Ant overload!!!

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Carissaraeee
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Ant overload!!!

Post by Carissaraeee » Mon Dec 09, 2019 12:13 pm

Hello everybody! I need some help. I have a 20 gallon tank, for my two hermit crabs. But it has a screen top to it, so seeing how it has been getting colder, I usually keep a baby blanket over the top of it to keep the heat and humidity in the tank. Last night, I decided to Expose one of the corners of the screen so they could get some fresh air. And went to sleep. Then, woke up around one in the morning and something told me to check my tank. So I looked in, to make sure the humidity was OK, and that’s when I noticed it. The substrate looked like it was moving, so I looked closer, and realized that my crabitat was crawling with ants. It was like, infested! They were after the food, obviously. Because I give my crabs fresh fruits and veggies. So I started spraying the trail of ants on the floor, and the outside of the tank where they were crawling, with bleach, and after I got the trail under control so no more ants were going in, I pulled out my quarantine tank, which is just the plastic tank I got them from the store in, and I grabbed some moss and put it in there for substrate and just threw them in there as quick as I could. I also have two heaters on in my tank now, because I can’t seem to ever regulate enough heat in my tank. So I took the smaller one off and put that on the little tank they are both in now. So my question is, what do I do? I had a lot of bills this week, so I don’t have any extra money to buy new substrate. So I need to try to salvage what I can. I read a different forum where somebody recommended baking the substrate? Can I do that? If so, what do I set my oven to, and how long do I put it in there? Also, I have been noticing mites as well. I only ever noticed it on their food, and I was looking it up and reading other peoples posts and came to the conclusion that it was probably food mites. But I noticed the ants were trying to set up shop in my crabitat, because I could see their little colony making a little house in the corner against my tank window, so I started digging out the substrate to grab as many ants as I could within the cup and just ran it under water to make them go down my drain. And as I was digging around for the ants, I noticed there were mites within the substrate as well. So that is another concern of mine. I’m not sure if it is in fact food mites, and they just happened to migrate within the substrate. But will baking take care of them as well? I just changed my tank substrate not too long ago, so I don’t understand why it is crawling with these pesky little critters. Could it possibly be from me covering it with a blanket? Any recommendations and advice would be greatly appreciated! Like I mentioned before, I need to try to salvage as much of the substrate as possible, to hold me over until I can get more. thank you in advance for any help!

If you’re wondering what substrate I use, it’s the eco earth one that comes with the dirt and also has coconut chips you can mix in with it.

-Carissa

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wodesorel
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Re: Ant overload!!!

Post by wodesorel » Mon Dec 09, 2019 1:38 pm

I would recommend changing it out. That much biological matter in your substrate is going to rot when you rewet it, creating the perfect breeding ground for flies and bacteria.

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PinchersAndShells
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Re: Ant overload!!!

Post by PinchersAndShells » Mon Dec 09, 2019 1:49 pm

Hi! You're definitely going to want to change the substrate. Due to the depth of the substrate we use in the crab tank, no oxygen gets down to the bottom of the substrate which can encourage (bad) bacterial growth when combined with moisture and extra organic material. As long as the crabs have appropriate heat and humidity, food, and places to hide in quarantine they should be fine for a week or two, even though the substrate depth is not ideal. I'd recommend purchasing play sand and bricks of Ecoearth for the new substrate, they're fairly cheap in combination as 50 pound bags are $5 each and three bricks of Ecoearth are roughly $8 each. As for decor you're going to want to clean everything, wood can be baked and shells can be boiled. Plastic will likely need scrubbed. This is all to make sure no ants escape. I wish you luck with this, it sounds like a nightmare!
5 PPs + 1 E = Dusty, Edd, Momo, Merle, Dottie, & Elvis
3 Captive Bred Babies = Randy, Roxie, Marco
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Carissaraeee
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Location: North Carolina

Re: Ant overload!!!

Post by Carissaraeee » Tue Dec 10, 2019 9:43 am

Thank you so much! And it definitely was a nightmare! Especially because it was the middle of the night. Lol mondays are already hard enough, because,.. well,.. it’s Monday! Lol so I was up until about 2 in the morning and then had to get right back up to get my daughter ready for school. So thank you! As far as baking the wood, how long do I bake it, and at what temp? I plan to get some substrate Friday, I’m afraid to even give them fresh fruits and veggies again because I’m afraid the ants will attack,.. again! Ugh. There were so many. Even now, I’m STILL killing little straggler ants I see crawling around my tank. I literally have a bag over the top of it, taped all around so nothing can get in, or out lol but thank you again- I appreciate your reply!

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Re: Ant overload!!!

Post by PinchersAndShells » Fri Dec 13, 2019 11:05 pm

I usually bake the wood at a very low temperature (as low as I can get the oven) for 30 minutes to an hour and sit next to the stove to keep an eye on it. If you did a higher heat setting, it would definitely take less time! I just prefer to play it safe and wait.

EDIT: For future reference, if you put a very thick layer of vaseline all around the outside rim of the tank the ants should not be able to pass over it (most of the time, I heard about it from my ant keeper friends!)
5 PPs + 1 E = Dusty, Edd, Momo, Merle, Dottie, & Elvis
3 Captive Bred Babies = Randy, Roxie, Marco
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DinkDonk
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Re: Ant overload!!!

Post by DinkDonk » Sat Dec 14, 2019 10:13 pm

And I agree with crabby lover, Vaseline and some other material should be able to keep the ants from entering. I have also read that freezing crab toys and crab objects for about a few days should be able to kill bacteria and pests as well.

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Topic author
Carissaraeee
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Re: Ant overload!!!

Post by Carissaraeee » Sun Dec 15, 2019 9:53 am

Thank you! I will definitely try the vaseline trick! I got their crabitat all cleaned and got them situated. Went and got new substrate, a couple new things to put in their tank. And I also got play sand and mixed it in their substrate this time. I wanna post a pic of the results but idk how 🤣🤣

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Crabby in NJ
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Re: Ant overload!!!

Post by Crabby in NJ » Sun Dec 15, 2019 10:43 am

Their is an app that they use to post pics called tapatalk or u can put a link from another website but I’m unsure which sites allow this. I’ve seen it in my reading here and never actually tried yet. Someone with more knowledge will surely chime in soon hun. Wishing u the very best!
Crabbing with my son now! My my, how things have changed!

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wodesorel
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Re: Ant overload!!!

Post by wodesorel » Sun Dec 15, 2019 1:19 pm

This is from an ant keeping forum on how to keep them in, but would also work for keeping them out - while also being harmless to hermits.
https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/antfarm ... 13211.html

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Carissaraeee
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Location: North Carolina

Re: Ant overload!!!

Post by Carissaraeee » Sun Dec 15, 2019 3:48 pm

Okay guys. Thanks! The link provided above, isn’t bringing me anywhere, it’s saying 404 page error or something like that. But I’ll do some searching on google and see what sites and articles I can find providing info about ants and how to keep them away from my little hermits! I’m so happy I decided to join this family when I first got these hermit crabs. They basically got thrown on me without warning, and with a lot of research, and this website, I have kept them happy and healthy with no issues except for this last one! So thank you all so so much! I deeply appreciate it!

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wodesorel
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Re: Ant overload!!!

Post by wodesorel » Mon Dec 16, 2019 12:55 am

Carissaraeee wrote:
Sun Dec 15, 2019 3:48 pm
Okay guys. Thanks! The link provided above, isn’t bringing me anywhere, it’s saying 404 page error or something like that. But I’ll do some searching on google and see what sites and articles I can find providing info about ants and how to keep them away from my little hermits! I’m so happy I decided to join this family when I first got these hermit crabs. They basically got thrown on me without warning, and with a lot of research, and this website, I have kept them happy and healthy with no issues except for this last one! So thank you all so so much! I deeply appreciate it!
Whoops! I uploaded from tapatalk for the screenshot and somehow the coding went wonky. I fixed it so you should be able to see it now.

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