There are thousands of ants species in the world, having varying abilities to sting and bite. Some are hardest to keep as pets, while others can easily live in a formicarium without safety concerns.
What Are the Hardest Ants to Keep? The hardest ants to keep are Florida harvester ants, fire ants, bullet ants, meat ants, green tree ants, bulldog ants, siafu ants, and acacia ants.
Choosing an ant species wisely for a formicarium is better because some people get annoyed if they have selected the hardest species at the beginner stage.
Choose a species that does not pose any threat of biting or stinging to pets and children, in addition to damage to furniture, as some destructive species can chew wooden furniture.
|Type of ants||Reasons for being hard to keep|
|Florida harvester ants||Painful stings|
|Fire ants||Burning sensation after stings|
|Bullet ants||Deadly venom and stinging pain|
|Meat ants||Throbbing bites|
|Green tree ants||Inject poisonous venom|
|Bulldog ants||Risk of stings and bites|
|Odorous house ants||Unpleasant odor|
|Siafu ants||Painful bites|
|Bullhorn Acacia ants||Undesired stings|
Florida harvester ants
Florida harvester ants are seed-collecting species appearing in red color. They eat seeds for their nutrition and construct mounds in the open grasslands of Florida.
This species is considered hard to keep due to painful stings, as they can inject stingers into the body for defense if their activities are interrupted.
It can cause swelling, redness, and severe burning pain on the spot.
In addition, children and pets are at risk of their stings when playing outdoors, but adults can avoid these stinging pests.
So, it is better to protect yourself from multiple stings and allergic reactions and get another species for a formicarium or keep them in a safe place.
It is better to avoid keeping fire ants as they are pretty aggressive fighting species requiring special handling and care.
You have to prevent their escapes and protect pets and children from stings.
They can pose a risk of painful stings as their deadly venom consists of enzymes and alkaloids. These alkaloids lead to a burning sensation after entering the prey’s body.
These insects are bright red or brown colored, resembling the color of fire. A lot of species of these insects are spread all over the world, but it is hard to keep them as pets.
Bullet or Congo ants are one of the deadliest ant species whose sting feels like a bullet. The effect of stings remains for almost 20 to 24 hours and disappears over time.
However, the pain is extreme and difficult to tolerate as these insects have a bigger stinger that can pierce deep through the skin tissues and cause severe damage.
Accordingly, it is better to keep yourself protected from their deadly stings and choose the easiest and safest species to grow, mainly if you are not good at handling them.
Meat ants can reach a length of almost 0.2 to 0.4 inches that are included in the list of species for being the powerful and threatening species for their bites.
These insects are more carnivorous and love to eat meat, but they can sometimes change their eating pattern and get nutrition from plant secretions, honeydew, and seeds.
Moreover, these do not sting but are aggressive, as they can bite insects and chew off the meat of dead insects and animals from their skeleton.
In addition, these insects are common in Australia and are also known as southern meat, mound, or gravel ants for their behaviors. So, they can pose a risk of fatal bites after getting disturbed.
Green tree ants
It is better to avoid keeping green tree ants as pets in your home, as they can put you in trouble. These insects can bite multiple times and inject a deadly poison into the body.
In addition, they can spray poisonous material on the predator’s bodies when they feel the threat. These insects do not tolerate interference in their nests and attack for defense.
These are not stinging insects, but they can bite hard on the skin because these insects inject poisonous fluid into the wounds.
It is known to be the hardest species due to the extreme danger associated with its bites. Their mandibles are large enough to pierce through the tough skin and cause deep injuries.
Bulldog ants are large in size and range in length between 16 to 35 mm. They have strong teeth and a large stinger at the end of their abdomen.
It uses sharp teeth to attach to the prey’s skin and inject stinger with full force to transfer poison into their bodies.
Accordingly, this species is naturally aggressive and can put organisms in severe pain that lasts for several hours. Therefore, it can pose a potential survival risk, so you have to avoid keeping it as a pet.
Odorous house ants
These are one of the most common indoor pests in the US in addition to Mexico but are included in the category of toughest species to keep as pets.
They are not considered the most challenging pets for their irritating bites and painful stings but produce a noticeable unpleasant odor when a large number of these insects get crushed.
These insects smell like blue cheese, which is pungent, strong, and challenging to avoid. They smell like rotten coconuts, even called coconut ants, for their body odor.
So, you have to deal with the unpleasant odor if you want to keep them as a pet, but it will make you regret your choice.
It is also known as a driver or army ant that is quite bigger in size and is responsible for the destruction. These are nomadic species that usually keep moving to different locations.
You cannot find their permanent nests as they do not build nesting spots and shift to a new location according to the availability of food sources.
These dangerous species of ants are known for their painful bites that can even put a bigger animal or human on its knees.
Moreover, they have pinching mandibles that can help shear a body by forcing their jaws deep inside the body. Their heads are bigger and stronger, which can maintain a firm grip on the skin.
Accordingly, it is difficult to remove them from the body if they have maintained a firm grip with jaws, and even their head remains there if you try to pull their body apart.
Bullhorn Acacia ants
It is better to avoid bullhorn acacia ants as pets as these are highly hostile and combative species that can bite you hard after disturbance.
These insects live on acacia trees band build a symbiotic relationship with them. These trees provide food to these tiny creatures and need protection from herbivores in return.
Additionally, they are hard to keep due to their painful stings causing throbbing effects or severe pain in the affected area. It is challenging and unpleasant to collect them as you can get bites on your hand.
They can give you a tough time by running up to the sleeves and collars in a few seconds, requiring long jackets, gloves, and long pants when you are going to collect them.
Furthermore, these can create a problem if they manage to escape from the jar and quickly reach underground in the lawn soil.