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What Do Ants Eat?

SummaryAnts are omnivores and opportunistic feeders. They eat bread, breadcrumbs, candy, carrion, cereals, corn, dead animals, dead insects, decaying organic material, decaying vegetables, eggs, food waste, fruits, fungus, grains, grasses, honey, honeydew, jam, juice, leaves, mangoes, meat (for meat-eater ants), nectar, nuts, oranges, other ants, peanut butter, plant material, plant sap, plants, seeds, soda and sugar.

Category: Insects.

Ants are fascinating insects. Many different types of ants will eat different things depending on the species in question. All ants are different in the types of things that they will eat for survival. Some will eat wood, others will eat fruit, and still others will eat other ants. Depending on the species of ant, different things will serve as food as all ants are omnivorous, meaning they eat different things. All ants need water and sugars to survive, though. Take a look at some of the things listed below for what they eat.

Ants eating a grasshopper. © Jun-Dai Bates-Kobashigawa.

Sugars and fruits

Certain types of ants will eat sugars and fruits. One, the carpenter ant, can feed on honeydew fruit. This is not the only type of ant that will feed on fruit however. There are many different varieties of ant that will feed on fruit and a substance known as honeydew which is a sugary waste excretion of insects.

Meat eaters

Some species of ant will eat meat such as insects, aphids, spiders or even other ants. The red imported fire ant is a perfect example of the type of ant that is listed in this category. They will kill other ants, rip them apart then take them to the colony to feed the rest of the family.

Ants eating a banana. © Microdac.

Seed eaters

Harvester ants are an example of an ant species that eats seeds. This ensures their survival, especially as some of these ants do live in desert areas. There are over 15 different species of this ant in desert locations.

Vegetable eaters

Most ants will eat vegetables and can be a nuisance in the garden area. Fire ants in specific can invade a garden and eat the vegetables. Black ants also have a taste for vegetables. There are some ways to keep ants from eating in the garden. These methods will vary from person to person. Ants have a very diverse diet and will eat many different things depending on species.


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