I’ve just had the most traumatic reptile-related experience in my life about an hour ago.
I picked up my snake’s water dish and squirming beneath was HUNDREDS OF BLACK ANTS AND THEIR EGGS. Some crawled up my arm while I was carrying the tub to my kitchen to genocide them & their babies No class.
I got my snake out of her tub immediately yelled for backup. We sprayed the writhing mass and surrounding reptichip with bleach and yeeted the contents into a garbage bag.
I have never been so mortified. In a span of 4 days they invaded and set up camp?! Jfc. We had an ant problem, but now it’s an ant War Luckily the bins in the surrounding area seem fine. The Terro ant poison I’ve put around my house is super popular with the trespassers, but it doesn’t seem to be causing the sweeping death promised on the label.
Has anyone else had ants invade their rack before?
We live in an old country house so ants coming in cracks in the doors and floorboards is a constant battle. The best solution I’ve found is laying out the traps but putting a strip of masking tape at the base of every rack/stack of enclosures and put a light layer petroleum jelly. That keeps em off and out of the kids enclosures and just be patient while the traps slowly work their magic.
One idea you can use for the ant problem is if the rack is held up by posts you can put petroleum jelly on the legs so the ants can’t climb up them. That should prevent any more from climbing into your racks, though there might still be some in the tubs.
We have a minor ant problem, but I keep them out of the rooms and pantry by using fume free bug barrier. You could probably use fume free bug barrier in your reptile room as well, but I would remove the snakes before doing so and let it air out just in case. The brand we use is Ortho btw. It hasn’t failed us yet.
After you remove the ants, you can also use coconut oil to keep them out. You can apply it around the exterior of the tub with a paper towel or something similar, just a light layer. It’s extremely effective, in my experience, and lasts a long time.
Thank you all so much!! I have petroleum jelly on hand and will be lubricating all of my racks lol.
It will be a welcome bit of peace of mind- the urge to constantly inspect for ants is overwhelming to say the least.
Update: the petroleum jelly worked perfectly! It immediately stopped them from exploring my racks. We’ve also been fortunate to have put a huge dent in the invading ant population via poison gel traps and only encounter a fraction of the ants that we used to around the house.