do ducks eat ants

Do Ducks Eat Ants? You’ll be surprised

Ducks eat ants, yes. However, not all ants are safe for ducks to eat. Carpenter ants in particular can cause harm to your ducks when provoked. It’s best to use other means to get rid of ants in your duck coop to keep your ducks safe.

Do ducks eat carpenter ants?

Ducks love to eat carpenter ants. When they come across a colony of ants, they will use their bill to devour the ants and their larvae happily.

Can ants hurt ducks?

Generally, ants are not dangerous for ducks, but a particular species known as fire ants is dangerous. When they are provoked, they become aggressive and can sting animals and pets around them including the ducks.

When something just disturbed the fire ants accidentally, they will come out in thousands and start stinging any animal that is running, digging, or playing nearby because they see them as a threat to their colony. Therefore, when they encounter ducks, they will target the body parts with no or little hair, such as the ears, muzzle, eyes, and nose. They also target the open sores and wound areas.

Fire ants are a severe hazard to poultry firms. They can attack the ducks and geese, hatching eggs and their baby chicks. The venom that they release when they bite can cause significant pain and, to some extent, kill the birds depending on the size and number that attack the ducks.

The ant’s bite may lead to secondary infection to the ducks. They are a threat to the mother ducks, and when they sting them in their nest, they will cause discomfort, making them abandon their nest and their eggs to look for safety.

The regular ants may not cause any harm to the ducks if they are not in large numbers around the duck’s coop. They will only become a nuisance to the ducks’ family. But when a colony of ants, if left unattended, can increase in size and become a challenge to deal with.

How to reduce the ant population in your duck coop?

Clean sanitary practices

Usually, ants are attracted to places where they can find their food, water, and shelter. Ducks coops are attractive places to ants because they will find accessible sources of food and water.

Getting rid of ant infestation in the duck’s coop requires that you maintain good sanitary conditions. Ensure that you remove any food that your ducks have left uneaten. Always check for broken eggs and if you find them, remove them immediately.

Place Ant Baits

Set ant baits outside the duck’s coop to eliminate the ants nearby and prevent them from crossing over to disturb your ducks.

Natural remedies

You can try the following natural remedies and avoid using certain toxic insecticides to kill the ants because they will harm your birds. Instead, use natural remedies like hot soapy water, vinegar and water solution, orange oil and soap, peppermint oil, and cinnamon. The smells of these natural remedies usually deter the ants and even kill them.

Pyrethrin insecticides

Chrysanthemum flowers contain pyrethrins compounds which are toxic to insects like ants. You can use it to drench the mound or where the colony of ants is found and areas around the ducks’ coop perimeter

What other insects do ducks eat?

Ducks also consume the following insects:

  • Slugs
  • Snails
  • Grubs
  • Mosquito pupae
  • Larvae
  • Beetles
  • Grasshoppers
  • Crickets
  • Cockroaches
  • Creepy crawlies

Final Thoughts

Having ants in your duck’s coop may be harmless initially. Control them early enough before they become a nuisance to your birds. Know what type of ants you will be dealing with because fire ants may be more dangerous to your ducks than the other species, and keep your ducks coop and surrounding area clean all the time to prevent attracting ants.

Resources

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Dick Donaghue from Pexels, Photo by Petr Ganaj from Pexels

Fire Ants

Getting rid of Ants