Dave’s AntWorks Day 1: Our Ants Get a New Home

antworks new
AntWorks habitat ready for ants.

The AntWorks ant habitat has been one of my favorite "toys" since we first started selling them several years ago. It’s been some time since I started one of my own, so I thought I’d get one going and post some blogs with the ants’ progress. Check back on my blog, or click on the AntWorks category to see the entire process form beginning to end. All the photos in this post will be ones I’ve taken from this "group" of ants and I’ll give an honest report of how things go.

If you’re not familiar with AntWorks, it is "A Space-Age Habitat for Ants". You can get more information here, but basically it is a gel that supplies everything the ants need: food, water, and tunnelling medium. It is also fairly clear, so you can see your ants’ tunnels and see what all of them are doing while they make their way around in their habitat.

Ants in their tube
Our new ants in their luxury travel accommodations

On September 21, I ordered my ants online from one of the ant suppliers listed in the AntWorks booklet. They were $4.95 total including shipping. The ants are not included in the price of the AntWorks, but you can gather your own ants from your yard if you prefer (care should be taken). On September 26th, they arrived in the mail. They mentioned that some of the ants may not arrive alive, but mine were all just fine. We were on our way out for the day when the mail was delivered, so we weren’t able to start our AntWorks right when they arrived, but the ants were fine until later that evening when we were able to put them in their new home. I wouldn’t keep them waiting too long, but a few hours was fine. The timing on our ant order was great because my Niece was visiting and she was able to help us. Her hand is in some of the pictures here.

Poking holes in AntWorks
Poking holes in the gel to help the ants get started

The ants you receive are Harvester Ants. They are a really good size to view, but they should not be handled because they do sting. They arrived with a sheet warning "Caution! Do Not Touch These Ants!". Fortunately, there is no real reason to handle them, they come in a nice little tube ready to be added to your AntWorks.

When you’re ready to add your ants to the AntWorks, you are instructed to place them in the fridge for about 10 minutes, which slows them down. While we were waiting for them to calm down in the fridge, we followed the instructions and poked 4 holes in the AntWorks gel to make starter holes for the ants to tunnel. There is a little stick included for this. This makes it easier for them to start tunneling, and I think also gets them started in the locations you would like them to tunnel, so plan your starter holes well. We also wiped off a little bit of condensation that was on the plastic above the gel when we opened it. This is normal and the instructions tell you to just wipe it off.

AntWorks getting ants
Adding our chilled ants to the AntWorks habitat

We took the ants out of the fridge after 10 minutes and they were fairly quiet. Unfortunately, it took me too long to get things set up for taking photos and they began to get active again, so we popped them back in the fridge for a few more minutes to calm them down again.

Next, my son gently "poured" them into the AntWorks habitat. Since they were still chilled, they were not moving much and there was no chance of them getting out the top. This was a chance to clean out some of their poop that poured out with them using a damp Q-Tip. We closed up the lid and waited for them to come around, which they did soon. Obviously, the ants were quite curious about their new home and they began exploring it as soon as they woke up.

They didn’t start tunnelling just yet but we did enjoy watching them for a while. They sometimes check out our starter holes, but by the time we all went to bed, they hadn’t made any tunnels. Check back to see their progress the next morning!

AntWorks with ants
Our ants in their new home, still groggy from the fridge

AntWorks magnified
Getting up close and personal with our ants using the included magnifier. You can also see one of the starter holes.

Leave a Reply

Security Code:

Dave’s Cool Toys Blog
We post news about new toys on our site, new toys in the market, general toy information, or stuff we just thought was cool (usually toys).

We welcome your feedback and comments.

Be sure to check out our toys at Dave's Cool Toys. We work hard to find toys you won't find at the big box stores. Now go out and play!

Dave Ference

A little disclaimer
A few things we thought you should know:

Some of the links on our weblog will not take you to Dave's Cool Toys, but to other sites. If you purchase an item from that site we may, or may not, receive a commission on that purchase.

All toy reviews are honest and will give you the good, the bad, and the ugly, even if it's a toy we sell. We receive no compensation for any toy reviews.

Links to other sites have been checked by us for appropriate content, but we cannot check every page of every site and every link on those sites, and any changes that may have been made to those sites since we visited them. Children should be supervised at all times while surfing the web.

We've done our best to make sure that information on our weblog is accurate. Some items may be rumors, gossip, or hearsay. We will do our best to make it clear when it is, and will correct anything we find to be wrong.