The common ant is a much-overlooked helper around the house. This week we will examine some of the issues involved with making ants do the work. Ants are amongst the most efficient scavengers on earth and they do not take up a lot of space. In the kitchen they clean scraps of food away making washing up easier and saving on disposing of food mess. Elsewhere they remove crumbs, dead insects and most organic matter from the house. For tougher jobs such as large chunks of meat, leftovers from Barbecues perhaps, bigger ants are called for, say bull ants. These are also ideal for home defense.
My house has too many ants
Ant control is a toughie. After all you want some ants to do the cleaning for you but too many ants, especially in sleeping areas can become very annoying. Other than squashing them, which then means cleaning up tens of thousands of squashed ants the best way of controlling them is an echidna. The Australian Spiny Anteater will happily live in your house eating the excess ants saving you from worrying about them.
My Echidna is leaving spines everywhere.
The echidna is controlling the ants but how do we control the echidna, especially when they leave spines lying around which can easily prick an unprotected foot. I have found a coating of PVC wood glue will keep the spines intact. Apply the glue liberally to all spiny parts of your echidna.
The RSPCA wants to bring me in for questioning
Cruelty to rare and unique species of native fauna is seldom looked upon kindly by the authorities. Do not let them find out you have coated your echidna in PVC glue. Lie and say it was part of some horrible wood working accident.
The Echidna seems to have found some friends
Echidnas will attract other echidnas and pretty soon you will have an echidna colony eating you out of house and ants and leaving nasty spines everywhere. Echidnas present a difficulty when selecting a predator for them because they are unpalatable to most animals with any brains.
Crocodiles have small brains
Crocodiles are not the answer to this problem or any other no matter how convenient they may seem at the time.
What about a python?
Pythons are ideal for echidna control, but you can easily wind up with one very overfed python and a house full of ants with no echidnas controlling their population so you will need some rats to feed the python once the correct echidna level has been established. You will also need a large eagle of some description to eat any excess pythons you have and a bobcat for eagle control (the bobcat will also help with the rats). Wolves will eat bobcats but are hard to find in Australia (as are bobcats, large eagles and pythons quite frankly). Maybe you could steal a hyena from Taronga Zoo, they are a bit like wolves, and they are also efficient scavengers for large items like wildebeest carcasses, which you will also need to find. For wildebeest and hyena control you will need a lion and lions can get messy, by this time you need entire ecosystem to provide for a super-predator like a lion, not to mention some lion tamers. For most people this isn’t feasible in your average suburban home so you will need some sort of nature reserve.
My house has turned into a nature reserve
Now you get the picture, live as God intended, amongst the animals, and the mess is no longer a problem, it is simply part of the food chain. Just be careful as to where in the food chain you place yourself.