Learn more physics!
Can ants die because of diabetes? I found some ants died in my sugar jar and I am not sure if they died because of air ventilation or the sugar overdose :)
- ana (age 28)
It's unlikely that the ants ran out of oxygen. This isn't my area, but ant diabetes also sounds unlikely.
Were the ants able to get out? If they were trapped by then they would die of something, very likely dehydration since many techniques for killing sugar ants involve dehydration. In fact, I suspect dehydration even if they weren't trapped. The sugar will bind almost all the water in the atmosphere in the jar. If for some reason the ants aren't quick to get going, it seems likely that they could dehydrate.
Something like this once happened to a some cockroaches a friend was keeping in an aquarium with some matzoh. (Don't ask.) Dehydration was our guess at that time.
Obviously that's still just a guess. You could test it by leaving some small water source in the jar to see if the ants quit dying. Of course, since you probably don't want live ants around, there's a tradeoff between curiosity and kitchen maintenance.
(published on 10/04/2011)
Follow-up on this answer.