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What can ants chew through?

chew food metal wood acrylic plastic glass.

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14 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Loops117 - Posted April 1 2016 - 6:57 AM

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Well, i'm looking to build a habitat on the side of a wooden log. Was planning on cutting the inner section out, putting a layer of acrylic down, and then putting the wood back over it to create a barrier in the wood.

 

My question is, what can/can't ants get through? Will they go through acrylic? What causes them to or not to go through it? I was thinking that the main reason would be that they can't grip the flat acrylic.

 

Has anyone done this?


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#2 Offline Crystals - Posted April 1 2016 - 7:25 AM

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The idea of wood for a nest has been discussed on several topics.

Can ants chew through wood?  For the most part, yes.  I have not heard of a colony chewing through an acrylic or glass wall.

Keeping in mind there is a difference between founding queens, small colonies, and large colonies in behavior.

 

This is one recent thread.  There are others out there.http://www.formicult...ect/#entry32869


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#3 Offline Tspivey16 - Posted April 1 2016 - 7:47 AM

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I had a several thousand colony of Solenopsis invicta chew through silicone


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Current Colonies:

                               Aphaenogaster tennesseensis (50 Workers)

                               Formica subsericea (5+ Workers)

                               Tetramorium caespitum (50+ Workers)

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                               Crematogaster cerasi (10 + Workers)

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#4 Offline Loops117 - Posted April 1 2016 - 7:50 AM

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I saw that. I'm working on building a vivarium with an ant colony in it. I need to make sure it will be impossible for them to escape and get to my ornamental  bugs and mantids.


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#5 Offline Loops117 - Posted April 1 2016 - 8:01 AM

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Do you think if i added some kind of bonding agent between both sides of the acrylic and wood, it'll give a surface for the ants to be able grip and chew away at? This vivarium is going to be running for a very long time, so removing parts of the "ant farm" will greatly disturb the base of it. As i build it, most parts are going to be accessible and completely removable, just not the section I'm talking about. It'll be a foraging area on the side of the main log that's going to be embedded into the whole project.


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#6 Offline dspdrew - Posted April 1 2016 - 8:14 AM

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You have to look at the strength of the material. There are different types of strength too. I would just look up the specs on whatever material is in question. BTW, I also have had ants chew through silicone over time. Pogonomyrmex, and Acromyrmex are strong chewers. I had Acromyrmex chew away silicone plugs I was using in their formicarium, and I had Pogonomyrmex chew their way through Ytong. Like you mentioned, it also is a matter of whether or not they can actually chew on it. If it's perfectly flat, they probably can't. Most of the problems are where there is an edge that can fit between their mandibles.



#7 Offline Crystals - Posted April 1 2016 - 8:41 AM

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Can you post a link to an example of a vivarium you plan to use?

Most vivariums I see usually have large gaps along the door/lid.  They also have larger screen for good ventilation.

How do you plan to clean the vivarium or work with the plants once there are several thousand stinging minions climbing all over in it?


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#8 Offline Loops117 - Posted April 1 2016 - 10:48 AM

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The vivarium I'm using is completely custom tailored to this build. It's starting off as a 20g tall fishtank with rims removed. It will then be flipped sideways onto its small side leaving the open side on the right of the viewing side. (i suck at explaining things)
 
I will then use three evenly measured pieces of glass to seal the opening. One fixed at the top and one fixed at the bottom, then the middle one will be removable with magents holding it in place. The ants will be completely sealed off from the other bugs and plants (and i mean completely, or i won't do it), and only have certain sections that they will be able to access.
 
Here's a small mock-up of what i want to do. The highlighted sections are the ant sections. The center is a "Trench" area, so use some imagination please. 
 
20160325_124632.thumb.jpg.e266b0d7c72dc6
 
The front nesting area will be removable, as well as the dome around the ant hill. I'm still in debate if i want to be able to slide the nesting area out sideways, or have the front section of glass covering the nesting box removable with thumb screws. I want this section to be accessed entirly different then the actual opening to the vivarium, reducing the chance of ants making in to the display tank.
 
All of these will be connected with a short series of tubes hidden under the substrate.

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#9 Offline dspdrew - Posted April 1 2016 - 1:23 PM

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Sounds like a heck of a project. Be sure to post pictures of it.



#10 Offline PTAntFan - Posted April 1 2016 - 2:38 PM

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I can't imagine a way in which you can bond your acrylic to the tree branch without them escaping.  A lot probably depends on the species you keep though.  If they are not wood chewers and you can cut a track and slide the acrylic sheet into a track, that would probably be better than and adhesive. 

 

How are you going to feed the ants if they are completely cut off?  Love the design.  i hope it works out.


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#11 Offline Loops117 - Posted April 2 2016 - 2:43 PM

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That was also on debate. I was thinking of putting bulkhead on the back of the DT and connect some type of foraging area, but that will take away from the overall look. If i drilled ontop, and put a foraging area above. The ants would then carry the food down the tree into the nest....hmm....would look cool.


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Michigan Ant Keeping - A Home for Michigan Ant Keepers.

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#12 Offline Bcam43 - Posted April 26 2016 - 4:36 AM

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Well, i'm looking to build a habitat on the side of a wooden log. Was planning on cutting the inner section out, putting a layer of acrylic down, and then putting the wood back over it to create a barrier in the wood.

 

My question is, what can/can't ants get through? Will they go through acrylic? What causes them to or not to go through it? I was thinking that the main reason would be that they can't grip the flat acrylic.

 

Has anyone done this?

 

A bit like this?

 

IMG_4889.jpg
IMG_4895.jpg
IMG_4920.jpg

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#13 Offline Loops117 - Posted April 26 2016 - 7:56 AM

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This is absolutely amazing. Although it's not what i was talking about, it is something i'll be building. Thank you for the idea. Mine wouldn't have anything drilled out inside. Just fitted with a sheet of acrylic so they can't get burrow out.


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an Artisan Ant keeping company aimed to provide Formicaria and Insect Habitats
Now selling byformica products!
Michigan Ant Keeping - A Home for Michigan Ant Keepers.

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#14 Offline Crystals - Posted April 26 2016 - 10:00 AM

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Interesting idea.  I would suggest taking lots of pictures of the build.

 

In my opinion, I would raise a colony in a more common formicarium when first starting out until you get into the swing of things.

Solenopsis invicta are known for chewing through a lot of materials, even ytong in larger colonies.


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#15 Offline antmaniac - Posted April 26 2016 - 5:28 PM

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I found the ants will nibble on anything and given enough time, they can chew through it. Unless you have a very flat surface which the ants can't lay their jaws on. However, what I found interesting is, they will also make a protective enclosure for themselves. For example, if they chew through and found a gap, which expose their nest to danger (air flow), they will cover it up. This is true until they found an even better and suitable nest place.







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