Don’t Report Me for Antabuse
I set a box of ants on the dining room table, and I am now sitting in the back of the house wondering if that was a wise decision, considering that our bulldog, Wonderbutt, likes to eat cardboard and doesn’t like it when I leave him alone in the front of the house. But, I am too lazy to go save the ants from Wonderbutt, and besides I am doing very important research. I must find out how long ants can live in a box, because I did not expect them to arrive this quickly. My second graders do not come to class again until Monday, and they will be very disappointed if I release the ants into their new habitat without any witnesses. However, they will probably be even more disappointed if I open the box and a bunch of dead ants fall out.
The last time I ordered ants, I followed the directions carefully for the transfer from box to ant farm. It was highly recommended that the insects be refrigerated for awhile so that they would become sluggish, thus rendering them less hostile as I vigorously shook their package to allow them to fall into their new home. Perhaps not surprisingly, this “sluggish” period was fairly short – about 1/10 of a second, and I immediately had ants that “might bite” racing all over the table while my 3rd graders gleefully tried to catch them. Death reports flooded in. “I think I stepped on that one.” “This one just jumped off the side of the table. It’s not moving anymore.” After a 20 minute round-up and thirty minutes of carefully inspecting the classroom, I think we got about 10 ants of the original 40 into the ant farm.
Once they were in between glass, the ants were fascinating to watch. So, remembering the delight and new respect for small creatures that it gave my students, I decided to repeat the disaster this year.
So far, I have had no luck discovering how long ants can live in a box, but my Googling Genius has revealed that ants can wreak havoc if they decide to nest in your Apple iBook. You will be happy to know that there is an entire thread in the Apple Support Community that will give you advice on how to deal with this nasty problem.
I suppose that I have procrastinated long enough – and it is ominously quiet in the Wonderbutt section of the house. It is quite possible that he has swallowed the box whole. Or, even more likely, that he has ripped it to shreds and there are now ants crawling all over the dining room.
Maybe if I had a more appealing ant habitat, the little guys would be less inclined to attempt their Alcatrazian escapes.
What I really need is a new habitat for Wonderbutt…