Caring For Your Harvester Ants
Live Harvester ants are large and awesome tunnelers That’s why they make excellent ant farm pets.
But there is a warning that comes with these ants.
Harvester Ants can sting and the sting can be nasty. Adult supervision required. These ants are not too aggressive, but they do have a strong bite and a sharp sting that can hurt for up to 8 hours. Their stings can be similar to that of a bee.
Transfering the ants from the shipping tube to your ant farm is best done when the ants are cooled down. Place them in the fridge for about 5 minutes than transfer them.
When taking care of ants, it’s important to remember that, like wasps, they sting. The sting is located in the rear, so be particularly careful when handling that. Their venom can be quite potent, especially if you’re rearing fire ants and harvester ants.
As for your ant farm, make sure that is it not placed in a very warm area, as ants dehydrate quite easily. Ants also die when their nest is hit directly by the sun. You should also avoid constantly moving or disturbing the colony. Move the farm only when necessary, and try not to shake it during transport.
Humidity levels of your colony should be adjusted according to the type of ants that you keep. You may consult books regarding the right humidity levels. For the meantime, here is a rough guide regarding the humidity levels that you ought to maintain. For tropical species, you should maintain about 65% to 85% humidity, but these species can tolerate up to 55% to 70% humidity.
To increase humidity, use a moist substrate so that water will evaporate. To keep the habitat moist, spray on some mist at least once a week. You may also increase your water source or use some sort of osmosis system.
If you want to decrease the humidity instead, you may make use of spot lamps or other heat-emitting objects. Just make sure that you do not heat the ant colony too much, as ants die easily under high temperatures.
Ventilation is also very crucial. Also avoid water condensation within their habitat.
Like humans, ants need food to live. An effective nutritional substance for your own ant colony is a specially-prepared honey mix. Take the small bag of ANT CHOW (From Insect Sales.com) that came with your ants and mix in 1tsp of honey.
Mix all the ingredients together, then store in the fridge so it will not ferment.
To feed your ants, use a toothpick to serve the food to your new “pets.” It is very important that you do not overfeed them. If you are unsure about the amount of food to give them, observe a small group of ants for the amount that they consume, and increase proportionally to the size of the colony.
Water is also a very important element in rearing ants. Ants can actually survive for days without food, but never without water. Always remember to keep your ant farms humid so your ants will not dehydrate. For dirtless nests, keep water tubes filled or use water crystals.
Cleaning is also important if you want to keep your ants and your art farm in good condition. You have to periodically remove remains of old, accumulated food and other wastes so you can clearly observe your pets. To do this without disturbing the ants, use forceps.