ants. As such they prefer to feed on food like Jelly, Syrup, honey candy and juices. Ants are hard workers, and it is important that they get calorie rich food so that they can move faster and serve their queen. Sugar is literally an edible form of energy. Besides there are ants who wish to feed on the fat and on the grease as well.
Hence why you can commonly spot the ants swarming around the discarded fast food remains. In addition to that, ants need plenty of protein to grow strong as well. Hence , ants prefer to depend on the meat items too.
In fact, meat have both grease and protein, hence ants are quite attractive towards them. Additionally, they are attractive for peanut butter, eggs etc.
Apart from that, ants are fond of moisture too. Hence , if there is any food which is damp, ants will be attractive for those as well. As such , it is important that you clean all the food spills in your kitchen as unless, you will end up having unnecessary trouble with ants.
Who eats ants?
Bird species such as sparrows, grouse and starlings eat ants. Besides, antbirds flickers also consume the ants to fulfill their dietary requirements. Wrens , grouse and starlings are some other birds which eat ants. Moreover, birds such as woodpeckers, pigeons’ pheasants, hummingbirds , crows, wild turkey also have a great fondness for eating the ants.
Anteaters are edentate animals and they do not have any teeth. However, they consist of long tongues which can feed on about 35,000 ants.
If there are ants infested the dog’s food bowls, dogs would not hesitate in eating them. it will be a part of their meals. Having said that, there could be some dogs which will not consume their food if they find any ants crawling in their food bowls. However, ants would be a protein and vitamin C source for the dogs.
Cats also consume the ants. However, they will not try to catch the ants as much as they try to catch the birds. But if they come across any ants by emergency, they would consume them.
Many Asian, African Latin American people consume ants to fulfill their dietary requirements. Some people are fond of eating weaver, honey, leaf cuttings, ants and black ants. There are some ant types such as lemon ants which you can find in Ecuador , in South America and they are being sold at higher prices.
Besides, many other animal species also eat the ants. For example, beetles, caterpillars’ flies are fond of eating ants. Not only that but also, spiders such as black widow spiders and jumping spiders would also consume ants.
Snails and some other shelled organisms are also fond of eating ants. Besides, snakes, fish and lizards also tend to eat ants. Last but not least, mammals such as bears, and coyotes also prefer to eat ants. There are some animals which eat ants in a strange way. It helps them to survive and procreate
There are some species of flies which will lay their eggs on top of the ants. When there are larvae, they will eat whatever the ants they find.
On other example, spiders will attract the ants into their web. Next, they will spin them into little morsels whilst using their sticky organs they have. If we take bears into consideration, they tend to eat ants as a sweet meal once they come across wild honey. Despite the small size they have, ants will still be a good food source. They have a high component of protein.
Side effects of eating ants.
The ants which are usually consumed by humans are safer for humans and do not have any side effects. Having said that, if you eat them in large amounts, it will increase the risk of parasitic infection. Further refrain from eating the poisonous ants which could create allergic reactions in you.
However, if you wish to cook them, ensure that you store them and process them properly. For that it is important that you wash them properly and heat them when cooking.
However, when you consume ants, that literally means you would be consuming the ant’s microbiota, gut bacteria.
It may lead to parasite ingestion by eating ants. There will be a greater risk for human’s health from the parasite called Dicrocoelium dendriticum. Seldom you come across “dicrocoeliasis” and they are the infections caused by this parasite. Further, keep in mind that not all ants are edible. There are ants such as fire ants, jack jumper ants which have toxic realizing organs.
Not many experts have conducted studies on the downside of eating ants. As such there are no records to show any further scientific impact on ants’ consumption.
However as per the researches conducted, they have a food allergen called Chitin which could be harmful. According to certain studies conducted, ants have a source of purines which will increase the uric acid production. It would be harmful for the people with gout. There should be further studies to emphasize this fact.
How ow to get rid of ants
Using ant repellent chalk is a famous home remedy to get rid of the ants. Chalk has calcium carbonate, and it is what keeps the ants away. You can simply spray some powdered chalk in the areas where you suspect the ants are present. Other than that, you can simply draw a chalk line on the suspected entry points of the ants at your home. It is an effective way of overcoming these nasty creatures invading your space. Having said that, when you draw the chalk line, ensure that you do not let your kids get in contact with them.
All you need to do is to squeeze lemons on the suspected areas where you think that ants can sneak through. Alternatively, you can place lemon peels also on those places. Moreover, you can wash the floor with water and add some little lemon juice into it.
Ants hate the lemon juice smell, and it will help them to keep the ants at bay. However, do not keep anything sugary closer to those entry points as it will only attract the ants. Instead place something which is bitter and sour. Further keep your kitchen perfectly clean and no food spills are remaining on the floor. Unless it would attract the ants. Next you can place those peels there.
Oranges also keep the ants away from your house just like the lemons do. You can make a paste of this solution. To do that you need to arrange one cup of warm water and add some orange peels to that. You can simply spread this paste on the suspected entry points of the ants. Once you apply it, you need to wipe them as well.
Alternatively, you can keep the orange peels on the suspected entry points of your kitchen. Orange would be more like a natural deterrent for the ants.
Whilst the ants have a great desire for sugar, they would have a completely contrasting feeling for pepper. Literally they hate pepper. If you wish to use pepper, you can simply sprinkle pepper at the susceptible entrances of the ants to your home. You can use Cayenne pepper or black pepper for this purpose. Besides, if you wish you can make a pepper solution whilst mixing it with water.
After that you can spray it on the places where you suspect the ants would be present. It would not kill the ants. Instead, it would stop them from invading your home. However, before you apply it, ensure that you clean the area first.
You can simply spread salt on the areas where you suspect the ants may invade your home. You may use table salt for this process. In fact, anybody can afford to do this method as it is not costly. Moreover, it is a natural way of getting rid of them.
Refrain from using health boosting salt. Instead use the ordinary table salt. To apply it, you can simply boil water and add some larger amount of salt. Next stir them until they dissolve. After that, you can put them in a spray bottle and apply them where you suspect any presence of the ants.
Ants hate the white vinegar smell. To do that you can prepare a solution of water and white vinegar. Add them in equal amounts. Next consider adding a few drops of essential oil and shake it well. You can store this solution and sprinkle them on the suspected entry point of the ants on a daily basis.
Further this is not a method which would kill the ants, but it would be a productive way of overcoming the menace of ants. You can spray it on the windowsills and on your doorways too. literally you can place it on all suspected places where you assume the ants may invade your space.
If you wish to use cinnamon to repel the ants, you can simply put cinnamon and cloves right at the entrance in your home. You may also place them in other entry points as well. It would also help to keep your houses fresh and earthy. Cinnamon would act as an effective DIY ant control option. Cinnamon would be more like natural ant repellent.
That is simply because the ants cannot bear the fragrance of cinnamon. For better results, you may also add some essential oil to cinnamon powder so that it will further enhance the fragrance of cinnamon.
Many people use peppermint as an insect repellent, and you can use them to get rid of the ants as well. Ants are not fans of peppermint, and they would not bother to invade the spots where they can smell it. The strong smell of the peppermint is not something which ants can tolerate.
Hence it will avoid them invading your house. If you wish to practice this method, you need to make a mix of 10 drops of peppermint essential oil with water. You can simply add it to a cup of water. Next you need to sprinkle on wherever you suspect the ants are present. Best is to do it twice a day and you will be able to get rid of them completely. Besides, you can sprinkle dried peppermint instead of using the liquid solution.
To sum up, I hope you were able to clear all the doubts you had with regards to eating ants, the side effects of having them and the modes of repelling them.