AntWorks Directions for Use
- Open your ANTWORKS™ container. Using the enclosed stick, poke four holes in the gel. Make two of the holes about 1 inch deep and make the other two ½ inch deep. These will help get the ants started tunneling.
- Insert about 20-25 ants into your ANTWORKS™ container and close the lid (ants not included with product). You can either collect your own ants, or use the enclosed order form. If you collect your own ants – DO NOT mix different species of ants in the same container (they don’t play well with others). We recommend ordering Harvester Ants from Life Studies (see enclosed order form). Harvester Ants are the optimum size for viewing and have large mandibles for tunnel construction. Your ANTWORKS™ includes a magnifying glass for detailed inspection of the ants and tunnels.
- NEVER handle ants with your bare hands or allow them to come in contact with skin! Some ants sting, others bite, and some will spray formic acid.
- DO NOT store the ANTWORKS™ in direct sunlight. Ants prefer shade. Room temperature (58-74 degrees Fahrenheit) is the preferred temperature for your ANTWORKS™. Avoid extremes of heat or cold.
- Be patient at first. The ants may take up to 24-48 hours to start tunneling. The gel is an alien environment to the ants and it can take some getting used to.
- Although the ants require little oxygen, opening the lid for a few seconds every week or so gives these hard workers a breath of fresh air. Actually, ants have no lungs, but take in oxygen through little holes in their bodies.
- R.I.P. – Adult ants (workers) normally live an average of 1-3 months (3 months is considered high). Some ants will outlive this span, while others will expire before one month. As all of the ants you will use (whether ordered or collected on your own) are adults, circumstances in their development will cause some to be hardier than others. Although your ANTWORKS™ gel contains special ingredients to help prevent infections throughout the colony from bacterial and fungal growth, it is a good idea to remove dead ants as soon as possible with a small stick or cotton swab. Should an ant die within one of the tunnels, other ants will usually transport the body to the surface. This is how ants help prevent disease within the colony – see how smart they are!
- Ant Architecture is not just limited to the tunnels. Your ants will also use ‘building blocks’ created from the gel to line the ANTWORKS™ walls and form hills on the surface. Some species even use the gel to encase dead ants on the surface. To ensure maximum visibility, it is important to remove the dead ants as they appear (it’s also good manners!).
- When your ant colony expires, use a cloth or paper towel to clean the ANTWORKS™ walls (and any dead ants or residue). Add some fresh ants and see how they react to and modify the existing tunnels.