Ants!

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gieseygirly

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I came home yesterday and found my lil guy's enclosure infested with ants. I think the ants are being drawn to the fine coco substrate. What do I do now? Cypress mulch? I'm afraid the lil guy will try to eat the mulch and get bound up inside. I had to put him in a cardboard box with timothy hay for now while I am poisoning the ants.

Any suggestions on substrate that won't attract ants?
 

LeopardTortLover

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It was my understanding that coco coir didn't attract bugs or bacteria but soil and dirt did. How odd. Sorry no suggestions. Maybe his enclosure is near an ants nest and this is just bad luck?
 

Spn785

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Get an Anteater? :D If I'm not mistaken Cococoir should not attract ants, so there might be something else going on. Change out the substrate with all new, and find out what else might be attracting the ants. Do you leave food in his enclosure? Do you feed fruits at all?
 

bmt123

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Which kind of ant is it black ants or fire ants. If its fire ants then you need to do something quick because they can easily kill a small tortoise. I think that they are most likely being drawn by the food. I wouldn't worry about him eating them I think they are to small for even the tiniest of tortoises to consider food.
 

WillTort2

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The ants are just attracted to the moisture. I'll get ants when the ground outside is either very wet or very dry.

They do make a bait that initially attracts the ants and then they carry it back to the nest and it eliminates the ants over about a five day period. I don't remember who makes it. You could find the trail the ants are using to get into the enclosure and out the bait out the enclosure near the ant trail.
 

gieseygirly

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Spn785 said:
Get an Anteater? :D If I'm not mistaken Cococoir should not attract ants, so there might be something else going on. Change out the substrate with all new, and find out what else might be attracting the ants. Do you leave food in his enclosure? Do you feed fruits at all?

Yes, I do leave a plate of greens for him when I leave for work in the morning. We just moved in this house a few days ago and noticed ants in the bathroom and kitchen, but I thought they'd have no reason to go in the tortoise bedroom. There must be a nest somewhere. I'm going to have my husband spread poison granules throughout the entired crawl space and also the perimeter of the house.


bmt123 said:
Which kind of ant is it black ants or fire ants. If its fire ants then you need to do something quick because they can easily kill a small tortoise. I think that they are most likely being drawn by the food. I wouldn't worry about him eating them I think they are to small for even the tiniest of tortoises to consider food.

Not fire ants - just really little black ants; lots of them. Their trail lead me to the heater vent. I spread poison last night, came home and checked at lunch, and no ants. Completely gone. We'll see what happens when I get home later, because they weren't there at lunch yesterday either. Then I got home in the evening and they were everywhere. Only in my Leopard's enclosure. Haven't even bothered my Russian.


WillTortoise said:
The ants are just attracted to the moisture. I'll get ants when the ground outside is either very wet or very dry.

They do make a bait that initially attracts the ants and then they carry it back to the nest and it eliminates the ants over about a five day period. I don't remember who makes it. You could find the trail the ants are using to get into the enclosure and out the bait out the enclosure near the ant trail.

Yep, got the bait. Also got poison granules. Last night I spread the granules on the floor under the enclosure and put a bait inside the enclosure (he's not in there; he's in a cardboard box for now). I haven't seen a single ant today. Changing the substrate tonight; I'm going to switch to cypress mulch for 3 months and see how my torts like it.
 

pspryu101

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Omg i had the same problem tonight when I got home! my viv was infested with black ants and had to do an emergency substrate change in the middle of the night :( while i was removing the old substrate i noticed the ants were packed in one corner in a muddy top soil but they were nowhere near the food which was weird because i thought that what was causing it. Is there any tort safe insecticides out there?
gieseygirly said:
Yep, got the bait. Also got poison granules. Last night I spread the granules on the floor under the enclosure and put a bait inside the enclosure (he's not in there; he's in a cardboard box for now). I haven't seen a single ant today. Changing the substrate tonight; I'm going to switch to cypress mulch for 3 months and see how my torts like it.

what kind of bait did you get if you don't mind? I might do the same thing and spread it all around under the enclosure and wall corners by my enclosure to make sure.
 

gieseygirly

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pspryu101 said:
Omg i had the same problem tonight when I got home! my viv was infested with black ants and had to do an emergency substrate change in the middle of the night :( while i was removing the old substrate i noticed the ants were packed in one corner in a muddy top soil but they were nowhere near the food which was weird because i thought that what was causing it. Is there any tort safe insecticides out there?
gieseygirly said:
Yep, got the bait. Also got poison granules. Last night I spread the granules on the floor under the enclosure and put a bait inside the enclosure (he's not in there; he's in a cardboard box for now). I haven't seen a single ant today. Changing the substrate tonight; I'm going to switch to cypress mulch for 3 months and see how my torts like it.

what kind of bait did you get if you don't mind? I might do the same thing and spread it all around under the enclosure and wall corners by my enclosure to make sure.

The bait and granules I got are not animal safe. I have my torts in temporary housing until I get the situation/infestation under control. It's the best I can do for now I think. But I must say - this is horrible:(
 

wellington

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I have also read, but I can't confirm it works, but to use oat meal or corn meal to spread around the outside of the enclosure. Suppose to either keep ants away or kill them if they eat it, can't remember which, sorry. However, if it does work, it wouldn't harm your torts should they get some of it in their pen.
 

Yvonne G

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Several Home-made Ant Remedies

1 – Boric Acid
Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon of Boric Acid, 1 tsp of Sugar, 4 oz water, Cotton Balls.
Mix Boric Acid and Sugar in a bowl. This can be poured over a cotton wad in
a small dish or bottle cap. Keep this from drying out for continued
effectiveness. Place Cotton balls in path of Ants. If the ants are drawn to sugar, if you make a solution of boric acid and sugar, not too much boric acid initially, the ants will eat it up take it to their young and feed it to them. This method will kill the entire nest in about two weeks. The solution should initially be weak because you don't want them to taste the boric acid and you don't want to kill the ants before they feed the rest of the nest. If they are protein eating ants mix the boric acid in broth.

2 – Another Boric Acid

>> 1 teaspoon boric acid (available at any drug store,, $2.99 for 4 oz) 6 tablespoons sugar
>> 2 cups water
>> mix together in a jar till all dissolved,, label and store safely.
>>Soak a few cotton balls with it, then put them in a small, covered plastic >container (margarine or <?>) with a few small openings in it for the ants to >get in, (I also put a brick on top so other curious creatures could not get >in)and then freshen it 1-2 times a week.
>> This is a slow acting 1 percent solution to get them to take some back to
>> the nest and even feed the queen :>
>>after a few weeks changing to a 1/2 percent solution should keep them gone.

3 - bacon grease
....in a margarine tub which is sunk into the ground level. The ants here can smell animal fat from what seems like a mile away...Around the outside of the margarine tub I place a big circle of boric acid...and cover it with a rock. The ants have to walk through the boric acid to get to the bacon grease, then back through it on the way out. If they get back to the nest carrying it on their legs, it kills whatever it comes into contact with. We have 4or 5 species of ants here...two of which are lethal!

4 - Found this in Jerry Bakers stuff
Ant Ambrosia
4-5 tbsp. of cornmeal
3 tbsp. of bacon grease
3 tbsp. of baking powder
3 packages of baker's yeast

Mix the cornmeal and bacon grease into a paste, then add the baking powder and yeast. Dab the gooey mix on the sides of jar lids, and set them near the anthills. The pesky critters will love it to death!!""


5 - If you can't find Everclear, liquefy orange peels and pour it around the ant hills. You may get fruit flies, but you won't have any trouble with ants!

6 - I have a friend that put a circle of diatomaceous earth around her aviaries and
effectively kept the ants out that way. She also uses it to directly attack any hills in the area.

7 - I believe that the "new age chalk" is a combination of diatomaceous earth and boric acid. Boric acid is the major component in "Roach Proof" and is a fairly benign and very effective means of insect control.

8 - Amdro is another effective treatment, but it is an actual poison, but safer than others. Both Amdro and Logic are baits that the ants pick up and take into the mound so that the queen eats it.
 

Spn785

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emysemys said:
Several Home-made Ant Remedies

1 – Boric Acid
Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon of Boric Acid, 1 tsp of Sugar, 4 oz water, Cotton Balls.
Mix Boric Acid and Sugar in a bowl. This can be poured over a cotton wad in
a small dish or bottle cap. Keep this from drying out for continued
effectiveness. Place Cotton balls in path of Ants. If the ants are drawn to sugar, if you make a solution of boric acid and sugar, not too much boric acid initially, the ants will eat it up take it to their young and feed it to them. This method will kill the entire nest in about two weeks. The solution should initially be weak because you don't want them to taste the boric acid and you don't want to kill the ants before they feed the rest of the nest. If they are protein eating ants mix the boric acid in broth.

2 – Another Boric Acid

>> 1 teaspoon boric acid (available at any drug store,, $2.99 for 4 oz) 6 tablespoons sugar
>> 2 cups water
>> mix together in a jar till all dissolved,, label and store safely.
>>Soak a few cotton balls with it, then put them in a small, covered plastic >container (margarine or <?>) with a few small openings in it for the ants to >get in, (I also put a brick on top so other curious creatures could not get >in)and then freshen it 1-2 times a week.
>> This is a slow acting 1 percent solution to get them to take some back to
>> the nest and even feed the queen :>
>>after a few weeks changing to a 1/2 percent solution should keep them gone.

3 - bacon grease
....in a margarine tub which is sunk into the ground level. The ants here can smell animal fat from what seems like a mile away...Around the outside of the margarine tub I place a big circle of boric acid...and cover it with a rock. The ants have to walk through the boric acid to get to the bacon grease, then back through it on the way out. If they get back to the nest carrying it on their legs, it kills whatever it comes into contact with. We have 4or 5 species of ants here...two of which are lethal!

4 - Found this in Jerry Bakers stuff
Ant Ambrosia
4-5 tbsp. of cornmeal
3 tbsp. of bacon grease
3 tbsp. of baking powder
3 packages of baker's yeast

Mix the cornmeal and bacon grease into a paste, then add the baking powder and yeast. Dab the gooey mix on the sides of jar lids, and set them near the anthills. The pesky critters will love it to death!!""


5 - If you can't find Everclear, liquefy orange peels and pour it around the ant hills. You may get fruit flies, but you won't have any trouble with ants!

6 - I have a friend that put a circle of diatomaceous earth around her aviaries and
effectively kept the ants out that way. She also uses it to directly attack any hills in the area.

7 - I believe that the "new age chalk" is a combination of diatomaceous earth and boric acid. Boric acid is the major component in "Roach Proof" and is a fairly benign and very effective means of insect control.

8 - Amdro is another effective treatment, but it is an actual poison, but safer than others. Both Amdro and Logic are baits that the ants pick up and take into the mound so that the queen eats it.

This is great Yvonne! Thanks for all the solutions. I know lots of people will find this useful.
 

gieseygirly

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emysemys said:
Several Home-made Ant Remedies

1 – Boric Acid
Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon of Boric Acid, 1 tsp of Sugar, 4 oz water, Cotton Balls.
Mix Boric Acid and Sugar in a bowl. This can be poured over a cotton wad in
a small dish or bottle cap. Keep this from drying out for continued
effectiveness. Place Cotton balls in path of Ants. If the ants are drawn to sugar, if you make a solution of boric acid and sugar, not too much boric acid initially, the ants will eat it up take it to their young and feed it to them. This method will kill the entire nest in about two weeks. The solution should initially be weak because you don't want them to taste the boric acid and you don't want to kill the ants before they feed the rest of the nest. If they are protein eating ants mix the boric acid in broth.

2 – Another Boric Acid

>> 1 teaspoon boric acid (available at any drug store,, $2.99 for 4 oz) 6 tablespoons sugar
>> 2 cups water
>> mix together in a jar till all dissolved,, label and store safely.
>>Soak a few cotton balls with it, then put them in a small, covered plastic >container (margarine or <?>) with a few small openings in it for the ants to >get in, (I also put a brick on top so other curious creatures could not get >in)and then freshen it 1-2 times a week.
>> This is a slow acting 1 percent solution to get them to take some back to
>> the nest and even feed the queen :>
>>after a few weeks changing to a 1/2 percent solution should keep them gone.

3 - bacon grease
....in a margarine tub which is sunk into the ground level. The ants here can smell animal fat from what seems like a mile away...Around the outside of the margarine tub I place a big circle of boric acid...and cover it with a rock. The ants have to walk through the boric acid to get to the bacon grease, then back through it on the way out. If they get back to the nest carrying it on their legs, it kills whatever it comes into contact with. We have 4or 5 species of ants here...two of which are lethal!

4 - Found this in Jerry Bakers stuff
Ant Ambrosia
4-5 tbsp. of cornmeal
3 tbsp. of bacon grease
3 tbsp. of baking powder
3 packages of baker's yeast

Mix the cornmeal and bacon grease into a paste, then add the baking powder and yeast. Dab the gooey mix on the sides of jar lids, and set them near the anthills. The pesky critters will love it to death!!""


5 - If you can't find Everclear, liquefy orange peels and pour it around the ant hills. You may get fruit flies, but you won't have any trouble with ants!

6 - I have a friend that put a circle of diatomaceous earth around her aviaries and
effectively kept the ants out that way. She also uses it to directly attack any hills in the area.

7 - I believe that the "new age chalk" is a combination of diatomaceous earth and boric acid. Boric acid is the major component in "Roach Proof" and is a fairly benign and very effective means of insect control.

8 - Amdro is another effective treatment, but it is an actual poison, but safer than others. Both Amdro and Logic are baits that the ants pick up and take into the mound so that the queen eats it.

You rock, Yvonne! What a variety; thanks so much!
 
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