How to look after a Lasius Flavus (Yellow Meadow Ant Farm at home)?
How to look after a Lasius Flavus (Yellow Meadow Ant Farm at home)?
This is one of the best ant species for beginners and is easy to keep.
The Lasius Flavus, also known as the Yellow Meadow Ant are small, yellow-brown ants that are generally docile and won't sting or bite. They prefer to nest in soil or under rocks and are known for their hardworking nature. Lasius Flavus colonies can grow to over 35,000 workers if the colony has multiple queens and are a great choice for those looking to start their ant-keeping journey. Lasus Flavus queen ant lifespan is up to 20 years (usually about 15 years), this queen ant will ensure the longevity of your colony. As the sole reproducer in the colony, she will lay lots of eggs daily and provide a steady stream of workers. These workers will live up to 9 months and aid in the growth and success of your colony. Lasius Flavus and Lasius Niger are very close cousins.
Did you know that Lasius Flavus ants, similar to Lasius Niger, can live without food and water for a very long time, let me say about a month during the active period and for up to 5 months during the winter, also known as a hibernation period. So, considering the aforementioned first, let me add another fascinating fact, even with no food or water supplies for a fortnight and a well-moisturized habitat, the Yellow Meadow Ant colony will survive during the summer!
On the opposite, if you disturb your queen ant, if you put her under stress lifting your setup lid a few times a day to check if everything is going well or if you put your ant setup near your TV or stereo so all that vibration will hit into the nest area etc., all that will lead to a tragic end of your first ant experience. Why is that?
Imagine living quietly in your house, in a dark room because the light makes you scared, and suddenly a giant lifts up the roof above your head a few times every single day and on top of all, a bright light blinds you at the same time. Apart from this, the nasty giant screams and makes strange noises now and then, sometimes so loud that the whole house shakes, for the ants it is the same as an earthquake affecting a person's house. How long are you going to last? I will leave the answer to you.
You should leave your little friends alone. Check them once a week for a minute or two in the evening when the light coming from the night lamp is more soft and be as gentle as possible.
Feeding your ants.
You should feed them protein-rich food and sweets twice a week. For instance, feed your ants live insects or protein jelly every Monday and Friday. Give them sweets, organic honey or fruit (half a grape, a similar amount of a banana etc.) on Wednesday and Saturday. How much? Well, for a small colony with a queen ant and about fifty workers, the amount of the protein jelly must be similar to the size of a single rice grain. Regarding the live food, feed them mealworms, locusts, crickets or similar and do not forget to kill any possible microbes or mites the live food might be contaminated with. How? Just put it in boiling water for ten to fifteen seconds, then chop it in half and put it in the ants' outworld using a tiny piece of tinfoil as a tray. Use a small cotton ball to pour a drop or two of the honey to prevent ants from getting stuck and drowning. Now, the most important part is always to discard any remaining ant food after 2 days or fungus may appear.
How to feed your ants Organic Honey and Protein Jelly? Video instructions? Click HERE!
Once your colony is large enough you can consider moving it into an ant farm. I would recommend the smallest possible ant farm. The A7-sized nest is the best option among our products so you can get the A7 Ant Farm or the A7 PLUS if you'd like to monitor the temperature and humidity levels inside the nesting area.
Both ant habitats are designed to maintain air humidity of about 60-70% if your room temperature is 22°C, pouring 1-1.5 ml of bottled (mineral or purified) water once a week ensures optimal conditions for your ant colony. With easy access to food and water into the outworld, your ants will be happy and healthy in their new home.
Maintaining the correct humidity in the nest area is essential. Lasius Flavus loves well-humid areas so keep the moisture high, between 60 and 70 percent. Do not get confused by some Lasius Flavus care sheets which state a moisture level as it's different than the humidity levels. Find out more in our Lasius Flavus care sheet here.
If you do not want to deal with escaped ants, which is a common issue while you feed them, apply about an inch wide of our PTFE Fluon. It is a full-strength product and lasts for months, a non-stick material that creates an impenetrable barrier against crawling insects. The ants will not be able to crawl out due to the very slippery surface and will fall back into the outworld.
A few words about the hibernation. To remain healthy, your queen and worker ants require proper hibernation during the winter months, which is important for their survival. The Lasius Flavus hibernates through the winter and wakes up around late March/early April. To hibernate, the temperature of the nest needs to be reduced to around 10 degrees Celsius, which is not too cold for the ants to survive. It is important to lower the temperature gradually, first when you put your ants in hibernation and afterwards when you take them out of hibernation. I recommend 0.2-0.3 degrees Celsius daily. The lower the better. If you decide to listen to some people and put your ant farm into your fridge make sure the temperature is not below 8 degrees Celsius so check it with an accurate thermometer first. If you do not have the necessary skills or equipment to hibernate your ants, just do your best and move your ant farm to a colder room like a garage or similar. Bear in mind that they will hibernate in any scenario no matter the environment temperature. They will become more clumsy and not so active during this winter period so feed them with organic honey only once a month or so. Just make sure they have a freshwater supply all the time.
When to change the water station? Once it is finished or looks contaminated (cloudy, change colour etc.).
Avoid direct sunlight on the setup.
The sun can heat the nest with up to 5 degrees Celsius for only 5 minutes so lots of toxins are being accumulated in the ants' bodies due to abrupt temperature changes. This can kill a worker ant for 1-3 days and a queen ant for 3-5 days if the sun does not boil the ants alive before that.
It is important to note that gel farms are not a suitable habitat for Lasius Falvus or Niger ants, as they can quickly become mouldy. To ensure the safety and well-being of these fascinating creatures, it is essential to provide them with a proper ant farm and diet.
In conclusion, after more than two decades in this business, I can admit that the most important part of successful ant-keeping is your patience and I mean it.
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