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As part of a series of questions that I've been doing about microscopic humanoids ...

In my world, there are a race of microscopic humanoid organisms (0.3 mm - 0.33 mm). They live in a variety of biomes, such as leaf litter, stone and on plants and trees. In terms of technological advancement, they are near the bronze age and merely need to find/discover metal. They have domesticated pseudoscorpions, aphids, spider mites and white flies. Being in number 60,000 strong, can mass produce "spider" silk, and have spears (for poking, not throwing), stone "swords". They have silk armor, chariots (sleds) pulled by pseudoscorpions and they can produce vinegar, formaldehyde, atropine and nicotine, although not in extremely great quantities. Most importantly, they can produce and conduct static electricity.

My question is:

What would they need to do to successfully capture an ant mound? ( of fire ants , argentine ants , or the common black ant )

Capture being defined as -

The complete destruction and or removal of all individuals in the an mound ( eggs and larva removal is optional )

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  • $\begingroup$ Considering the relative strength of an ant in comparison to it's body size, can we assume the ants are considerably stronger than the humans? Because, depending on the size of the colony, they could consider combat. The average size appears to be 4k, but it can widely vary. I assume you're looking for a more global solution. theincredibleant.com/ant-how/how-big-is-an-ant-colony $\endgroup$ – ChronoD Mar 9 '16 at 18:36
  • $\begingroup$ @ChrisG, Because of the square-cube law, the miniature humans are proportionally stronger than ants, since they're smaller. If they have the proportions of normal humans, then they're probably as strong as a much larger ant, since for a being that size, that's an incredible amount of muscle. $\endgroup$ – Monty Wild Mar 9 '16 at 21:47
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Given that each individual ant is roughly elephant-sized compared to your humanoids, and that ants are no slouch in mass attack strategy, direct combat isn't going to be easy.

Fortunately, ants have one big weakness - they rely on their queen to reproduce. Therefore, I'd suggest a stealth assassination mission.

Pick a few of your stealthiest micro-ninjas to sneak around the tunnels in the ants' nest, mapping out where the food is going to and where the eggs are coming from. Once you've found the queen's chamber, bring a small strike force and go all-out. The queen may be guarded, but if you're fast and quiet, you should be able to kill her before the nest goes into alarm mode.

If you plan your attack in the winter, you'll have the advantage - most ants sleep through the winter, or at the very least are more sluggish.

Once the queen is dead, pull out and wait for a few months for the rest of the ants to die. Then claim your new home.

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  • $\begingroup$ This is a very elegant solution. +1 $\endgroup$ – Alex S Mar 9 '16 at 20:41
  • $\begingroup$ You said it yourself, a normal ant is elephant-sized that means the queen is Brachiosaurus-sized, how do you kill something that big ? $\endgroup$ – Javert Mar 10 '16 at 12:43
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    $\begingroup$ @Javert: Same way you would kill the other ants - attack the neck. Alternatively, use poison. Or fire! The point is, you only have to kill one, instead of fighting through the entire nest. $\endgroup$ – IndigoFenix Mar 13 '16 at 6:38

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