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EMERGENCY: ANT INFESTATION


jared
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I left this weekend and came back to find all of my pet cockroach enclosures were infested with ants. I have many tailless whip scorpions as well that I do not want to fall victim to them while molting. What's the best way to stop ants from entering my enclosures? I have bug stop lining all of them but it does not seem to keep them out; if I line the mesh tops with thin cloth will they be able to chew through that? Should I move all my tanks to one shelf and pour diatamaceous earth all around the base? Thanks for any help in advance.

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Jeez that sounds horrible, that used to happen with my grandpa's geckos in Florida, the ants would get in and murder the little things. :( Luckily here in Idaho we don't really seem to get that problem. Unfortunately that means I'm not exactly sure how to help you out here...

Here is a link that may be helpful, I would personally go with what MrCrackerpants said to use: http://www.roachforum.com/index.php?showtopic=5781&hl=ants

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Thanks for the quick reply hisserdude, I moved all of my roaches to clean enclosures with no food and am going to pick up that brand trap tomorrow. In the meantime I plugged the hole they were coming into with toothpaste.

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Thanks for the quick reply hisserdude, I moved all of my roaches to clean enclosures with no food and am going to pick up that brand trap tomorrow. In the meantime I plugged the hole they were coming into with toothpaste.

No problem man, really hope those traps help, ants suck. :(

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Ants are one of my least favorite insects, I hate them for getting into enclosures and murdering everything in their path, and I have an irrational fear of them when a bunch of them are crawling all over me, probably due to my experiences with fire ants at a young age, you haven't known pain 'til you've stepped into a large fire ant mound, and have been too dumb to realize it right away.... :wacko:

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Hah, I can attest to that for sure due to my experience tonight. I had to take out each of my roaches individually, get all the ants out from between their body parts, and I just ended up with tons of ants crawling all over me. I also had to destroy my gravid P audux's web to switch her enclosure out with my javanicas, not a fun experience and I hope she can build another before she has to lay. :(

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Hah, I can attest to that for sure due to my experience tonight. I had to take out each of my roaches individually, get all the ants out from between their body parts, and I just ended up with tons of ants crawling all over me. I also had to destroy my gravid P audux's web to switch her enclosure out with my javanicas, not a fun experience and I hope she can build another before she has to lay. :(

Well that all sucks, hopefully all your inverts can recuperate. Dang ants man.... :(

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I had a problem like this but it didn't get into my insect enclosures. They were all over the kitchen and downstairs so luckily my insects are upstairs and the ants never reached them because in the 3rd day of having them we called an exterminator and within 4 days their are no ants!

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Well, 24 hours later and the traps seem to have worked. I've got hundreds of the little a*%hats dying in the liquid. I cleaned out all my enclosures, practically power washed them, and I still find an ant or two here or there.

A word of advice for novice roach keepers: if you see one or two ants take care of it immediately!! I didn't think it was a problem until I left for literally one night and they decimated my enclosures and got into every crack they could. Not just one, but all of my enclosures. It took a hell of a lot of work to rehouse, re-sub, and was a huge waste of the hardwood leaves which I have to buy online. I'm going to much more closely monitor the fresh fruit and veg I give them, no more leaving it in for 2 or 3 days; they're only going to have a night to eat what they can.

Roach collector@ Did you move your collection when they fumigated? I'm most worried about my apartment complex treating for the termites we have without notifying us.

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No I dint move any of my animals. I don't know if they sprayed inside or outside either all know is that the spray worked and the ant problem is fixed! Also it's been 3 weeks then and none of my roaches have died. Well only one death in my javanicas due to dehydration but that had nothing to do with the sprays.

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If possible, putting all of your insect enclosures on a table and putting the table's legs in bowls of water will keep all ants away. It's not really practical long term but will keep your collection safe until you solve the problem.

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Thanks for the tip, Salmonsalad. The ants keep coming back to my closet so I'm moving my collection to my bookshelf. I ordered a zoomed head cable because the heat lamp heats the closet just fine, but wouldn't really work on a shelf. I'm going to lightly powder the base of the shelf with diatamaceous earth, that way the ants will never be able to scale it.

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I've found that baby powder will act as a decent barrier against ants for a while. It's a fine powder and they have difficult time walking over it without falling over and they'll actually avoid walking over it if possible.

Chances are that you have one of the invasive ants--most likely Argentine Ants. The Argentine Ants here are never-ending, so I always have to make sure there's some baby powder on the floor along the edges of the room where they usually come in from. The ridiculous things have many queens for their colonies and the genetic bottleneck has ensured that they all have the same hydrocarbon profile which allows them to form super colonies. Treating just your home for them is like digging in dry sand--more will pour in from the periphery.

I'd avoid the use of diatomaceous earth because that stuff never really goes away. Sure, it's not toxic, but unlike toxins, it doesn't break down. It'll get everywhere--including in your enclosures. Even a small amount will irritate your invertebrates.

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