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What blacklights do people use to catch ants?

blacklights catching ants at night

27 replies to this topic

#1 Offline Ants_Dakota - Posted December 4 2020 - 10:06 AM

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yes, i know. some of you are going to hate me for this. but i have looked for other topics about blacklights and peoples recommendations, but i have found nothing. so i am going to post this. i want to know what blacklights people have used successfully, and how to use them. thanks!

Ants_Dakota


Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. -Proverbs 6: 6-8

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#2 Offline BADANT - Posted December 4 2020 - 10:12 AM

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Are use a 9 W screw and black lightbulb, and an old small night stand light. I either drape a sheet over the side of the bed of my pick up, or I carry it out into a field and put the lamp on it. I can do this because my battery pack is portable, and will run it for hours. I also have rails with fluorescent bars that are 20 W each that I can lay around the sheet for more light. Although lately that hasn’t been necessary


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#3 Offline Ants_Dakota - Posted December 4 2020 - 10:14 AM

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Are use a 9 W screw and black lightbulb, and an old small night stand light. I either drape a sheet over the side of the bed of my pick up, or I carry it out into a field and put the lamp on it. I can do this because my battery pack is portable, and will run it for hours. I also have rails with fluorescent bars that are 20 W each that I can lay around the sheet for more light. Although lately that hasn’t been necessary


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so do you stay up all night, or just a certain part, or use some kind of trap? also, where do you get a portable battery pack?


Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. -Proverbs 6: 6-8

My Journals:

Formica Species Journal

Myrmica Species Journal

My South Dakotan Shop Here

Attention Ant-Keepers in South Dakota! Join the SoDak(Society Of Dakotan Ant Keepers)


#4 Offline BADANT - Posted December 4 2020 - 10:22 AM

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I’ve only used it a couple of times in my yard, I’m changing that strategy next season. The lamp stands about 1 foot tall and the battery is smaller than a loaf of bread. So I can carry them in my backpack at all times. Sometimes when we’re in a good area, we just throw it down while we hunt and check it every 20 minutes or so. The battery is SUAOKI 150W, I found it on Amazon. It’s expensive ($126), but it’s so versatile I can use it for all kinds of other outdoor needs


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#5 Offline Manitobant - Posted December 4 2020 - 10:32 AM

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I use a 48 inch blacklight with plug and a 400 watt clear mercury vapor lamp plus ballast. The setup works great and i get so many bugs with it, however its not really that portable and i always run it from a wall socket + extension cord. MV bulb + blacklight is the way to go if you are looking for a large variety of insects as well as tons of queens, however the bulbs and ballast is quite expensive and hard to find at times.


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#6 Offline M_Ants - Posted December 4 2020 - 11:13 AM

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Mercury vapor lights are great. 


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Veromessor pergandei- 1 queens 50ish workers

Myrmecocystus testaceus

Crematogaster sp. 

Acromyrmex

Camponotus yogi

Pogonomyrmex

https://www.youtube....FG7utFVBA/about


#7 Offline BADANT - Posted December 4 2020 - 11:16 AM

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Mercury vapor lights are great.


I think that’s the bulb my hunting partner suggested, is that the one with a better spectrum. I’ve been meaning to look into getting one.


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#8 Offline Ants_Dakota - Posted December 4 2020 - 11:27 AM

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thanks everyone! i need to get one of those next year!


Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. -Proverbs 6: 6-8

My Journals:

Formica Species Journal

Myrmica Species Journal

My South Dakotan Shop Here

Attention Ant-Keepers in South Dakota! Join the SoDak(Society Of Dakotan Ant Keepers)


#9 Offline mmcguffi - Posted December 4 2020 - 11:29 AM

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I also had this question -- thanks for asking it @Ants_Dakota

 

I'm hoping to get Atta alates this spring and I know MV bulbs are the standard because they have such a large band of UV/blue light, but they are way less portable than LED UV lights due to size/heat/energy requirements.

 

Does anyone know if LED UVs work well? eg: amazon.com/dp/B01LRQ47Q8


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#10 Offline BADANT - Posted December 4 2020 - 11:31 AM

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Any good black light bulb laid on a sheet or draped over your vehicle would make a good start. I have heard somewhere to try not to go below 25watts. Search black lights at the top of the forum, because this topic is one of many that has been discussed before and you’ll get even more info


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#11 Offline BADANT - Posted December 4 2020 - 11:33 AM

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I also had this question -- thanks for asking it @Ants_Dakota

I'm hoping to get Atta alates this spring and I know MV bulbs are the standard because they have such a large band of UV/blue light, but they are way less portable than LED UV lights due to size/heat/energy requirements.

Does anyone know if LED UVs work well? eg: amazon.com/dp/B01LRQ47Q8


The bars I use around my border(when I use them) are LED. They seem pretty good, remember to watch the wattage they are usually low


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#12 Offline CheetoLord02 - Posted December 4 2020 - 11:46 AM

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I also had this question -- thanks for asking it @Ants_Dakota

 

I'm hoping to get Atta alates this spring and I know MV bulbs are the standard because they have such a large band of UV/blue light, but they are way less portable than LED UV lights due to size/heat/energy requirements.

 

Does anyone know if LED UVs work well? eg: amazon.com/dp/B01LRQ47Q8

I use LED. It works pretty well, but our flight season this year in AZ was terrible so it was hard to test for sure. Here's a video with my rig and what I catch.




It's nice because it's very portable, and the lights are so efficient I run them on just a large portable power pack. It runs for about 4 hours and the power pack fits right in my pocket.


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#13 Offline Ants_Dakota - Posted December 4 2020 - 11:57 AM

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I also had this question -- thanks for asking it @Ants_Dakota

 

I'm hoping to get Atta alates this spring and I know MV bulbs are the standard because they have such a large band of UV/blue light, but they are way less portable than LED UV lights due to size/heat/energy requirements.

 

Does anyone know if LED UVs work well? eg: amazon.com/dp/B01LRQ47Q8

I use LED. It works pretty well, but our flight season this year in AZ was terrible so it was hard to test for sure. Here's a video with my rig and what I catch.




It's nice because it's very portable, and the lights are so efficient I run them on just a large portable power pack. It runs for about 4 hours and the power pack fits right in my pocket.

 

were many of the queens mated? also, where do you get those strips of lights! i like those, because, as you said, they are portable. 


Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. -Proverbs 6: 6-8

My Journals:

Formica Species Journal

Myrmica Species Journal

My South Dakotan Shop Here

Attention Ant-Keepers in South Dakota! Join the SoDak(Society Of Dakotan Ant Keepers)


#14 Offline M_Ants - Posted December 4 2020 - 12:10 PM

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I need this setup! Once I carried a massive car battery in a backpack to power a tiny weak blacklight. 


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Veromessor pergandei- 1 queens 50ish workers

Myrmecocystus testaceus

Crematogaster sp. 

Acromyrmex

Camponotus yogi

Pogonomyrmex

https://www.youtube....FG7utFVBA/about


#15 Offline Ants_Dakota - Posted December 4 2020 - 12:17 PM

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so should i blacklight at night or dawn or drink tons of coffee and do it all through the night? when do most queens swarm in the night?


Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. -Proverbs 6: 6-8

My Journals:

Formica Species Journal

Myrmica Species Journal

My South Dakotan Shop Here

Attention Ant-Keepers in South Dakota! Join the SoDak(Society Of Dakotan Ant Keepers)


#16 Offline CheetoLord02 - Posted December 4 2020 - 12:30 PM

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Usually I get around 60-70% mated queens at my light, depending on species. I got the LED strips on amazon, couldn't tell you the exact ones. Flights are primarily in the evening and early morning. This summer I'd be basically nocturnal assuming I wasn't working, wake up in the evening, blacklight, stay up, blacklight again in the morning, go to bed at noon  :lol: 

You can get away with getting a few ZZZs between blacklight sessions, though. I did an anting trip this summer with friends before I moved to AZ where we camped for about 3 days in rural southern IL. We'd blacklight from ~8:30pm to ~10:30pm, spend an hour tubing everything, sleep by midnight, then wake up at 4:30 and blacklight again until ~5:45, then go anting all day. It was extremely exhausting but totally worth it.


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#17 Offline ANTdrew - Posted December 4 2020 - 2:07 PM

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I had tremendous success with this bulb screwed in a lamp I shined on a sheet. https://www.amazon.c...g?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#18 Offline Swirlysnowflake - Posted December 4 2020 - 2:17 PM

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I use an LED blacklight set up on a small table in my backyard. I live in a city, so it only got me two preno queens, but at least it seemed to attract them (So if you used it in a forest or something it would probably attract more). It probably isn’t the most powerful/best one you can get, but it seems to be fine. I’ll see if I can find the link, its on Amazon. 

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#19 Offline BADANT - Posted December 4 2020 - 2:20 PM

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I use an LED blacklight set up on a small table in my backyard. I live in a city, so it only got me two preno queens, but at least it seemed to attract them (So if you used it in a forest or something it would probably attract more). It probably isn’t the most powerful/best one you can get, but it seems to be fine. I’ll see if I can find the link, its on Amazon.


It’s also about timing, so I hope you find more nights that you are able to try it in your yard.


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#20 Offline Manitobant - Posted December 4 2020 - 4:18 PM

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Here are some links to MV bulbs for sale that I'd recommend:

160W coated self ballasted

https://www.ebay.ca/...3sAAOSwqaJaYnln

250 watt self ballasted clear (this bulb is marked as metal halide but is actually MV)

https://www.ebay.com...0.c100891.m5206

400 watt self ballasted clear (this bulb is marked as metal halide but is actually MV)

https://www.ebay.com...S-/282148014398

750 watt self ballasted half clear (i have this one and will be adding it to my setup next spring)

https://www.ebay.ca/...egAAOSwJxpfII0L

Also almost all mercury vapor bulbs are mogul base, meaning they won't fit into a normal socket. These adapters have worked for me: https://www.amazon.c...base ad&sr=8-14

Edited by Manitobant, December 4 2020 - 4:35 PM.

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