It can be challenging to stay in humble relationship with nature’s ants when they appear like they’re taking over our personal habitat! And sometimes once must take drastic measures if one’s food and/or sanity is at risk. However, whenever possible, one can do a protocol that both makes the ants leave and also avoids harming any ants. Cinnamon is a polite way to get their attention, and Cayenne and Vinegar are handy as well though with the risk of potentially harming them like other substances that are toxic to them.
But… since my ketones and BDNF are awesome tonight… am writing more about a simple ant communication protocol I’ve followed for years with great success - in case interesting or helpful to anyone out there, as this matter is dear to my heart. The ants have taught me so much about myself (my relationship with the earth, the unconscious, my primal psychology, my patience/impatience, habits, values, fears, etc).
Ants are an extremely intelligent and responsive community of beings - the terrestrial underground world is their usual queendom , and they are matriarchal societies like many bees and other pollinators who rule the aboveground. Ants have been held in great respect by aboriginal & indigenous cultures and even more recent Abrahamic cultures (“Go to the ant…consider her ways, and be wise” Prov. 6:6).
Believe it or not - there is a simple way to get ants to leave your space within 24 hours, without harming them. The first time I heard about it way back, from a very dear indigenous teacher, I couldn’t help but be sort of incredulous, but then it quickly shifted into curiosity, and as I started to sincerely try to implement the protocol, the results were amazing. It’s do-able for many situations, though in extreme pantry swarms it takes expertise (with pantry swarms it’s recommended to remove all food items first then implement the protocol - and if one is creeped out by swarms that can be very challenging of course). Even in such cases with a huge amount of ants the protocol can be successful within 24 hours. Most humans in industrial culture have an automatic extermination reaction, and this protocol is a great way to work on bringing mindfulness that reaction.
Sidenote: this protocol does not work with roaches and termites to my knowledge, it’s specific to ants (and aspects of it work with bees too).
Respect of ants is an ancient tradition - but it’s also explainable through Myrmecology (from Greek: μύρμηξ, myrmex, “ant” and λόγος, logos, “study” - entomology which focuses on the scientific study of ants). This protocol is based in acknowledging relationship with the ants and their amazingly sensitive communication and also having gratitude for their maginificent work in the life cycle we all share (they aerate the soil with their vast underground work which in turn conducts water and grows pastures for ruminants and bees, and they are food for lizards and some birds, etc etc). The protocol is done with respect of their intelligence and full expectation of their comprehension. Ants are a social community acting as one body aiming for the same goal, colony survival - they respond as one body, and they strategize by optimizing algorithms! Every day they solve complex problems due to a sum of simple interactions. In fact, a whole branch of computer programming/math exists called ant colony optimization algorithm, ACO ) - a probabilistic technique for solving computational problems based on the study of ant communication!
Ants don’t rely on sight or sound - they follow their own ‘programmed’ rules and signals in the forms of chemical smells/pheremones, vibrations and touch - and an ant never disagrees with what it has to do within its colony… So if you’re sincere, fearless, and intentional – your pheremones & vibes (ie, your state of mind) will back up your words and in fact are the words (as in communication with bees as well). Ants are highly sensitive, and if they are told they have to go in order to avoid harm, they will pass the message on to each other and as colony will change their activity within hours.
It’s best to do the protocol at night when they’re active and you’re about to go to sleep, so you can give them till morning to sort it out completely or at least clearly start to reduce in numbers. When you do the protocol, it won’t look like they’re listening - because it takes awhile for them all to subtly communicate and change their strategy across their entire chain of communication. That’s why - in cases when it’s not a massive invasion - it’s nice preventative to do it in the evening before going to bed so you can chill out and give them time to sort it out . By morning they’re either gone or significantly less in numbers, and within 24 will be gone.
Protocol: Center yourself, breath fully and relax as much as possible then clearly & firmly speak your heartfelt desire aloud to them - intentionally & emphatically - and tell them and their queen short n’ sweet that they have to leave because this is YOUR home, and you are the Queen/King of your own home, and they need to PLEASE go outside and back to THEIR home, not inside YOUR home, etc. Tell them they MUST leave your home. Then, thank them for being them and the response you know is already happening though it may not appear so. It may feel odd at first to communicate with ants, that’s to be expected in industrial culture.
Ants respect clear communication - and will respond within hours (it takes awhile for the message to relay through the colony). Do the protocol with the full expectation that they comprehend and will do their best to communicate among themselves and change their route/plans. Then let them get to work communicating, and trust that they’ll figure it out, as they’re so intelligent!
It’s the only way I’ve dealt with ants for over a decade. Never in swarm situations, just in the typical ant situation with a worrisome constant line of them somewhere in the kitchen working hard (no epic pantry invasion yet - thankfully). When I began this protocol it would take around 24 hours for them to be completely gone, but as my understanding about ants deepened and my communication got more coherent, surprisingly it became as quick as the next morning after an evening request. And humble relationship with the ants is another way that life is beautiful