Having lived in the outer Brisbane suburb of Deception Bay for nearly 3 years now, I find the behaviour of the local ants difficult to understand.
Besides the normal ant behaviour (they swarm after most discarded/dropped food), they do other peculiar things:
- They often swarm into a glass that has a small amount of clean water in it. I can almost understand this: its been very dry, so water is just as important as food (to them).
- We replaced a worn out toilet cistern. After that, they would swarm around the silicon sealant that was used on the toilet piping (maybe they were getting high on the vapours?)…. after a few months, they are now just swarming around the toilet bowl (I assume they want the clean water)
- They seem to like biting small chunks out of clean paper facial tissues (This gets annoying/gross when I suddenly need a tissue for an imminent sneeze 🙁 )… I now have to look before I grab a tissue from the box, as it could have 20 – 50 moving black dots on it
- We went on holiday for about 4 weeks, and during that time, they managed to bite a hole through an unopened (ie sealed) plastic bag of Castor sugar (and also an unopened (sealed) paper bag of white sugar).
- They have set up a mini nest inside a cordless phone headset (the backlight to the lcd display shows funny moving ant shadows. I fixed that issue by removing the battery and placing the unit in the freezer for an hour (and then spent 10 minutes shaking out dead ants and eggs).
- A few have explored a salt shaker (made of clear perspex), and have obviously died of thirst… leaving black specks in the salt.
These ants look normal (they are small and black… smaller that the ants roaming outside the house).
I can’t pinpoint the main nest, as they usually appear from cracks in the wall.
I have tried baiting them using a boron based poison, but that doesn’t seem to have much effect.
They can sometimes be useful (cleaning up some sticky messes), but they also do some weird stuff!