Are ants dangerous?


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Are ants in ur chameleon's enclosure possibly dangerous? They exist in the chameleon's natural habitat so I'm sure the chameleon has a natural defense against them, such as fleeing.

But how can ur little guy flee if he's in an enclosure?

I've tried using some reptile friendly insecticide but this has had no effect on the ants.

I have very small ants living in my 3 cham cages – and at least one pygmy tank. They live in the plants and travel between the cages via the mist system tube. The only way I could get rid of them is to literally throw out all the plants. People can say what they will in regards to techniques to get rid of them however I feel they aren’t going anywhere until I throw out the plants.

From my observations, they are more interested in dead feeders and decaying matter then the chams – so in my cham world they are beneficial for now. The ants have been in there for at least a year and a half too. The only concern I have with them is if one of the chams had an open wound, I think the ants would be attracted to that.


Do the ants live in the cage or do they come in from outside? I used to have tiny ants come into my outdoor cages and attack the feeder insects. I built stands for my cages to elevate them off the ground and placed dishes of water under each leg of the stands. No more ants, but you have to refresh the water frequently to prevent mosquito larvae. As long as there is no queen ant in your plants, any remaining ants will eventually die off. I also had to do this for my cricket bin and roach bin. Bug barrier or vaseline won't work for ants because they just make bridges across it with dirt.
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The poster is in South Africa, so far the ants that have been discussed are (What I would assume to be) the "Tiny Black Ant" (Latin: Myrmica (Monomorium) minimum) which are miniature ants that reach a maximum of about 2mm. As far as we know, to chameleons they are pretty harmless asside form open wounds and eyes like Roo explained.

However, in Florida chameleon keepers face a more serious threat. The Red Imported Fire Ant (Solenopsis invicta). They came to the southern states from Brazil in the early 1900's. These 5mm ants are even a serious danger to humans and have a predatory nature that allows them to organize full fledge attacks and hunt food down rather than scavange. These ants can even eat chameleons while they sleep.

What you will find in Africa is most likely a whole new ball game. Driver ants (Dorylinae) can reach 3.5cm (1.5") or more and will not only kill and eat everything they touch, but devour cows alive in only a day. Not only should you avoid this for your chameleons, but by the sounds of it and seeing dried specimens with my own eyes Id stay miles away from them.
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