Saturday, October 29, 2016

Ants and Bacteria

We always love our ants.

I have purchased ant farms many times, and we decided to have another round last week.

We bought the ant farm.  We ordered the ants.  Harvesters, which bite.  

And then this, from my FB post:

The ants for our ant farm arrived today. I cooled them off in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to make them sluggish before popping them in the ant farm and firmly closing the lid. I put the ant farm in our boys' room, as our 12 year old son is the most enthusiastic about ants. As I put our 2 year old to bed tonight, I was interrupted by piercing shrieks from our 4 yo son. Who, in spite of stern admonitions not to, had messed with the ant farm and opened the lid partway, whereupon 4 ants swarmed out. 2 of them promptly bit him. ARGHGHGHGGHGHHGGHGHGHHH! It was supposed to be this wonderful scientific experience and we had stray ants in the house. Biting ants. I killed 4. Hope that's all of them. Ant farm relocated now.

The good news is that the remaining ants did their job and started tunneling. Even better news -- no other ants have escaped. We have them up on a top cabinet in our dining room so they are out of reach from at least our toddler and preschooler.

I'm also growing bacteria, or trying to.  I bought agar plates and swabbed some spots.  Well, I tried with just one plate.  I kept it in our laundry room but it was too cool to grow properly, as it is supposed to be kept between 84 and 100 degrees.

So I dug out our chicken lamp, used to keep baby chicks warm.  This worked well except today the sun room got warm and that, with the heat lamp, shot the temperature up to 115 degrees! So maybe I killed all the bacteria. This is harder than it looks.

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