ANTS!

Status
Not open for further replies.

K-9

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2012
Messages
5
Hello everyone,
I recently rehoused my two russian tortoises as I wanted to give them more space than the viviariums they were living in could offer. I made use of a fairly large floor space in my cellar - filling it with sand/soil etc. The tortoises are loving it, it's perfect for them, except that over the past few days I've started to notice ants in the enclosure.. At first I thought it was maybe just a few rogue ants as there are a fair few woodlice/spiders/all sort of insects down in the cellar.. However today I picked up a piece of lettuce to find alot of ants congregated underneath. I then noticed a line/trail leading down the side of the pen and up the wall (they are most probably coming in from the front garden which is just above the space where the enclosure is). My tortoises don't seem to have acknowledged the ants, and vice-versa.. But i'm just a little concerned that if the ant number starts to grow that it could pose some sort of threat to my tortoises health/well-being. Should I be worrying or are they pretty harmless?
I'm from the UK, and these are black ants by the way, not typically considered dangerous..
Merci for any responses I get!
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
88,997
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Hi K-9:

Welcome to the Tortoise Forum!!

What would you like us to call you?

You can use ant poison in places where the tortoises can't come into contact with it, like at the point of entry and along the outside of the pen.

Black ants aren't a problem

You can also safely use boric acid around tortoises and diatomaceous earth.
 

webskipper

Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 22, 2009
Messages
641
Location (City and/or State)
AZ
Try using a simple solution of white vinegar and water to clean around the pen to erase the ant trail(s). It'll confuse them for a while.
 

Redstrike

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2011
Messages
2,709
Location (City and/or State)
New York
Get some Boric Acid and mix it into a sugar solution. They'll carry the toxic syrup back to the nest and rid you of your problem so long as you DON'T KILL THEM. Let the feast on the concoction and bring it back to the nest. This site may be more instructive:

http://www.ghorganics.com/page11.html

Good luck!
 

K-9

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2012
Messages
5
Thankyou for the responses, my name is Ryan!
I have an umbrella up above my basking light to make sure no rain water interferres with the heat emitter - the trail seemed to lead behind this umbrella somewhere. Tomorrow night I'll take it down and find out where exactly it is that they are getting in and apply something to try and deter them from approaching the pen. Glad to know that they aren't going to interfere with my tortoises though! Has anyone tried ground cinnamon in a bid to send ants marching away from a given area? I've heard they aren't too fond of it and I would like to use something that isn't going to kill them but rather just make it a less appealing place to come to.
Thanks, Ryan
 

ascott

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2011
Messages
16,147
Location (City and/or State)
Apple Valley, California
You can use chalk...sounds silly but they don't want to walk across the chalk...and it is not designed to kill but to keep away.....during late spring into summer I use a piece of chalk and draw a line sound my doors...I rub it back and forth around the concrete patio ground and they immediately retreat.....you may be able to do this around your enclosure...if they are coming in somewhere there....good luck with your adventure...
 

nicoleandrocky

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
970
Location (City and/or State)
California
Ants are a pain. Like others are saying, try using organic ant prevention far away from the torts though.
 

cljohnson

Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2011
Messages
296
As some others have said I would recommend borax. You can find ready made ant control that uses it. Or you can find it in the laundry section in your grocery store. Mixed with sugar water it is non toxic. It is a an-hydrant. It will make kids or pets very thirsty but does a good job of wiping out any nests. Let them eat it and leave them alone. Problem will be solved in a day or two.
 

K-9

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Mar 13, 2012
Messages
5
Thankyou for your responses, very much appreciated!
Since last night when I bathed my tortoises, in a fortuitous turn of events the pen has been pretty free from ants! Once I initially removed the food they all scurried off on their trail up behind the umbrella and they don't seem to have returned. Today has been ant free except for just one or two. I've attached a quick photograph (It looks a little dim on the photograph but that's just the high shutter speed darkening things).. they were trailing up the wall at the back from the left hand corner. Maybe they've realised that they can't carry food back, as that would require them to heave lettuce up a vertical wall and through a small crack? I don't know but they just seemed to have vanished of their own accord. I'll keep an eye out and thanks to your suggestions I will have plenty to try out if they return!
I'll just add that during the cold months in England the temperature really isn't sufficient enough to let them live outside, but once the sun starts smiling again they will have a nice area in which to live outdoors! :)
tortoisepen.jpg
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top