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Thread: Ants and Electricity

  1. #11
    Member goyogi's Avatar
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    May 2011
    ::Silicon Valley:: ::Home of Tesla::
    Quote Originally Posted by TEG View Post
    Never any ant problem with the old Ford RangerEV, or LEAF.

    Now, inside the house where my son spilled some soda...
    Was it Jolt cola?

  2. #12
    Signature 513
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    Dec 2011
    Ants? No, but my neighbor had a mouse storing dried dog food in his truck's air intake. Anyone know why mice are attracted to F150s?

  3. #13
    Lead Moderator Doug_G's Avatar
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    I once had a vole that built a nest in my car wheel every single night. I would drive out and a nest would fall on the floor. I'd clean it up only to have it rebuilt the next night. I finally figured out how the darn critter was getting into the garage, and the problem was solved by blocking the route.

    Right now I'm battling swarms of ants that like to build their home between my garage floor and the driveway. I've tried everything including pouring boiling water down the anthill. They keep returning over and over. And no, they haven't bothered the EV or the HPC sitting right in front of them.

    The point is, once a critter finds a nice spot for a nest, they tend to keep returning. It probably has nothing to do with electricity.
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  4. #14
    Moderator, Asia Pacific markwj's Avatar
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    Apr 2011
    Hong Kong
    In Asia we have problems with Geckos. I once had a family set up home in a power supply unit. All was fine until the eggs hatched and the moisture in the egg shorted everything out. Crispy Gecko.

    Weren't there all sorts of problems in Texas with Crazy Fire Ants chewing on wiring?
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  5. #15
    Senior Member vfx's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    CA CA
    Must be certain kinds of ants and even then, perhaps a regional taste is developed. with electricity in most every US home and ants in or near most of them we would be overrun if it was all ants of all kinds.

  6. #16
    TMC Moderator TEG's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    Silicon Valley
    Why do ants love electrical equipment? - Yahoo! Answers
    ...Service personnel in Texas have reported that fully one third of all summer repairs stem from ants shorting out terminal blocks. They also have been found to have set up housekeeping in televisions, well pump controls, telephone junction pedestals, airport runway lights, utility watthour meters, electrical plugs and lamp sockets, computers, and transformers-where they prefer to nest on the high-voltage side. Why are imported red fire ants attracted to electric fields? No one is yet ready to offer a theory. But biologist Dr. William P. MacKay of the University of Texas at El Paso and entomologist Professor S. Bradleigh Vinson of Texas A&M have succeeded in eliminating a number of possible factors.
    They have found fire ant behavior does not correlate with a-c frequencies, or with the presence of ozone, electromagnetic or magnetic fields. Nor is the type of insulation used on wiring a factor. In tests up to 140V a-c and 350V d-c, both attracted almost the same number of ants at the same voltage and distance. However, they did find that when electricity was turned off, ants attracted to d-c power dispersed more rapidly than those who had been experiencing the nirvana of an a-c source. While the Texas researchers still don't understand the reasons why the ants have a fatal attraction to electric fields, they have been able to devise successful control techniques. Based on their studies, they recommend using terminal cap protectors to prevent bridging, and denying entrance to the insects by enclosing mechanical relays in metal or plastic cases and sealing them, as well as all entrances to padmounted equipment, with epoxy cement. In laboratory tests, silicone rubber sealants and roofing cement proved ineffective."
    ...Britain invaded by power-crazed super-ants that cause blackouts and fires...
    Super-ant arrives in UK / RHS Gardening

    ...Electricians at the National Trust property discovered about 35,000 dead ants in a junction box...
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  7. #17
    FUEL FTR carrerascott's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
    Charlottesville, Virginia

    Icon5 Ants in my car's pants

    I noticed this summer that my black Model S had ants (tiny ones) crawling on the outside. Searching for the source, I figured it was a trashcan in our garage, so I got rid of that, cleaned where it was, and thought that was that. But still, I noticed ants on the car, congregating at the plug on the car, and crawling all along the left side, mostly along the body panel breaks. Washed the car, gone for a bit, and then back. Was it the wax I was using? I didn't see ants anywhere else in our garage, or on any other cars.

    Well, now I have a white loaner S, and they are much more visible. Crawling all along the side, congregating near where the plug goes in, but front to back, mostly on the driver's (and plug) side. NONE go in the car (even with windows open). Picture is after I came back from a drive so there are only a couple there (see, they're the tiny ones). Since they are on the white car, it tells me it's not the wax I'm using. Is it the electricity? Will they do damage? I'll set up some traps, but hoping this isn't going to be an ongoing problem (and dead ant goo can definitely mess with electronics)...

    Wondering if anyone else is having this experience...?

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  8. #18
    S VIN S1049, X VIN S581
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    Jun 2012
    near STL
    There are ants that are attracted to electromagnetic fields, those tiny ones look like the ones that tend to congregate around certain switches and receptacles in my home as well. Believe it or not, I've replaced three light switches in my bathroom in 13 years from ants that congregate within the switch and short them out.

    Computers at risk from Crazy Raspberry ants -

    I haven't seen any gathering on my car (yet), but will keep an eye out. This hasn't been an ant year for us.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Wheaton, MD
    I have noticed the exact same situation that Scott described on my car. I park and charge outside so I assumed they were crawling up the charge cable, but I've also wondered if they're attracted by the electric fields now present in my driveway. They were more prevalent in the Spring than they are now.

    Ironically, I also have a loaner now and haven't seen them on the Multi-Coat Red. Which is surprising because that color definitely attracts attention
    ​-Jeff: Res#6000/VIN4005 - 60kWh w/Supercharger, Black/Textile, 19s, Pano, Active Air, Tech, Sound Studio, and rear-facing seats

  10. #20
    Senior Member islandbayy's Avatar
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    Feb 2013
    Greendale, Wisconsin
    Im having the problem with spiders. None of my other vehicles at home have spiders. The MS, all over, from the day I got it. Even had some INSIDE my tail lights until they were sealed. Now I have a big dead one in my tail light because it couldnt get out after the service center resealed my lights due to water ingress.

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