You might be wondering what do ants eat when they are near you. These tiny creatures are known as opportunistic feeders. This means that they will eat anything found in your house to stay alive! But all the ant species do not eat the same things. Different species of ants like to eat different kinds of foods. Their eating habits depend on several factors. In this article, I will share five common things that ants eat. Here, I have also reviewed the food preferences of some common ant species. Without wasting any more time let’s know more about what do ants eat.
What Do Ants Eat?
Below I have listed down the common things you should know to learn what do ants eat.
- Sugary Foods
- Protein Foods
- Living And Dead Insects
You can keep on reading to know more about what do ants eat.
Top 5 Foods For Ants
We know that ants are omnivorous animals and can eat almost everything in nature. They like to eat a mixture of both plants and animals to fulfill their nutritional needs. Let us now study what do ants eat in detail.
Ants are usually attracted to sugar and sweet things. You must be surprised to know sugar is an essential component for ants to remain active for the colony. However, ants would always keep an eye on honeydews, nectar, and other products containing foods. They store these sweet liquid foods on their abdomen and walk back to their nest. Ants feed this liquid food in drops directly from their mouth to the other members of the nest. While sweet fruits like oranges, mangoes are favorites of many ant species.
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Besides sugary foods, ants like eating protein foods for their growth. Foods like meat, eggs, peanut butter are high in protein and can highly attract ants who are hunting for foods. Sometimes they are also attracted to the grease and lard which are commonly found in your kitchen.
Living And Dead Insects
Ants never miss down an opportunity to eat down other insects after they die. They will take down insects bigger than them by swarming in groups. Mostly they will avoid confronting bigger insects. They will wait for them to die before taking the body to their colony.
While some species of ants are born for eating fungus. They eat fungus to fulfill their nutritional needs. For example, they rely on fungi like molds and mushrooms.
You might think that ants are afraid of water! This is one of the biggest misconceptions. Even ants too need water for their survival. Some of them use any method to supply water to their colony. Mostly they drink water from small droplets and small puddles. However, the other species get their source of water from plant saps and flowers that hold nectar.
However, different species of ants have different eating habits. Let us now talk more about what do ants like to eat?
Foods For Different Ant Species
I assume that you have understood what do ants eat by now. Are you interested in the eating habits of different ant species? You have arrived at the right place! Here I will discuss what different species of ants eat.
These ants are one of the largest types of ants. You may think that carpenter ants eat wood! But you are wrong. So, what do carpenter ants eat then? Below I have listed down food items carpenter ants love to eat.
- Living and dead insects
- Pet foods
- Eat nectar from plants
Usually, fire ants are known for their aggressive behavior and painful sting. These ants are constantly hunting for food because of their venomous sting. Continue reading if you are interested in knowing what do fire ants eat.
- Greasy foods
- Nectar plants
- Plant seeds
- Arthropod Eggs
Velvet ants are a little different from other ants. These species are also known as cow killer velvet ants. Keep on reading to know what do velvet ants eat.
- Plant nectar
These ants are mostly found in Central and South America. Usually, army ants have an uncontrollable appetite. Army ants do not create permanent nests like other ants. So, see what do army ants eat.
- Small reptiles
- Large vertebrate animals
These ants are now found all over the world. Argentina ants are quite unique species of ants who like to eat the below-mentioned foodstuffs. You can continue reading to know what do Argentine ants eat.
- Cat and dog foods
- Sugary drinks
Are you thinking these ants eat only leaves? No, you are wrong! These ants mostly feed on fungus within their nests. Some of them cultivate a fungus in gardens and while others grow and eat this fungus. They eat fungus as their source of nutrition.
Do Ants Eat Grass?
No, ants do not eat grass. But some of them might carry grass seeds back to their colonies as food.
What Do Ants Eat In The Garden?
Ants can eat the following foodstuffs found in your garden.
- Soft fruits
- Small insects
- Honeydew from aphids
- Plant seeds
What Do Ants Eat In Your House?
Ants like to eat the following foods in your house.
- Sugary foods
- Greasy foods
- Cat and dog food
What Do Ants Eat Outside?
When ants live outside, they find protein by eating live or dead animals. For carbohydrates, they feed on honeydew. It is a liquid produced by aphids and scale insects.
Where Do Ants Live?
Ants are social insects who live in large groups called colonies. They make their nests in trees, underground, or even inside special ant plants.
What Do Outside Ants Eat?
Outside ants feed on the following items.
- Live or dead animals
- Small insects
What Do Ants Typically Eat?
Typically, ants like to eat the following list of items.
- Dead insects
- Parts of dead animals
What Do Ants Eat And Drink?
Ants like to drink sugary liquids such as nectar and water. However, they like to eat meat, seeds, plants, and fungus.
Do Ants Like Bread?
Bread. Bread might not be the most appetizing item in your kitchen, but many species of ants will happily eat it. Similar to candy, bread contains fast-acting carbohydrates that give them energy for their tasks. To make sure your bread is free from ant intruders, keep it sealed in a plastic bag.
Do Ants Eat Grass?
They do not feed on grass, but their mounds of soil smother and kill grass plants. As ants tunnel among grass roots, the soil may dry out, killing the plants. Ants feed on newly planted grass seed and sometimes store the seeds in their nests. Some ants, especially fire ants and harvester ants, bite people and animals.
Is It OK To Feed Ants?
Feed your ants the food included with your ant farm. As a supplement, offer a small piece of fruit or vegetable every 2–3 days. Remove any uneaten food after 2 days to prevent mold from accumulating. Provide your ants with a few drops of water every day, and keep them in a cool room between 16–21º C (60–70º F).
In my above article, you got to learn what do ants eat in nature. These tiny creatures will eat whatever is found in your house to stay alive. Whether there is food spilled or a dead insect, a group of ants will come to eat it. Ants prefer to eat nectar from plants and other insects. If they are inside your house, they will look for meats, fats, and sugary foods. They also feed on small reptiles, ticks, and spiders. However, velvet ants like bees and wasps. Thus, by observing what do ants eat, we got to know how deadly these innovative creatures are!
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