I am sad to say I lost Harold my house gecko to something I never expected or knew was dangerous: sugar ants.
Last night I noted my Crested gecko’s food had sugar ants in it. I cleaned it up did a quick check of the cresty, my frog, my house gecko. All I saw was a few ants. The little black ones. I had done a twelve-hour shift so I made sure all the food was cleaned up, checked the crickets and roaches for ants (there wasn’t any) and went to bed as I had to open the next morning.
Home today after work started doing my twice weekly cleaning of Harold’s enclosure. Which I also use to play find the gecko (just to check on her). She normally sleeps in this little hide I bought for her with some moss in it. I noted a lot more ants than last night, not enough for me to be worried at first until I pulled the moss out. There was a swarm of hundreds of ants. I really quickly realized Harold had been in that hide, she wasn’t anymore. I double check the entire enclosure and found the ants everywhere and her nowhere. The enclosures is currently being nuked and the other animals homes secured.
I googled it and this isn’t uncommon but isn’t something I had heard before. I feel destroyed and can only blame myself for ignorance. My other animals are now safe and that is the only solace I am taking from this.
Here is what you can do to prevent it
Keep your reptile/animal room clean and human food free. Clean up after yourself and don’t leave your leftovers unattended.
Remove any uneaten food matter after 12 hours. Sooner, if you have a pet who enjoys their food during the day.
Keep the room uncluttered. Less clutter means more of a chance to see the ants
Vaseline or double sided tape around the opening of the enclosure. This will prevent ants from entering. I just used water resistant double sided tape around Egg’s and Perdita’s.
terro ant traps and Liquid ant killer. These can be used in the room as along as animals can not access them. It is what most of the forms are saying to use to really kill them. Be careful with using this though, I am assuming that if one of your animals eats an ant after it eats terro it can make your animal sick. I have no proof, but I that is how most poison act.
Small bowls of dish soap and vinegar can be on top of or near the enclosures. This will help kill them and is less toxic but won’t do the job as well.
vinegar will remove ant trails. Use diluted vinegar to clean in and around the enclosures.
If anyone has any more tips or like to share, please let me know.