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Turtles/Red Footed Tortoise


Hello, I have 2 Red Footed Tortoise,  My question is Can your basic yard ant harm my tortoises?  We live in Alberta, Canada  On warm summer days we place them in their secure pen outside, but have noticed a nest of back ants in the pen.  thank you

Hi Dale,

If they're the common little black ants, then no.  Fire ants (not sure if you get them in Canada) are dangerous, as are any ants that would be likely to sting.  If you want to get rid of the nest, you can make an ant poison that is very effective (but will take several days to a week).  You will have to block the tortoises from the area, though.


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Questions regarding husbandry of Russian tortoises and other Mediterranean species, sulcata, and redfoot tortoises; general tortoise and turtle care; box turtle care. If I can't answer a specific question, I can provide sources for further research. Disclaimer: My advice is not a substitute for vet care. If I think your tortoise/turtle has a specific medical condition or injury that warrants a vet visit, I'll tell you so, and if possible I'll help you locate a vet. It is neither legal nor ethical for me to provide veterinary advice.


I have kept and bred Russian tortoises for over ten years and have other Mediterranean species plus redfoots and box turtles. I've worked with other tortoise and turtle species while doing volunteer rescue work; mostly sulcata but some leopards, California desert tortoises, yellowfoots, all box turtle species, red-eared sliders, etc. I don't personally keep aquatic species, but have access to a wealth of information and research to help you with any questions you might have.

My knowledge is based on hands-on experience keeping, breeding, and working with tortoises and turtles.

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