Can Bearded Dragons Eat Ants?

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Ants?

Bearded dragons live in a variety of habitats in the wild. These habitats include subtropical wetlands, savannahs, shore areas, scrublands, and deserts.

They only eat other bugs that they find on the ground or trees wherever they are at. One concern that all pet owners should be aware of is what your bearded dragon can or cannot eat.

We need to be careful about what these animals put in their mouths. Another valid concern for any responsible owner!

Many pet owners don’t know what they can and can’t feed their pets.

One of the most commonly unregulated things is a bearded dragon’s diet. If you’re confused about it, we’ve got your back!

Below we will go into detail on the types of insects each species eats, as well as the ones they won’t.

That’s not all though. We’ll also cover if they can or cannot eat ants, so keep reading to find out more.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Ants?

There are many environments that bearded dragons live in, such as places with a variety of wildlife.

These locations contain creepy crawlies all over, and bearded dragons will eat anything that lives there.

However, ants are one of those insects that they should not eat. Beardies should not eat ants because some species contain poisonous chemicals. 

However, we’ve compiled a list of types of ants and discussed whether each one is safe or not in case your beardie decides to find out for themselves.

Black Ants:

Though these ants do have an annoying stinger, humans are not at risk from it. They can be fed to bearded dragons just fine.

Carpenter Ants:

These ants on the list are harmless and taste great! One could say they are one of the most edible ants.

You won’t suffer an irritation when bitten by them, or even any pain – which is why they make for a delicious snack.

Flying Ants:

Bearded dragons love to eat these, but the owner should take caution because they may carry a potential parasite.

Fire Ants:

No, fire ants are dangerous to bearded dragons. Even if they consume wild ants, these specific types of ants are toxic and will negatively impact their health if ingested.

Red Ants:

This is a variation on the fire ants. They are red in color, hence the name. These should also be avoided in beardie feeding.

Sugar Ants:

These ants are so well-behaved that they don’t sting. And because they’re still safe to eat, this variety is perfect for your beardie.

Harvester Ants:

These ants are highly poisonous. Not only does their venom cause intense pain, but due to their aggressiveness, they inject potent and painful venom with their stingers.

Are Ants Harmful To Bearded Dragons?

We’ve said before that bearded dragons eat ants. They should be careful not to consume them as this could make their health worse.

In addition to vegetables, bearded dragons enjoy eating insects. Though many of these insects are safe for them, there are some that can be poisonous.

You may enjoy watching ants, but they’re dangerous for bearded dragons. They must remain vigilant to keep themselves and their colonies safe. They can defend themselves no matter who – or what – is in the way.

Furthermore, ants will often sting or bite the predator which will result in a chemical injection for the bearded dragon. Thus, making the ants harmful to bearded dragons.

Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Ants? Can Bearded Dragons Eat Ants From Outside?

Young bearded dragons usually enjoy live meal worms, crickets, and wax worms which are “gut loaded.”

To promote their growth, they are fed supplements that are meant to have a lizard’s needs in mind specifically.

Young bearded dragons need to eat once a day, while adults should eat every two days.

Adult bearded dragons should not eat ants—especially red ones. This is because the ants will inject a chemical that can cause significant harm to the dragon’s insides and kill it.

Even though certain ants in the wild can be tough to eat, these reckless ones make a habit of eating them no matter what.

But it is hard for them without formic acid over time as other types have lower levels.

3 Reasons Why Bearded Dragons Cannot Eat Ants

It is impossible for bearded dragons to eat ants for a number of reasons.

Even though we talked about how bearded dragons can eat ants, we’re going to mention about a few things that they can’t eat.

After going through these brief points, you should be able to understand some of the reasons why we shouldn’t compromise our lizard’s well-being.

Calcium:

Ants have high levels of calcium, but it’s not as much as their phosphorous content. This means that ant consumption is bad for bearded dragons.

Ants don’t provide a 2:1 ratio of calcium to phosphorous, and this is why you can’t feed them to your dragon.

Phosphorus:

We’re aware that ants have a lot of phosphorous in their abdomen. Too much though can be bad for a bearded dragon’s health, since this substance is important for them too.

Folic Acid:

It is unclear if ingesting ants with a high concentration of folic acid has any side effects. Predators will still avoid the plant if it contains something that is unpleasant for them to eat. 

However, this element is still a defense system because predators won’t take the chance of eating something their instinct tells them is potentially harmful.

Chances are your pet bearded dragon does not need to eat ants, because the proportion of calcium to phosphorous is too high, and it contains folic acid.

What Is The Best Way To Keep Ants Out Of My Bearded Dragon Tank?

There are a few ways of keeping ants out of your bearded dragon’s tank. One way is by providing the ants with their own meal. 

You can also divert their traffic by blocking off entryways to your house and sealing cracks with silicon caulking or toothpaste.

In order to protect our precious bearded dragons and keep the ants out, we need to follow a series of steps that will have them crawling away.

Follow these steps, discussed below, for the safety of your bearded dragon friends.

Barriers:

The one thing that’s really hard to find is a barrier that will not let any ant cross.

Using double-sided tape, wrap it around the bottom of power cords and water tubes or anything that might be going inside. This will keep ants away easily.

Vaseline:

Giving a layer of vaseline on all the entry points to your bearded dragon’s tank will keep ants away.

The only downside is that it might be a little messy. Regardless, it won’t be an effective barrier for the ants.

Borax:

Borax is a white, powdery element that, in the form of “Sodium Borate,” can be used as a household cleaner and an additive to laundry detergent.

One interesting fact about Borax is that it’s more than just a handy household powder. But that’s not all it does. 

In its insecticide formulation, Borax will surely catch all the ants and other insects in your home too like roaches, spiders and mites, among others.

What Bugs Are Poisonous To Bearded Dragons?

As a responsible pet owner, it is important to understand that the insects that sting, bite, or are poisonous should not be given to your bearded dragon. 

In order to learn more about which insects are dangerous, let’s continue down the list below to take a look at the insects that are poisonous to bearded dragons.

One reason is that those insects can pose danger to the reptile. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s continue onto part 2 of our list of poisonous insects or bugs to bearded dragons.

Ticks:

There is no doubt that ticks are one of the most dangerous parasites in the world. Some examples are the deer tick, wood tick, and brown dog tick. 

They carry harmful germs such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease. Their saliva is also poisonous.

Spiders:

The major reason why you should not feed your bearded dragon spiders is because these carnivores eat other bugs that sometimes carry parasites or have come in contact with pesticides.

This in turn makes the spiders carry them.

Fireflies:

Fireflies are toxic to bearded dragons because they contain lucibufagins which are poisonous to their reptilian hearts.

Within 15 minutes after eating a firefly, the bearded dragon will start to experience breathing difficulties and head-shaking.

Bees & Wasps:

Bees and wasps are a common household pest.

Rabbits, bees and wasps have parasites on their body, and sometimes even pesticides. These things can cause serious harm to your beardie.

Final Thoughts

Bearded dragons can’t eat ants at the same time because they could be poisonous for them and are not a good diet option either. They are better off eating other insects.

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