Hi everybody! I have my first working colony. I didn't chose them, they chose me.
I went into my fish room last week and found them incubating their larvae on one of my aquarium lights. Obviously they liked the heat and humidity so I turned the light off and opened the door to let the humidity out, and by the next morning they had moved the brood and just some workers remained. I have always been fascinated with ants and have collected workers at different times and have ordered harvester workers as a teenager for the classic ant farm before, but I've always wanted a sustainable colony with queen and thought instead of killing this colony I should collect them. So that's what I did.
Once they started to leave I realized how much I was enjoying watching them work so I turned the light back on and closed the door and started to look into collecting the colony. I posted the story and some pics on a Facebook group and someone suggested setting up a test tube for them to move into. I had some small water testing tubes laying around so I layed a couple down on the light fixture.
Having never found a queen before I didn't think I'd be able to lure it out of the main nest which I figured was outside. But after watching them for some time I noticed one larger than the others, could this be the queen?
I did some research of ants in my area, and found that I probably had Tapinoma sessile. They fit the description so well- small brown ants, like sweets, like to infest homes, many satellite nests, like to move often, like heat... And it looked right under the microscope to me. I learned they are polygynous so maybe I really did see a queen.
The morning after I put out the test tubes, one was full of ants and larvae. That made it easy to just pick up the tube containing a large portion of the ants I had seen and just put them in a container. After that I put out some more tubes and sugar water, doing whatever I could to lure as many out as I could. I realized the queens would hang around the piles of eggs and larvae so I kept watching and when I saw one I sucked it up with an aspirator I made.
After a couple days I figured I had any that were going to come out. I had lots of workers and brood, and 6 queens. Once I got all the remaining workers I could gather I put out some poison bait for any remainders. Sad, but we can't have loose ants infesting the house. I saved as many as I could!
Just wanted to get the journal started, I'll start posting some pics and other thoughts and experiences so far.
Edited by Polyacanthus, July 9 2021 - 6:51 PM.