Wild Science Ant Mine
Last updated date: April 23, 2019
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An Overview On Ant Farms
Ants are small but hearty creatures that have been around for millions of years. You may not think about them very often, unless you’re fighting off some bold ants who have taken over your kitchen. However, we can learn a lot from ants — and buying an ant farm is the best way to do this.
Ant farms have been around for decades. They’re a great way to teach kids about the natural world, or you can set one up for yourself and watch the ants tunnel right before your eyes.
Ants work together to create a colony through this system of tunnels. They communicate through pheromones, sounds and physical contact to form subterranean nests. Watching the ants work in an ant farm is a fascinating peek at one of the most common insects in the world.
Classic ant farms, like Uncle Milton’s Giant Ant Farm Kit, are filled with sand. After pouring the sand in, you’ll add a bit of water and poke a few deep holes through the sand to get some tunnels started for your insect friends. You can use a drinking straw or the small tool that comes with the kit. Make sure the sand is moist but not soggy, then add your ants. Kids can watch them tunnel through the sand, connecting tunnels and building bridges to form a functioning colony.
You’ll need to feed your sand farm ants every few days by dropping some food crumbs into the colony. Fresh fruit and vegetable bits are best. Adding a few droplets of water to your sand farm every day will keep your ants hydrated and healthy. Make sure to pluck uneaten food crumbs out of your ant farm once your ants are done with it. The food can mold if it’s left in the farm too long.
Newer ant farms, like the NAVADEAL Ant Farm, are very low maintenance thanks to a futuristic NASA-tested gel. The gel provides all of the nutrition that the ants need to survive, and it’s easy for them to tunnel through it.
All of our top-pick gel ant farms come pre-filled with the gel, so you don’t need to worry about a messy setup. All you have to do is create three or four deep tunnels with the included tool, then the farm is ready for your ants.
Most of these gel farms also come with light-up LEDs along the bottom of the farm. Evviva’s Amazing Ant Habitat comes with a beautiful blue light strip, so you can watch your ants tunnel deep into the gel at night.
Ant farms don’t come with the ants you’ll need to get started, but there are plenty of places to buy ants online. The ANTARTISTS Ant Farm comes with a 50% off coupon for live ants to help you get started.
Ant farms are an affordable, fun way to bring the wonders of nature into your home. Read on for some tips and advice for a successful ant farm.
DYWM Fun Fact
The ant farm was invented in 1956, when Milton Levine noticed a mound of ants during a picnic and decided to make an “antarium.” He’d collected ants as a child, and he wanted a first-person view of how ants created their underground colonies.
He created Uncle Milton’s Ant Farm and sold it through mail-order catalogs for $1.98. Children across the country loved it, and the farms took off in a way no one ever expected. Over the years, Levine sold more than 20 million ant farms to curious kids.
Uncle Milton’s Ant Farm is still a bargain buy today — it even earned our Best Value pick. Levine eventually sold his company for a cool $20 million dollars. So the next time you’re at a picnic, take a good look around you. Nature might inspire you to create the next big thing.
The Ant Farm Buying Guide
- Before you buy your ant farm, make sure you find a safe place in your home for your new critters. Gel ant farms need to be plugged in for their light-up LEDs to work, so you’ll want to find a flat surface that isn’t far from a power outlet. You can move gel ant farms from room to room without causing any colony chaos. However, once you’ve picked a location for your sand ant farm, it needs to stay there permanently. The tunnels in a sand ant farm will collapse if you move it, and then your little friends’ work will go to waste.
- Buy harvester ants when you’re purchasing your first live ants online. They are foragers who create the tunnels and mounds that are essential for a well-functioning ant farm. They’re also larger ants that won’t slip through the sides of your ant farm.
- Most online vendors don’t sell or ship queen ants across state lines, because they might escape and cause problems with existing ant species in your community. It’s impossible to sustain an ant farm for longer than a few months without a queen ant, but you’ll still learn a great deal about ant colonies with your harvester ants.
- Ants thrive in environments between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. You may want to keep your farm away from windows or space heaters to make sure they don’t overheat. These temperature restrictions can also affect when your ant vendor mails your insect pals to you. In extreme temperatures, the vendor might wait to make sure your ants arrive alive and thrive.