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Thread: Ants and Electricity

  1. #1
    Once Upon a Time Array helium's Avatar
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    Default Ants and Electricity

    I was wondering why ants seem to be attracted to electrical equipment. I've had my own water heater shorted multiple times because of scores of ants piling up on an exposed wire. Now they're attacking my laptop. It's insane.

    I read this: Why do ants love electrical equipment?

    I still have all the same questions I had before. Anyone else have this experience?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Array nonperson's Avatar
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    Keeping the office door shut and feeding them a colleague stops them interfering with my electrical equipment.

  3. #3
    Words Aski Champion Array rhinosaur's Avatar
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    They probably are sensitive to static and low frequency electric fields.

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    twinkle twinkle Array OzR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by helium View Post
    I was wondering why ants seem to be attracted to electrical equipment. I've had my own water heater shorted multiple times because of scores of ants piling up on an exposed wire. Now they're attacking my laptop. It's insane.

    I read this: Why do ants love electrical equipment?

    I still have all the same questions I had before. Anyone else have this experience?
    The original link to the Texas A&M study is broken in the Yahoo blip, but if correct, they seem to dismiss all the obvious reasons (electrical properties) while supporting the notion that it has something to do with the electricity itself. (IMO the preference for the 'Hot' side in an electrical outlet and being more responsive to DC -vs- AC seems proof)

    ...Rather than the next obvious possibility of a heat source to ramp-up metabolism/speed to out do any threat/competition.

    Ants are marvelous little bits of biological hardware running on simple software. As they have obligatory responses to their main source of data input: Taste/Smell. Use this, and repel them with a Gustation-Olfactory Flash-Bang.

    For outside equipment repulsion, nothing beats a nice oil rub down in Kerosene or Diesel. (avoid equipment that operates too hot to grasp with hands)
    It'll last for months and has the bonus effect of being toxic to both insects and weeds. (environmental caution is obvious here)

    Non-Toxic indoor repellant can be had cheaply by boiling a pint bottle of White Vinegar and adding about 1/4 cup of ground Cayenne Pepper and the peels of any handy citrus fruit. Return the supernatant to the bottle and it'll keep forever. As per warding your laptop, maybe you can rub your kitchen concoction inside the confines of your battery compartment.

  5. #5
    t(._.)t Array squats's Avatar
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    They are instinctively trying to improve their species by testing themselves for electrical resistance.

  6. #6
    twinkle twinkle Array OzR's Avatar
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    Today the Laptop
    Tomorrow MICROSOFT!

  7. #7
    Вanned Psychopath Array Hephaestus's Avatar
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    They're researching efficiency and trying to find better ways to make their hives. Ever notice how much ant paths and nests look like slightly sloppy traces on a PCB with all their meandering tunnels connected by nodes? Ants are graph theorists at heart, but all their proofs are in pheromones so tend to go unnoticed.
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  8. #8
    twinkle twinkle Array OzR's Avatar
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    ^^^ Years ago I read a paper in Sci Am about a biomimetic computer problem solving program based on an ant colony's ability to refine the shortest path to a food source.

  9. #9
    Array Anonymous's Avatar
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    I bet ants prefer Apple products.

  10. #10
    Вanned Psychopath Array Hephaestus's Avatar
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    But they march in Linux and take advantage of security holes in Windows.
    We are free to think as we wish--so long as we don't think what we aren't wished to think....
    You motherfucker, if you're gonna put it in your sig, you better attribute it to me--Polemarch

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