Ants Could be Used To Clean up Food Litter In NYC (+Video)

By Epoch Video
Epoch Video
Epoch Video
Bringing you the latest videos, livestreams, and premieres.
December 4, 2014 Updated: December 4, 2014

Anyone who’s visited New York City,  knows its sidewalks are teeming with garbage and cockroaches.

But now it appears there’s one insect that can help clean the Big Apple up. Researchers from North Carolina State University conducted a study at multiple sites around New York City to test how much food insects could possibly consume.

Results showed that ants and other arthropods were capable of competing with vertebrates for food garbage. It’s now theorized that ants could help clean up littered food, which in turn would cause larger, disease-carrying vermin to starve.

Recent research revealed there are 42 different species of ants living in the city. Some live within Central Park while others choose drier, warmer areas, closer to the streets. The latter are known as pavement ants, and they dwell specifically in the small grassy median strips found between streets.

In the study, pavement ants proved to be the dominant eaters amongst all the species of ants. It’s estimated that pavement ants inhabiting a single block’s median strip could consume waste comparable to between 300 to 500 hotdogs in one year.

With more research, it’s possible a management plan could be developed utilizing the ants’ appetites to cut down on food waste.

Epoch Video
Bringing you the latest videos, livestreams, and premieres.