Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Ant repellant

Mr. Spock, can we communicate with them?
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We have ants running all over the place. Instead of poison or any other means of kiling them we could speak their language.

A couple of tiny machines with little fake feelers in the house might do the trick.

The ant walks up to it and checks it out. When the feelers touch the fake feelers a message is given to the ant: DANGER, GO BACK!

A litle magical perhaps, because I have no idea what the language is like.

zeno, Jul 18 2006

Ants' Chemical Stop Signs http://acp.eugraph....ews05/robinson.html
[jutta, Jul 18 2006]

[link]






       I sometimes have trouble finding the right category.
zeno, Jul 18 2006
  

       //I have no idea what the language is like.// spantish I believe
xenzag, Jul 18 2006
  

       If you consider that ants communicate mostly through chemicals they leave on their path, this is as easy as washing the floor - or as blocking ants from entering and reinforcing their pathways while the old smell evaporates. (There's a story of Feynman doing exactly this in "Surely You're Joking, Mr Feynman?")   

       Beyond that, a recent study Elva J. H. Robinson, U Sheffield, published in Nature magazine identified "stop sign" pheromones that ants leave in places that turned out to *not* lead to food. See link.
jutta, Jul 18 2006
  
      
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