Wild food

Discussions about the care and keeping of ants

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Location: Ontario

Wild food

Post: # 70066Post loupgaroupgris
Mon May 18, 2020 11:29 am

I had a question with the virus thing running around and some place being closes do you guys know a good way to feed wild caught food to your ants safely? Do you need to freeze it? Do you need to use boiling water ect? If we are going by the safest way lest say the bug are from inside your home do you still need to prepare them?

Posts: 52
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2018 2:16 pm
Location: Richmond BC

Re: Wild food

Post: # 70130Post Turret675A
Wed May 20, 2020 4:01 am

It really is up to you if your want to prepare the food your ants eat, for me i usually either find bugs that were unfortunate enough to have their existence noticed by me in my house and feed them to my colonies. It depends on the bug and the colony I'm feeding it to but a general rule of thumb is:
Live or pre-killed food: I know it's lots of fun to see your ants kill live prey it's usually not worth it when you have a young colony, I've had workers die to spiders ive put in my nests as food by not shaking them enough to kill them. But if the colony is big enough by all means go ahead. But again, its personal preference.
Flying insects: Since these guys are the most mobile they have the highest chance of containing pesticides or whatever it is that kills insects so feed them at your own discretion. Boiling them or freezing them will work for bacteria but it wont get rid of the pesticides.
Arachnids: These guys eat flying insects and other insects so its not as bad as the flying ones with the pesticides and such but the risk is still there. You can boil/freeze them to be safe if you'd like. However I've fed lots of spiders to my colonies and I've never seen deaths from them, raw or boiled/frozen.
Underground/Ground insect's: usually the safest option for wild insects as they aren't usually interacting with much besides the things on the ground/earth or underground. You can as always boil/freeze them to be careful.
Pet/feeder insects: these guys are the best option if you're being careful about the food you give your ants. (Superworms, Mealworms, Crickets, ect) Just note that although it doesn't always happen, ants can be sortof indifferent towards super/mealworms because they're mostly composed of fat and water they aren't the best food for young colonies. Crickets are good be be careful that they don't eat each other they tend to do that alot.
Miscellaneous food:
Honey is a decent sugar source but it is a tiny bit acidic so it might not be better than just sugar water but it's up to you. You can also feed them nuts, meat, fruits and vegetables, and some human foods like crackers or biscuits. They really will eat almost anything.
Younger colonies (less than 50 workers):
Generally you want to be more careful with what you feed these younger colonies as there more susceptible to dying becuase of their smaller numbers.
Larger colonies (50 or more workers):
Go ham, feed them whatever you want they'll probably eat whatever you give them anyways since most bigger colonies always are hungry pretty much.
Hope this helps.
Ants are pretty cool

In Richmond BC currently caring for:
X1 Campontus Herculeanus
X1 Camponotus Modoc
X1 Camponotus Novaeborecensis
X2 Formica Pacifica
X1 Formica Podzolica
X1 Formica Neorufabarbis
X1 Myrmica Incompleta

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