Many people prefer to keep ants at home and grow them as pets because these insects are low-maintenance organisms. It can be a hobby or a desire to explore these tiny creatures.
How Much Do Pet Ants Cost? Pet ants can cost between $2 to $6 for only one worker ant, while the price gets multiplied by the number of workers if you need a colony. However, you can get queen ant and workers combined for $20 to $65, while some can reach $250 with shipping charges.
Choosing an ant species to grow as a pet is probably challenging. In addition, it is usually hard for beginners to deal with the colony as they do not have prior experience handling it.
Ant-keeping has become a hobby in many regions of the world, and people keep looking for reliable and affordable sellers to get a colony at cheap rates.
Accordingly, you have to be careful while buying as some sellers can deceive you by charging more money for the cheaper varieties.
What is the average cost of pet ants?
The price of ants varies for different species, as some rare species can cost you more than those locally available. In addition, the shipping methods also determine their overall price.
The selling price of western carpenter ants is almost $0.8 to $1.3 for one worker and gets multiplied if you need more than one worker to keep a small colony.
In the same way, the black garden ants having 6 to 7 mm long bodies are available at $1 to $1.5 because these insects are commonly found in every house.
However, little honeypot ants are expensive as they have got significant place due to the presence of honey in their abdomens, and their average cost is $4.
Moreover, the European fire and turf grass ants are available at almost $1.5 to $2. Therefore, their average price ranges between $2 and $6 for workers, but queens are expensive.
You can get a colony of a queen and a few workers for $20 to $65 on average because these colonies contain a royal member.
However, their price can reach almost $250 for a colony of the queen with many workers that can help you start a new colony that lasts for several years.
Examples of pet ants with their cost, body size, and body weight
|Type of pet ants||Cost||Body size||Body weight|
|Pavement ants||$1 to $1.25||5 to 7mm||1 to 2mg|
|Bulldog ant||$2.5 to $5||8 to 25 mm||8 to 10 mg|
|Harvester ants||$0.5 to $0.7||6 to 10 mm||2 to 4 mg|
|Little honeypot ant||$3 to $5||3 to 7 mm||6 to 9 mg|
|Western carpenter ants||$0.8 to $1.3||6 to 15 mm||2 to 5 mg|
|Black garden ant||$1 to $1.50||6 to 7 mm||5 to 6 mg|
|Turf grass ant||$1.5 to $2||3 to 6 mm||1 to 3 mg|
|Winter ant||$3 to $3.5||3.5 to 4.5 mm||1 to 2 mg|
|European fire ant||$1.5 to $2||4 to 5 mm||0.5 to 2 mg|
|Silky field ant||$1 to $1.3||6 to 8 mm||2.5 to 3 mg|
What factors determine the cost of live ants?
The selling price of ants is determined by many factors like species, physical features, and the producer, in addition to their packaging.
Breed or Species
Some species are rare in a particular country, so the sellers take advantage and increase their prices.
However, the local species of ants colony have a low price if they are commonly available in the garden or house. Therefore, some people do not bother to catch these insects and prefer to pay for them.
The bullet or bulldog ants are renowned for their dangerous stings, so a few people want to keep them as pets and pay high prices for them.
The shipping location also matters as it can increase the overall price of the product. In addition, you have to pay extra charges for international shipping to get foreign species.
The weight of ants and packaging material determine the shipping expense and ultimately increases the price if it is imported from other countries.
It ranges from $5 to $30, depending on the locations of the seller and buyer. Choice of shipping methods can alter the overall price as standard charges are lower than those for express deliveries.
The physiological and behavioral characteristics of pet ants increase buyers’ interest in keeping them as they can have attractive colors and alluring behavior.
Some species are easier to ship as they do not require special packaging, care, or handling and need little or no maintenance effort.
Moreover, you can put them inside a formicarium with a food and water source in an ideal environment, and they can grow well.
However, a few species need special care during shipping as they are associated with potential danger. Therefore, you have to make more efforts to maintain the farm for them.
The use of expensive packaging material and a large setup for ants can cost you more as the price of the material is added to the product.
Many companies deliver colonies in test tubes if you have ordered a queen or 2 to 5 workers. However, they have to provide bigger containers if the number of insects increases.
Some dangerous species need special handling and are carefully packaged inside a wooden or glass box. The casing material and weight can make your purchase expensive.
Type of seller
You can find hundreds of sellers in your area, including authorized private companies and government sellers. The choice of sellers will determine the actual price of pet ants.
Many black market sellers are also present that can provide you with ant colonies at a low cost, but buying ants from them is not considered safe.
However, a few private companies can sell you colonies at high rates as they have to fulfill all the expenses from the budget, while the government sellers usually have suitable rates.
Which is the best ant species to be kept as a pet?
Some species are the favorite for ant keepers as they need easy-to-handle insects when they are at the beginner stage and have no prior experience dealing with these tiny creatures.
Black garden and black crazy ants are the easiest pets, and their colonies can survive for several years. Moreover, these insects do not sting or bite and can survive in dry conditions.
European fire and carpenter ants have hardy nature, but they can sting if you try to disturb them, so you have to be careful while dealing with these species.
Furthermore, the harvester ants can tolerate dryness, which means you can go out on a long trip without worrying about your pets because they can live unattended for many days.