How to find Queen ants

Discussions about the care and keeping of ants

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antnest8
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Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:11 pm
Location: Detroit, MI

How to find Queen ants

Post: # 63286Post antnest8
Wed Aug 28, 2019 4:26 pm

So I wrote a bunch of stuff about this a long time ago and lost it so i decided to rewrite it and compile it, I hope you find this helpful.


If you are looking for queens then I would start looking early spring through mid fall. Remember that if you catch queens past late summer you might have to hibernate the Queens for the winter.

Ant's in nature wait for natural signals to start flying. These can include...
1) High temperatures: this signal is especially used in spring time as the temperature is too cold most days.
2)Rain/Humidity: during summer usually, ant's will some times wait for rain. This is probably because the dirt needs to be moist to dig clausteral chambers in.
3)Other ant's!: some very specialized species of ant's wait for other species to fly. Most of the time this is used by social parasites because these species wait for there host species to fly so they can take over when there host has already laid eggs. This is a rarer reason but still fun to mention ;) .

Keep an eye out for these signals so you know when the most likely times are to find queens. You can also find a nest before the flight and check up on it. If you see alates by the entrance then you know that a flight is close! (Note: don't capture these winged ant's because they have not mated yet).

When you know a flight is near or on going you can check several places to find the Queens here are my personal favorites...
1) the side walk: most ant queens can be found crossing the side walk, sometimes taking a 5 minuet walk is all you need.
2)Water: I hear tons of Queens are found in pools, birdbaths and even the dew on your car in the morning. For some species this is the perfect spot. I find that queens of the family myrmecinea (I think that's the spelling) are attracted to water or queens of colonies that swarm.
3) Rocks/ Logs: some queens can be found making there clausteral chambers under rocks and logs. It's not as easy as the sidewalk but can be nice after the flight.
4) Following them: sometimes if you find a colony sending queens out you can follow their journey and catch them after they mate. This is hard just because you need good eyes and some running might be required.

There are other places and ways you can catch queens like traps but these 4 are my favorites. Honestly my motto is constant vigilance. Take 5 minuets a day to check colonies and walk. Doing this and you are almost definitely going to catch the major flights.

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antnest8
Posts: 1238
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2018 2:11 pm
Location: Detroit, MI

Re: How to find Queen ants

Post: # 63287Post antnest8
Wed Aug 28, 2019 4:27 pm

oh! and if anyone has anything to add please do!

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