Ant farms: January 2011 Archives

Hi, We have a new little ant farm with Harvester ants. We had a mishap and had to remove the ants to reduce the moisture. During our clumsy transfer a few dead ants ended up back in the farm enclosure. The ants made one tunnel and a ball of white fuzzy stuff is now at the end of it. A couple of legs and perhaps a part of a head are visible around the exterior of it. How did they make this, and what is it?
Thanks very much, Jackie.

Hi Jackie,

Thank you very much for contacting us at AntAsk! Great to hear that you are keeping ants in an ant farm! Without a picture it is hard to say what the fuzzy stuff is, but my guess would be that the ants have formed a waste pile and now a fungus is growing on the dead ant bodies. Does your ant farm smell moldy? And is it still moist in there? It is quite common that ants dispose waste material in special locations to keep the nest clean. Please also read this post. I would recommend that you remove the fuzzy white stuff and carefully wash your hands afterwards. I would also try to further reduce the moisture as fungi usually prefer high moisture. This might further help to prevent the spread of the fungus.

I hope this helps and you will enjoy your ant colony!

All the best,
Steffi Kautz & the AntAsk Team