Do Ants Eat Black Mold?

Many people get worried after seeing black mold stains in the formicarium. You should know that it is toxic for the ants.

Do Ants Eat Black Mold? Ants do not eat black mold because of its toxic nature, but they get attracted to rotting, wet, or infected wood as it allows easier burrowing and formation of tunnels. Some moisture and carpenter ants can live in moldy wood, but they leave it if they have uncontrolled growth.

These insects can eat fungi and live in close association with them, but they do not seem interested in black mold due to its toxicity.

Why do ants not eat black mold?

Ants make careful choices while selecting the food source because wrong decisions can lead to their death, as indoor pests can encounter toxic chemicals.

They can die if they unknowingly consume boric acid and sugar bait by considering it as food. Their smell receptors help them make the right choices about food.

Accordingly, they can get attracted to it but not choose it for food due to its high toxicity. It is not a safe option to eat it because it can kill the whole colony.

In addition, these insects can reach infected areas because they grow in moist and highly humid areas. Similarly, they need wet surfaces to live and keep themselves hydrated.

These insects can get attracted to moist wooden surfaces without considering whether it is infected or not because wet wood matters to them.

Such surface allows ants to build deep tunnels and allow the colony to live there after creating complex channels or chambers within it.

Dry wood has little moisture content, meaning these chewing pests have to make more efforts to create tunnels inside for living.

So, these insects invade wet surfaces and make their way inside to create space for living, but they are not interested in mold growing over it.

Can ants spread black mold?

Many people consider ants to be involved in the growth and spread of black molds directly, making them responsible for infected surfaces.

These insects enter through small spaces or cracks within walls or drains to reach the moist surfaces inside the home, like a wooden cabinet close to the bathtub.

A long trail of colony members forms when the scouting members have detected a suitable place to live and a favorable environment to survive.

The continuous movement of these insects through narrow cracks can cause the widening of the space. In addition, it leads to the spread of fungi to these areas because moisture or water drops can reach there.

This way, they can allow mold to spread within the spaces that were not supposed to allow it to sneak inside if these insects had not widened the spaces.

Moreover, the humidity level is responsible for fungal growth, but it cannot reach the tight areas without these insects as they have provided a new route to expand.

So, it is not wrong to consider these insects as their potential vectors allowing them to get inside confined areas.

However, they do not get benefit from their spread because they can become more dangerous and toxic to these insects when spread without any restriction.

What type of ants can live near black mold?

Moisture-loving ants are known to live closely with mold, as both of them prefer to live and grow in a moist environment. It means humidity is the common thing between these two.

Cornfield ants prefer to live on moist surfaces and build their nests close to water leakages.

High humidity level attracts yellow ants in addition to black mold, allowing them to live in the same place at a close distance.

In addition, carpenter ants are attracted to wet or rotting wood, providing a suitable medium for these insects to construct the chambers and raise the population.

Some people get confused between carpenter ants and yellow ants, but these are two different species having varying physiological and behavioral characteristics.

Accordingly, the former, or wood insects, appear black and brownish in color, while the latter have yellowish or orange bodies, making them different.

However, both of them have one thing in common: attraction to moisture as they prefer to live on moist surfaces. Therefore, they can live in infected wood without eating it.

How to keep black mold away from ants?

It is essential to keep black mold away from ants as its uncontrolled growth in the formicarium can lead to the death of the whole colony due to toxicity.

Reduce humidity level

You have to deal with the moisture content inside the container and other areas of the house and keep them dry to restrict its growth because moisture is the primary reason for mold growth.

It can be controlled by opening the windows to maintain airflow as it allows the evaporation of water drops. It needs an almost 65% to 70% humid environment for growing and multiplying.

Accordingly, a dehumidifier can also be used to reduce the moisture content or make them dry to make these places unsuitable for their growth.

Replace the substrate

It is considered better to replace the substrate if the mold has grown over it because it keeps growing in an uncontrolled manner if you overlook it.

You can choose a resistant substrate to replace the infected one to stop it from growing. For example, plastic, grout, acrylic, and strong substrates resist it and reduce the risk of death.

However, plaster of Paris, wood, and sand are prone to its attack and promote growth; that’s why you have to avoid these non-resistant substrates.

Furthermore, you can remove the substrate, but it is better to put it on the base because ants can get disturbed without any substrate in the container.

Use baking soda and vinegar solution 

A mixture of baking soda and vinegar works well against mold growth. You have to mix vinegar and water in equal quantities, like 4 parts of vinegar in 4 parts of water.

After that, add 1 part of the baking soda to the solution and mix them well. Transfer the solution to a spraying bottle and shake it properly.

Spray the solution on the affected areas and rub the surfaces to remove the stains. You can also prepare a thick paste by mixing 1 part of soda with 1 part of water and vinegar,

In addition, spread the paste on the stains and scrub the surface after some time. Finally, wipe down the stain and the paste using water.

Use bleach solution

You can also use a bleaching solution by diluting it in 1:4 with water. Spray this mixture on the stains, whether on the wall or aquarium, but remove ants before it.

It is better to open the windows for better ventilation and wear gloves before spraying the solution, as it can be inhaled or comes in contact with skin accidentally.

Take a clean cloth and make it lightly wet before scrubbing the surface. Scrub the surface gently until the stains get removed, and clean the surface with a dry cloth.

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