Ants can consume almost everything, including fried food items like chips, to get nutrition from the fried potatoes. Moreover, fried potatoes attract insects that need oils and fats.
Do Ants Eat Chips? Ants eat chips because it provides a good source of carbohydrate, salt, fats, and oils. Moreover, potato chips provide instant energy for performing activities and increase the growth rate. They have a high amount of starch and sodium. Furthermore, you can prevent ants by placing bay leaves, baking soda solution, and spraying vinegar around the dish.
Many insects, including ants, like to eat salt and sweet food items as their bodies demand carbohydrates and salt, but they avoid eating spicy chips or those having a sour taste.
Why do ants eat chips?
They prefer to eat fried potatoes because of potatoes’ high nutritional value, which makes ants energetic and active through carbs, proteins, fats, etc.
Source of carbohydrate
Potato chips are rich in carbohydrates like all other processed foods, including crackers. A small portion that serves a single person contains almost 12 to 15g of carbohydrates.
Moreover, baked potatoes provide 20 to 25g, sea salt gives 15 to 20g, and pringles with reduced fat have 15 to 17g of carbohydrates.
In addition, a pack of 100g contains almost 52 to 56g of carbohydrates. Furthermore, these provide nearly 130 to 160 calories to ants in the form of energy.
Ants need carb-rich food to ensure the survival of their colonies as it gives them the energy to perform their nest activities and fight against predators.
Presence of fat and oil
The fried potatoes are high in fat because they are fried in oil. It contains almost 10 to 12g of fat in a serving of one person that adds saturated fats to the diet.
They need a balanced amount of fat and oils in the diet for better nourishment as their body cells require fat for functioning and to be stored for future use.
Every species needs varying fats in their diet and consume fatty foods accordingly. For example, grease ants are more commonly found on potato chips.
Increase growth rate
Their growth rate depends on the availability of protein content in their diet, as low protein availability can lead to reduced larvae growth.
The potato chips contribute almost 2g to 3g of protein to their diet, so they can get attracted to this food type to increase the growth rate in larvae by feeding them through regurgitation.
The fried potatoes have a higher protein content than the baked ones, so these insects make maximum efforts to access the food inside a packet.
It contains a higher amount of sodium which is essential for their ideal growth. Moreover, potato chips of 100g weight contain almost 180 to 200mg of sodium when fried.
Baked potatoes have a lower sodium content, which is almost 10 to 15mg. Ants need sodium to maintain a fluid balance in their bodies as it absorbs water.
The herbivore ants, like leafcutters and others, consume salt because their dietary routines have lesser availability of sodium.
The animals can overcome their salt deficiencies by eating meat, but these insects have to consume food sources rich in sodium, like fast food items.
How do you keep ants away from potato chips?
It is challenging to keep ants away from potato chips because these tiny creatures make their way through tiny holes and get access to food.
You can keep them covered to avoid the spread of smell into nearby areas.
In addition, keep 2 to 4 bay leaves close to the dish if you are leaving them open on the countertop, as their smell can repel insects.
You can also spray vinegar solution in the affected area prepared by mixing vinegar in an equal amount of water to disrupt the scent trail of these insects.
Furthermore, you can prepare a solution of boric acid by mixing it with peanut butter or other sweet items that can act as an attractant for these insects.
A viscous solution of boric acid can efficiently repel these insects away from the kitchen and protect potato chips from them.
Epsom salt is also used to kill ants because it absorbs water and kills them by removing moisture from bodies and air.
A circle of concentrated salt water around the dish can act as an excellent barrier to keep them away from a pack, as they can also get into the wrapper once they reach it.
Are chips harmful to ants?
Fried potatoes are not considered harmful for ants until they have consumed the appropriate amount in their diet.
Salt is part of their diet, and the body needs a balanced quantity of sodium to improve the functioning of the immune system and muscle movement.
However, an excess of sodium can be harmful to them as it absorbs water content from the body. Excess water absorption leads to dryness of their exoskeleton and death.
Anything beyond their threshold level becomes harmful, and excess salt in the body produces dehydration of the hard exoskeleton used for breathing and protection.
Furthermore, these are rich in starch, which can be deadly for them because they cannot digest it efficiently.
High salt content can affect the immune response and chips or other fast foods. This is because they are rich in salt content and badly affect the systems when consumed in a high concentration.
Additionally, it can trigger their immune system, increasing their overall response. Therefore, it can also be considered a desiccant that ultimately makes the body devoid of water and kills them.
Do all ants eat chips?
Ants usually like to munch on fast food like humans as they want greasy and salty food with higher fat, sodium, and carbohydrates.
In addition, fast foods have a high quantity of salt in them that are not desirable for every insect. Some insects living in an environment providing high sugar are starving for salt.
They prefer to consume salty foods like potato chips whenever they get a chance to make their diet balanced and meet the deficiencies in the body.
Moreover, the sugar ants, pavement, and pharaoh ants usually starve for salty food as their bodies remain deficient in sodium.
So, they would never miss a chance to eat these on an uncovered plate, which can help overcome salt deficiencies.
However, others having regular exposure to salty food items are not attracted to fried potatoes for salt, but they can get a good fat and oil content.