What Do Ants Eat

What Do Ants Eat

For most people, ants are those annoying little black things that seem to take over your house when you leave a few crumbs of food out. However, a lot of people like ants and think they’re fascinating creatures. The truth is that they are, indeed, really cool insects.

Out of every creature in the animal kingdom, ants just might have the most diverse diet. These little creatures will eat almost anything. Currently, there are over 12,000 known species of ants. Some species have limited diets, but as a whole, these little buggers will eat almost anything.

What Do Ants Eat In The Wild?

A number of ant species are predatory, so they’ll eat other insects. Others are forages and prefer to snack on the Cheetos that you accidently left on your computer desk. Some types of ants are scavengers or farmers.

There really aren’t too many specific foods that ants eat in the wild. Since they’re tasked with supporting such massive economies, they’ll eat almost anything that they can find.

An ant will eat almost any insect, whether it’s alive or dead. Some other common menu items for these constructive little buggers are nectar, sugar and honey dew. They also eat jelly, syrup and other types of sweets.

In fact, one of the fastest ways to call armies of ants into your home is to place some sweets out in the open. You should see thousands of ants swarming the sugar within 24 hours.

Since they’re very active creatures, ants require protein and carbohydrates to function properly. Most ants prefer to live in soil, but there are some species that set up shop inside of plant or wood cavities. Ants are commonly hunted by bats, birds, assassin bugs, toads, spiders and lizards.

Depending on the situation, they might even be hunted by exterminators. At times, they can be very annoying, but overall, ants have a very positive effect on the environment because they spread seeds.

Carpenter Ants

Despite the name, these ants don’t perform any general contractor work. However, they do enjoy consuming the sweet liquids produced by scale insects and aphids. Honeydew is one of the carpenter ant’s favorite food sources.

When living indoors, these insects will feast on pet foods, meat, honey, syrup, jelly, sugar and virtually anything else that they can find. Contrary to popular belief, these ants don’t actually eat wood.

Fire Ants

The fire ant is an omnivorous insect, so it will consume sweet and greasy materials. It also likes to eat meat. Since these insects are omnivorous, they have no problem feeding on vegetable and animal food sources. The typical diet for a fire ant consists of honeydew, arthropod eggs, spiders, ticks, earthworms and other types of insects.

Black Ants

There are over 12,000 different species of ants on Earth, but one of the most well-known types is the black ant. This little creature likes to eat a wide range of foods.

Some of its favorite snacks are plants and insects. You might also find black ants snacking on chunks of food that you leave behind in the kitchen.

These ants are known to eat all sorts of other insects, and they’ll even carry dead insects back to their nest. Once an ant finds food, he uses powerful scent pheromones to mark the trail, so other ants can follow and find where the food is.

Although it’s not something that they prefer to do, many black ants are known to be cannibalistic, which means they’ll actually attack and eat other ants.