Ants in Crested Gecko Tank – Treatments & Prevention
You would be amazed at how often people find ants in their crested geckos enclosure. But there’s nothing amazing about it if you consider the ants’ relentlessness and exploration abilities. They are constantly on the food and use their powerful smell to navigate their environment.
They can also squeeze through extremely tight spaces, including tiny holes or cracks that you may not have even noticed. And I won’t even mention their unmatched climbing abilities.
But are ants bad for geckos, and how can you deal with an ant invasion in your reptile’s habitat? Let’s look into it!
Are Ants Bad for Crested Geckos?
The answer is tricky, to say the least. Crested geckos can eat ants to a point, but these insects are not among their favorites. The reason is that the ants contain formic acid, which has an unpleasant taste. Not to mention, ants don’t carry too much nutritional value, so the gecko would have to eat a lot of them, which they don’t.
In most cases, crested geckos eat them out of instinct because they observe them moving around, which triggers the reptile’s hunting instincts.
The truth is that ants are generally more harmful than beneficial. The reason is that they can actually kill your gecko in large-enough numbers. This can happen in case of a severe ant infestation that you may not have noticed in time. If that doesn’t happen, the ants will simply annoy the gecko via biting and crawling on its skin, forcing the reptile to change its resting spot frequently.
This will also render the gecko unable to rest properly, which will lower the animal’s immune system and comfort level.
Getting Rid of Ants in Crested Gecko Tank
There are two critical aspects to consider here:
- Remove the ants from your home
- Remove the ants from the gecko’s enclosure
It’s important to realize that if your gecko’s enclosure is indoors at all times, you have an ant invasion in your home. After all, the ants didn’t come flying through an open winder and straight into your gecko’s enclosure. They most likely came crawling in through some hole in the floor, which needs addressing soon.
When it comes to eliminating the ant population completely, I recommend the following two solutions:
- Ant bait – Mix some sugar with water and boil everything to homogenize the mix. Add a tablespoon of Borax and mix everything together thoroughly. You can place the solution in a paper medicine cup or anything similar that can prevent any leakage. Place the cup next to the ant’s trail line on the floor. The bait is needed to eliminate the ant population invading the home.
- Ant repellent – Use dish soap, rubbing alcohol, and water to create an ant repellent to use in your gecko’s habitat. I recommend removing the gecko, decorations, and substrate in the process so that you can spray the habitat properly. Otherwise, the ants can hide in the substrate to escape the extinction event. Once the ants are gone, clean the enclosure, change the substrate, and add everything back in.
These two strategies should be enough to eliminate all traces of ants from your home and the gecko’s enclosure.
Prevent Ants Getting in Crested Gecko Tank
If your gecko’s tank is located inside your home, the solution is to prevent the ants from getting inside the home. There’s no other way for the ants to invade your gecko’s enclosure without traversing some area of your home first.
If you do have an ant problem and worry that the insects may reach your gecko’s terrarium as well, consider placing the terrarium at an elevation. Also, use a lid to secure the top, which is also useful to keep the geckos in. These reptiles are notorious for their jumping capabilities. Just make sure that the tank lid has holes in it for proper aeration.
If you notice a home ant invasion next to your gecko’s terrarium, rub some Vaseline on the terrarium’s walls. You don’t need much, as even a fine layer will prevent the ants from climbing the surface.
Do Crested Geckos Eat Ants?
Yes, but don’t rely on that to keep the ants away. Crested geckos aren’t professional ant eaters but can consume them occasionally. However, they prefer to keep their distance since ants are a bigger threat to geckos than the other way around.
Can Ants Kill a Crested Gecko?
They most certainly can. Ants can easily kill and eat your crested gecko, provided the invasion is severe enough. If that doesn’t happen, the ants will stress your gecko, causing its immune system to drop and leaving it vulnerable to other health issues.
Then they can kill and eat it once the gecko is weak enough that it can no longer evade the insects. This is unlikely to happen if you interact with your gecko daily because you will observe the ants in its enclosure.
But you don’t have this luxury if you’re away for several days to a week, during which a lot of things can go wrong. Always have someone check on your geckos regularly to make sure things like these don’t happen.
Geckos and ants are not friends. If you notice ants in or around your gecko’s terrarium, discover their source and eliminate them asap. These insects can spread and multiply fast and have no real benefits.