Hunting for Ants
Ants are very fast insects and look hard to catch. However, there are many ways to catch ants, from setting traps with bait to active hunting. Be sure to research your area to know which ants can be collected before starting your search. Once you've decided which ants you'd like to search for, you can collect your materials and begin looking.
Collecting Ants Using Bait
Set up your jar or container. Collecting ants using bait is a relatively simple process that does not require a lot of time or energy. The majority of your time will be spent gathering and preparing your materials before you set your bait. Ants are attracted to sources of food, which are generally a combination of sugar and water. You'll also need a container to place your bait into, which can be any size, from a cup or glass to a gallon bucket.
- Bait can be as simple as sugar and water, but feel free to use other food like fruit, vegetables, or starch.
- A general rule for collecting ants is the larger your trap, the more ants you will end up attracting.
Place your bait in your container. The next step is to place your bait, whether it's sugar and water or other food, into your container. Make sure your container is stable and will not fall over when left for hours at a time. Old yogurt containers or tupperware make for great ant traps. Fill your container with small amount of sugar and water, or simply place your food onto the bottom.
- Try using a sturdy container, like an old jar, to avoid it being disturbed or knocked over.
- Choose a container that is not more than six inches high to ensure that your bait is easily accessible.
Leave the container for a few days. Once you have placed your bait in a container you are ready to leave it out for a few days. Try to find a secluded place outside to place your container so that it will be less likely to be disturbed by other animals. Leaving your bait for a few days will ensure that ants swarm to it.
- Check on your container daily to collect ants periodically instead of dealing with a large amount of ants all at once.
- Placing your container outside will mean that your bait might also attract other ground dwelling animals. Check your container frequently to make sure your bait is still intact. If it has been eaten, simply place more bait in your container and check back every few hours.
Transfer your ants to an enclosure. Once you have collected your ants in a trap, collect your container and begin the process of transferring the ants to an enclosure. A enclosure can range from a larger container with soil and food to a more complex terrarium purchased at a pet store. If you are collecting ants for you first time, try making your own enclosure as terrariums are generally intended for ant farms and can be expensive.
- Make an enclosure for your ants by placing soil and a food source in a container, like a large tupperware. Be sure that the container is well ventilated with small holes made by a pin or needle. The holes made by a pin or needle will be small enough so that the ants will still have oxygen without being able to escape.
- Look for proper terrariums at your local pet store or on websites devoted to ant collecting.
Try making peanut butter or honey traps. Peanut butter and honey traps are simple traps that attract ants quickly. Simply coat a small paper surface, like a piece of cardboard, cardstock, or paper, with a thin layer of honey and place it indoors or outdoors for a few hours. The ants will be attracted to the sugar and will become “trapped” in the peanut butter's or honey's stickiness.
- If you don't have a swarm of ants after a few hours, leave your trap out and continually check on it every couple hours.
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