How To Care For Ants

Published: 09th August 2010
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Have you ever wanted to examine ants? The way in which they make a nest, care for their young and feed? If you have then you could buy an ant farm. However, you cannot just assemble your ant farm, stock it and then walk away.



Having an ant farm is similar to having a tropical fish tank, you have to take care of your ants. Luckily, looking after ants is not as tricky as looking after tropical fish, it fact it is really quite easy once you get the gist of it.



Once you have assembled your ant farm and filled it up to the mark with soil or sand, you will require our first piece of advice, which is about to get your ants into the nest. Well, first let us assume that you have bought your ants from the pet shop and you are ready to offer them to their new home.



The ants will run all over the place as soon as you take the top off the box. That is typical ant behaviour, they have to investigate everything and everywhere. They will be running up your arms, escaping onto the floor and you may even get a few into the ant farm.



Now ants, being cold-blooded creatures, become very indolent when they are cold, they hardly move around at all, so a sensible approach would be to put your ants in the refrigerator for a few minutes. Three of four minutes should do the job.



While you are waiting, roll a piece of paper into a tube and sellotape it so that it does not unfurl. Then take the ants out of the fridge and pour them down the funnel into your ant farm. That way you will not lose any of them.



The ants will warm up naturally and they will soon be running around exploring their new home. The next pieces of advice relate to feeding and watering your ants. Maybe you thought that these wild ants could look after themselves. Well, they could in the outdoors, but since you took them out of their normal environment, you are going to have to provide for them every day.



First the watering: get a dropper, like an eye-dropper and trickle a few drops of water into one place. They will find it soon enough. Do not cause a puddle, only a few drops. Once a week you could really give them a treat and add a couple of grains of sugar to a teaspoon of water and pour that in for them. It will really liven them up. and give them plenty of energy to work on their new colony.



The type of food that your ants require depends on the variety of ants that you are keeping. However, the most common ants for ant farms are harvester ants, because they are easy. Do not give them anything gluey like a half-sucked boiled sweet.



They will like it, but many will become stuck to it and die. The best food is a couple of small pieces of lettuce, carrot or celery. Not a lot. Remove any uneaten food after the second day and feed again the following day.



Old food has to be removed to stop mold and yeasts, some of which assail ants as well. In this manner you ought to have a healthy and fascinating ant farm.



Owen Jones, the writer of this piece writes on quite a few topics, but is at present concerned with Getting Rid Of Carpenter Ants. If you would like to know more or check out some great offers, please go to our website at Killing Carpenter Ants.

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