Extermination of ant nests in agricultural fields as reflected in talmudic literature

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The current study discusses the damage caused by ants to agricultural fields and the elimination of ant nests according to the Talmudic sources. The Jewish sources describe two methods of extermination of ants’ colonies. The first one is by earth taken from another ants’ nest. This method is based on the understanding that distant ants’ colonies develop different scents, and that strange odour originating from another nest might cause a fright and generate a battle between the local ants. The second method is by inserting ants from a foreign nest and generating a battle between the ants in the colony and the invading ants. The practice of using ants is based on the fact that in the case of invasion by foreign ants, ants secrete alarm pheromones and consequently the ants in the nest under attack fight the invaders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-89
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Science and Theology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021


  • Agriculture
  • Greco-Roman
  • Harvester ant
  • Pest control
  • Talmudic literature


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