Springerpaw Insects Ranch

Springerpaw Insects Ranch -

Insect Pet Care and Maintenance

The cage size should increase as the insects grow.

Your pets should be kept in a cage or container that is large enough for them to walk around and small enough that they will easily find the food you give them. As they grow up you will have to increase the size of the cage. You can start with a plastic cup (photo on the right) for the hatchlings, move up to a 500 ml jar for the younger stages but will have to move to a 2 litre or larger container for the adults, especially if you have more than one insect. These containers should have good ventilation to permit the insects to “breath” and also to reduce the humidity and thereby inhibit the formation of mold and fungus in the container. I put a layer of dry paper towel on the bottom of the container which allows the easy removal and clean up of the insect’s “wastes”. Continue reading

Keeper enchanted by mysteries of his bees

Ant farms nurture curiosity, interest in children

by Associated Press

LOS ANGELES—What does it take to elevate the common ant from picnic pest to household pet?

To thousands of children and many adults, the answer is a bit of soil and a see-through enclosure that, in these modern times, can be made from an extra CD case or bought tricked out with special projection lights.

Ant farms, the narrow glass or plastic containers filled with soil that mimic ant colonies, have been popular among generations of children, and marketers say they remain in-demand even in the age of computers and video games.

Uncle Milton Industries, a Los Angeles-based company that has been in business for six decades, has sold more than 20 million ant farms. Company founder Milton Levine and his brother-in-law invented the ant farm nearly 60 years ago, and the company continues to update its main product, such as with a version that includes a light that projects the ants’ shadows on the ceiling.

“As the world gets more complex, some of these classic toys become more popular,” said Ken Malouf, vice president of marketing and product management.

Thousands of people, not just children, enjoy insects as pets and are willing to spend the time and money on them, said Lila Higgins, manager of the Citizen Science and Live Animals exhibit at the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum.

“We have 16,000 people come to our bug fair every year and a lot of them buy or collect insects as pets. As long as we’re buying from responsible traders and collecting responsibly, I think the benefit (of taking queen ants) can far outweigh the cost to our environment,” Higgins said. Continue reading

Ant Farm Care

One of the hobbies that is fast catching up the attention of many American’s is Ant Farming. An Ant farm is typically a man made artificial ant colonies used as a habitat for ants. Ants, these small insects with their well organized social world and divisions of labor has always fascinated most of us and have drawn more attention in the recent times. The development of an ant farm depends on the choice of the person intending to build them but at the end of it becomes quite a learning experience that stimulates our mind. In most of the cases, ant farms are built as a hobby by fascinated individuals and children or and in the other cases are built for the purpose of research. Whatever the purpose of building an ant farm is, it truly offers exciting disclosures into the captivating and complex life of ants.

The development of ant farms is taking place in many households. Most of the ant farms can be lidded or lidless and come in a variety of sizes and shapes. The design of most of the ant farms involves the use of glass on the sides and top for visibility. While considering ant farms as a hobby, it is advisable to be cautious regarding the variety of ant’s one uses for colonies. If you are starting your ant farm, it is better to avoid the potentially precarious types like harvesting ants and fire ants. These kind of ants can create chaos if handled improperly. Now the question is from where to gather the material and most important, the ants. Some of you might consider collecting the ants from under dried logs or if this seems futile the ants can be ordered. If you are still insisting on collection your own ants, the simplest way to attract them is to drop some sweet syrup and wait for them to turn up. For a good collection you will need one or more queen and broods apart from workers. This way, your farm can keep bustling with activity for a longer period of time. But while you opt for collecting your own ants, it seems far more difficult to collect a queen and broods unless they are ordered.

Moving on to the design of the galls farm, you should use sand or composite depending upon the color of ants used. This will definitely help in easy viewing of the ants. Before you start deporting them into their new habitat, make sure that you have dampened the sand so that they can make tunnels. Now, once they are set up in their new home, you can feed them with food particles, sweet sugary syrup like maple or honey and dead insects. Ants cannot starve to death without food, however, water, is vital for their survival. The general advice is to keep the ant farm moist and away from direct sunlight. To make sure that they always have water available you can use a cylindrical tube filled with water and sealed with cotton on the top. This ensures that water doesn’t leak and flood their colony. It is better to seal the farm, to prevent the ants from leaving it. In such case, the lid should be removed everyday for a short duration to allow for air. (Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/art-and-entertainment-articles/ant-farm-care-230295.html)