Ants are fascinating creatures. There are over 12,000 different species of ants and each one has a unique lifestyle. Some live in the ground while others live in trees or underground. They can be found almost anywhere on earth except for Antarctica! Ants primarily eat nectar and honeydew from plants, but they also enjoy eating dead insects and other small animals that get caught by their pincers.
This blog post was written for those who are interested in ants but don’t know what they eat. It’s more of a fact-based article than a personal essay, based on research and theory rather than first-hand experience.
What do Ants Eat?
Ants primarily eat nectar and honeydew from plants, but they also enjoy eating dead insects and other small animals that get caught by their pincers. While being an omnivore is not uncommon among ant species, most will feed exclusively on one thing or the other throughout their lives with only rare exceptions to this rule (in some cases). Some use both food sources simultaneously while others take turns between the two worlds. For example, fire ants have primarily been observed eating insects while also collecting honeydew from plants.
Is any of the food they consume edible to humans?
No, not at all. Ants are primarily insectivores and can’t digest anything that is similar to what we eat in terms of protein content and type. The only thing you could possibly harvest from an ant colony would be their eggs or larvae which have lower nutritional value than a full-grown adult ant (due to its undeveloped state). Even so, it’s unlikely for anyone with good sense to try this strategy because harvesting ants will likely result in more aggressive behavior – including biting!
Ants typically feed on nectar and other insects, and some species also feed on honeydew that exudes from aphids. Ants are unlikely to attack humans but may bite if handled carelessly or accidentally stepped on.
Do ants eat other animals?
It is thought that they do not typically prey upon vertebrates of any type (including invertebrates) in order to obtain food; however, there have been a few observations where an ant has attacked small lizards when given the opportunity. Additionally, there are some reports of army ants attacking and eating birds as well as larger mammals such as monkeys. These cases aren’t common though – most likely due to their lack of success rate with these types of attacks rather than because it’s what they prefer – and should not be a cause of worry.
Do ants bite?
Yes, they can and they may do so if handled carelessly or accidentally stepped on; however, considering that their bites are not typically very strong (their mandibles cannot penetrate human skin), most people find them to be more irritating than painful. Ants will also feed on honeydew that exudes from aphids which is often called “honey dew” in the context of ant eating habits. They don’t eat other animals like bugs though.
How do you get rid of ants? There are many ways to deal with an ant infestation at home, such as by using insecticides containing pyrethrin for outdoor treatment and boric acid powder indoors.