How to catch ants

How to catch ants

There are three types of ants including workers, males and females. Even if you catch the ants that come in and out of the nest, they do not lay any eggs. In order to obtain an ant that lays eggs, you should catch the female that has lost her wings after her mating flight.

Formica japonica swarming around
a Japanese fried sweet cookie, KARINTO.

1. When you catch only one ant

  • Lick your finger and pick up the ant (the method for catching a small ant).
    1 Lick the index finger and cover it with a large amount of saliva. 2 Press the back of an ant lightly and pick it up on the finger with the saliva. 3 Carry the ant gently to the case and put it in as if rejecting it.

    Note: Wash the finger clean before you lick your fingers.

  • Pick up an ant with your fingers (the method for catching a large ant).
    1 Press the back of an ant lightly with the index finger. 2 Pick up the ant as if sandwiching it between the thumb and the middle finger. 3 If you make an observation, then it is better to catch the hind legs as shown in the figure.

    Note: Pick up the ant gently. If you pick it up forcefully, it may be crushed.

  • Precautions to take when catching ants
    1 An ant is easier to catch if you press it from behind with the fingers. 2 Put the ants from different nests into separate cases. 3 If too many ants are put in a small bottle, they sometimes die due to their own formic acid.
    It is better to put tissue paper in the case.