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Can Odorous House Ants harm my Red Foot Tortoise?

Hi Peter,

No, the ants aren't harmful.  You can set boric acid baits outside of the enclosure if necessary, but if this is an outdoor pen and the ants are keeping mostly to themselves, I wouldn't worry about them.  I've had outdoor pens that had ant nests in them, and there was never a problem.  Fire ants are a major hazard, though, but since you're in California you probably won't have to worry about those.


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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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