It is easy to transfer ant-infested soil inside the formicarium to keep them as pets, but you have to make efforts to attract or make them come inside the farm by themselves.
How to Attract Ants to an Ant Farm? You can attract ants to an ant farm by spreading food particles and placing a water bowl in the farm, as the aroma of food and moisture can bring them to the desired spot. Installation of light sources, the presence of wet soil, cotton balls dipped in honey, sugar syrup, and vegetation can attract them.
You can get benefit from the nature of ants as they get attracted to almost everything that seems pleasant and fulfills their body requirements.
So, it is pretty easy to attract ants inside an ant farm by placing their desired food and providing an ideal habitat favoring their growth, reproduction, and survival.
Spread food particles
You can spread food particles inside an ant farm to capture the attention of nearby roaming insects.
Their sense of smell allows them to recognize the aroma of food even if it is present at a distance.
Moreover, you can place a chunk of fresh food like fruits or vegetables as fresh fruits have juicy flavor and good aroma having the potential to entice them.
It is better to spread the food crumbs, as they like to consume smaller food particles. Moreover, it is easier for these tiny insects to take small particles without making efforts to break them.
The presence of sugar particles and greasy foods like butter or cheese can allure greasy ants looking for a source of fats to meet their nutritional requirements.
Many people use honey as a trap to collect ants inside containers, as it is a carbohydrate-rich food source for these tiny insects.
Dip half of the cotton ball inside the honey and put it in the container. It takes some time to be recognized as a food source by their olfactory receptors, but these insects will surely come.
Moreover, you can also put a few drops of honey on a piece of cardboard or a small tray. It needs to be diluted slightly, as viscous fluids pose a risk of death.
They have tiny legs and can get stuck within the viscous honey pool, so it is better to use its diluted form with good fluidity.
You have to put a sufficient amount of honey so that navigating colony members consider it a rich source of food that can meet food requirements for the whole territory.
Add a water source
It is common to see ants in the kitchen sink and bathroom tiles as these areas provide moisture. These insects prefer to build their nests in damp areas like leaky faucets.
Moreover, you can find their nests within potted plants and broken pipes, providing a good moisture source and showing their interest in the water.
Most probably, you have seen these insects enjoying spilled juices on the kitchen floors to meet their water requirements, as their exoskeleton needs to remain hydrated.
You can place a small bowl of water inside the farm to make them come into it. However, it is essential to keep the bowl clean because mold can grow in the water, and dirty water will not attract them.
Furthermore, sugar water is considered a better option as it can provide both moisture and sweetness, and each of them is their favorite.
Mix 2 to 3 spoons of sugar in a small water container and mix it thoroughly to make a sugar syrup. They prefer getting nutrients from sugar syrup, as it is a liquid with a sweet taste.
Install a light source
Most commonly, ants live under the ground, and they build tunnels or intricate channels within the soil. However, they get attracted to light sources during nighttime as they consider it sunlight.
Bright lights, like red, yellow, and green, can grab their attention and make them come inside the container.
Carpenter ants and flying ants prefer high-intensity lights and reach close to the light source.
Accordingly, you can install LED lights at one corner of the container or put them at a close distance. As a result, the foraging workers will come closer to the light source at night.
You can find some ant farms having built-in lighting systems that can help attract these insects to the setup.
Put scented flowers
Ants get attracted to pleasant smells as sweet fragrances of perfumes can allure them. Moreover, they are drawn to flowers and candles having beautiful fragrances.
These insects rely on their olfactory receptors that can help differentiate pleasant and unpleasant odors and move towards fragrant ones.
Accordingly, you can place small pots of fresh flowers inside the container and wait for them to come. Depending on their location, it can take a few minutes to many hours.
In addition, you can use artificial scented flowers having sweet candy or fruity odor. For example, lavender, lily, and roses have strong odors that can entice these tiny creatures.
Maintain warm temperature
Ants prefer to build their nests in warm places having an ideal temperature of almost 73 to 94 degrees Fahrenheit. Warm conditions allow them to reproduce and multiply in number.
You can draw their attention towards a formicarium or a container by maintaining an ideal temperature, but keep it slightly warm as hot environments do not entice them.
High temperature leads to the drying of an exoskeleton; that’s why they look for shady spots having mild temperatures.
Moreover, this strategy works well during cold weather when these insects are looking for warm spots inside the house to build nests.
Their activities get restricted during cold weather as these cold-blooded insects have the risk of freezing and live inside their nests. They like a cozy environment, as it gives them comfort.
They will leave the nest during pleasant weather and engage in nuptial flight. So, you can put a heating rod or cable inside the formicarium to draw their colonies inside.
Make a layer of damp soil
Many ants species live in the soil in underground areas by constructing their tunnels, while a few like to live within wooden logs or trees.
They prefer to build their nests within loose soil, as it provides an ideal medium to make deep tunnels by moving in the deep areas.
So, you can make a thick layer of soil in the bottom of the container that provides a suitable medium for living. The presence of soil makes formicarium a natural habitat for these insects.
Furthermore, it is better to spray water on the soil to make it slightly damp, which provides an ideal platform for them to live and multiply.
Put dead insects
Ants are omnivores and get attracted to dead insects like cockroaches, as they are a good source of protein that can help fulfill their body requirements.
So, you can put a dead cockroach or any other insect to gain their attention, as their smell receptors can detect a food source within a container.
In the same way, living ants get attracted to dead fellows, as their bodies release chemicals that are detected by the living members of the colony.
You can kill one or two of these insects by squishing them and putting them inside the farm.
Their dead bodies will attract others after 2 to 3 days, giving you a chance to capture them inside the container.