Household foods to feed ants?

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TbugTheAntMan
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Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:03 am

Household foods to feed ants?

Post: # 63639Post TbugTheAntMan
Tue Sep 03, 2019 1:23 pm

I’m starting a small colony of Formica ants, and I’m going to need to feed them soon. Thing is, I’m a bit squeamish around bugs. Is there any common household foods the ants can eat as an alternative to roaches or crickets?

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antnest8
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Location: Detroit, MI

Re: Household foods to feed ants?

Post: # 63649Post antnest8
Tue Sep 03, 2019 6:22 pm

there are plenty!

first of all you are not the first to ask this, hundreds of people don't like feeding bugs for what ever reason. If you take a look around the ant diet sub-forum, you might find several topics that can answer your question. Anyway Some options are like cooked meats (chicken seems popular), cooked egg, seeds, protein jelly if you want to buy it and also if you are ok with it Freeze dried insects which you can find at your local pet stores.

Remember some ants like Pavement ants (tetremorium) are less picky and will eat just about anything while others like antscanadas Ponera are very picky and will most likely accept only insects.

TbugTheAntMan
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:03 am

Re: Household foods to feed ants?

Post: # 63701Post TbugTheAntMan
Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:22 am

Ok. I tried feeding them turkey sandwich meat, they didn’t seem to want that. I tried a tiny piece of meatball, but they weren’t very interested in that either. Maybe the queen hasn’t run out of her energy reserves yet?

TbugTheAntMan
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:03 am

Re: Household foods to feed ants?

Post: # 63723Post TbugTheAntMan
Wed Sep 04, 2019 3:27 pm

Wait a sec- wouldn’t the ants not be interested in freeze dried bugs? If the meat is dried, they wouldn’t be able to eat it.

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antnest8
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Location: Detroit, MI

Re: Household foods to feed ants?

Post: # 63726Post antnest8
Wed Sep 04, 2019 3:59 pm

TbugTheAntMan wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 3:27 pm
Wait a sec- wouldn’t the ants not be interested in freeze dried bugs? If the meat is dried, they wouldn’t be able to eat it.
same reason ants like seeds and crumbs the larvae eat it and then digest and then transfer it via trophalaxis for the rest of the colony. Also you can just soak the insect in a drop of water and it works ok for some species. I would say that Formica is a bit picky maybe try very small food items. Food that a single worker can carry.

TbugTheAntMan
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:03 am

Re: Household foods to feed ants?

Post: # 63734Post TbugTheAntMan
Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:22 pm

I’ll try that.

Hawkeye
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Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:38 pm
Location: Almelo

Re: Household foods to feed ants?

Post: # 63754Post Hawkeye
Thu Sep 05, 2019 1:06 am

TbugTheAntMan wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 5:22 pm
I’ll try that.
I would recommend wet cat/dog food. More specifically the jelly from that food. It is easy for your ants to munch up and it's full of protein. You can get it very cheap, so it's worth a try. I would refrain from offering the meat chunks until your colony reaches a sufficient size to deal with it.

Obviously it's not very cost effective to just use the jelly of every tin you buy. So here's what ypu can do:
- you take the contents of the tin,
- add a bit of water
- adding some honey or sugar at this point is optional but makes the food more attractive
- run it through a blender until it is mostly smooth
- heat it up in a pan
- add a bit of gellatine, (which you soak in cold water first)
- take the pan of the stove and mix the gellatine through the food.
- poor into the original tin

Hey Presto you've now got your very own protein jelly.

TbugTheAntMan
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:03 am

Re: Household foods to feed ants?

Post: # 63762Post TbugTheAntMan
Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:08 am

Thing is, my dog eats dry food.

Hawkeye
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Joined: Mon Jun 24, 2019 4:38 pm
Location: Almelo

Re: Household foods to feed ants?

Post: # 63764Post Hawkeye
Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:42 am

TbugTheAntMan wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:08 am
Thing is, my dog eats dry food.
So? You want it for your ants don't you? Spoil your dog for once, and see how the ants like it. If it works get a small tin and you're all set for weeks to feed your ants

TbugTheAntMan
Posts: 26
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:03 am

Re: Household foods to feed ants?

Post: # 63768Post TbugTheAntMan
Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:58 am

My colony has only four workers. Would freeze dried crickets be a good idea, or would wet dog food be a better option for their size?

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