Ants in the Spider Habitats

PDX_Tarantulas

Arachnopeon
Joined
Feb 20, 2007
Messages
44
Spring in Oregon brings out the ants. Its all we can do to keep them out of the house. Little black ants. Hordes of them.

Anyway, it never occured to me that they might also infest the refurbished garage where the spiders are housed. They found their way into each of the 5 habitats and were busily making ant nests as near as I can tell. They gained access up the electrical chord to the hot rocks.

I removed and discarded all the contents of the habitats and washed them out with water. I sprayed everything else with Fantastik (drops ants dead in their tracks) and replaced the dirt with fresh plain potting soil.

Fortunately, all the spiders seemed to have come through this just fine. Spider D molted a couple days afterward. I don't suppose a horde of ants would be very good for the spiders.

Anyone else have this problem?

Thanks! PDX
 

tarangela2

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Nov 28, 2005
Messages
129
ants are VERY bad for Ts. one ant ok, even two ok
but those critters will team up and take down a T
heck! in africa there is a breed that will take down a goat :eek:
no kidding

glad you got the problem under control, i would suggest ant traps all around the room, might help a recurrence from happening
 

ember

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Feb 13, 2007
Messages
129
Howdy neighbor. We are in SE PDX, and ants would love nothing more than to overtake our tanks.

With my rosea, I am just feeding boring ole crickets... and she seems to catchem alright. They are suicidal; run right to her, as if to make friends. She is cool with that, of course. Generally she only eats half, though. Weirdo. I have to watch it or else I get tiny ants that want to finish the job (and her, I am sure, if I let them... damn ants, bugs from hell I tell ya!) It was a cricket scrap that really engendered an infestation... and it was a sudden panic.

We have no ants now... I moved her tank into the bedroom (when we had the problem), gave it a full cleaning, and laid out Terro in the closet next to the front door (the most localized spot of entry). After a few days, ants were totally gone. Have not seen them since. I still have the Terro out, and I am watching like a hawk. Damn ants...

It was the worst... I have tried to be very on the ball with the care and keeping of all of the critters in our home... and I felt assaulted when I saw ANTS in the tank. BLECH! ARG! ANGST! I, of course, fixed it right away. She did not sit even a day with those ants... but man what a bitch. I was NOT amused. I had just put new substrate in the day before, and had to dump it all. It was well worth it, of course, for a safe and cozy spidey... I am just glad that the Terro has worked so completely. I am LEAVING it out, for sure, and watching for the first sign of antishness.

When I first discovered ants, they must have been lackadaisical scouts... there were some, but not an emergency. I used peppermint and eucalyptus essential oil around the tank (in no way able to get to the spider or inside of the tank) sealing off access to the tank. That worked at first. Later, however, the damn ants made a live bridge across the oil and walked on top of the dead volunteers to get over the oil. They were dedicated to get to the tank when the cricket scrap was there. In a matter of a few hours there must have been a million or so... it was insane.

The Terro has worked AMAZINGLY. I have not seen any after that.
 

AphonopelmaTX

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
May 7, 2004
Messages
1,366
ants are VERY bad for Ts. one ant ok, even two ok
but those critters will team up and take down a T
heck! in africa there is a breed that will take down a goat :eek:
no kidding

glad you got the problem under control, i would suggest ant traps all around the room, might help a recurrence from happening

Most ants that go for tarantula tanks want the dead crickets and not the tarantula itself; scavengers as opposed to predators. I have had many ants in tarantula tanks that were fine. Of course I didn't leave them there because the ants tried to go after crickets that were in a tarantula's mouth being eaten, but all in all, the ants didn't hurt the tarantula. The ants I speak of are the little red and orange "sugar ants" or the pharaoh ant.

To deal with the ants, you must erradicate the ants themselves. One can clean and clean a tarantula's tank but the ants will be back. An ant infestation doesn't mean something is dirty.

I too know of these killer ants in Africa. They are called "siafu" and they look like a bunch of mean mothers. Good thing the USA isn't Africa so we don't have to worry about them!

- Lonnie
 
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