Ants And Rabbits – Are ants dangerous to bunnies and how to get rid of ants. – Rabbit Pros

Ants And Rabbits – Are ants dangerous to bunnies and how to get rid of ants.

Finding ants in your rabbit’s cage or hutch is scary, but in most cases, it’s no big deal. I did tons of research to supplement my personal bunny experience, and in this article, I’ll share what kinds of ants are actually dangerous to rabbits, how to keep ants out of a rabbit cage, and more.

But let’s start with the real reason you’re here…

Are Ants Dangerous To Rabbits?

The vast majority of ants are not dangerous to rabbits. Common household ants pose no danger to your bunny and very few outdoor ants species qualify as a real danger to your rabbit. The dangerous ant species are either poisonous or have a tendency to swarm. Such ants are rare.

Common household ants are neither poisonous nor do they tend to swarm. A bite from a common

The three most common house ants are Carpenter Ants, Odours House Ants, and Pavement Ants. None of these ant species are dangerous to pet bunnies.

Even among the dangerous ant species, the bulk would not kill a bunny but it would instead just cause pain and stress if they were to bite your rabbit.

For example, the Bullet Ant get their name because of there crazy painful bite, but even they would not kill a rabbit.

On the other hand, the African ant ‘Siafu’ is so dangerous that it can easily kill a rabbit (and even humans). Luckily, poisonous ants aren’t common and many of the most dangerous are found only in Africa or Australia.

The most common dangerous ant is the Fire Ant or Red Ant which can be found in many parts of the world including America.

Can Fire Ants Kill Rabbits?

Red fire ants can kill rabbits, and numerous cases have been reported from all over the US and worldwide. Fire ants are dangerous because they have a strong tendency to swarm inflicting dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of bites in a short time.

These ants do not typically enter a home, so only outside rabbits are at risk though that risk is honestly very low. My family has had outdoor rabbits for decades, and we’ve never had a rabbit attacked by fire ants, even though they are common here in the Midwest of the US.

Newborn rabbits are the most vulnerable to red fire ants.

Elizabeth Forys, an environmental scientist at Eckerd College has said, “When they are born, young rabbits can’t move, are barely furred, and are covered in mucous that fire ants can sense. Mother rabbits can’t pick up the babies by the scruff of the neck and move them away. So as the ants move in, they attack and eventually eat the young rabbits.”[Source]

Below is a video showing red ants attacking a litter of bunnies. It’s not too gruesome, and it appears that all of these bunnies were saved, but you should consider if you want to watch it or not.

However, it’s not just newborn rabbits that can be attacked by red fire ants. Even older rabbits can be attacked if their outdoor rabbit cage is too close to a fire ant nest.

The biggest risk to older rabbits is to their eyes and eyesight. When fire ants begin to swarm, they instinctively begin to attack the eyes of the larger animals. While the bites will not immediately cause major damage to the eye, they open wounds on the eyes can lead to infections.

If your rabbit has been bitten in the eye by a fire ant, get them to your veterinarian for treatment as soon as possible.

Below is a video of a bunny whose eye has been bitten by a red fire ant.

Why Are Ants Attracted To Rabbit Hutches?

Ants are attracted to rabbit hutches because the rabbit hutch provides abundant food for ants. This food includes not only rabbit pellets but flies and other insects. Ants are more likely to be drawn to rabbit cages during dry spells when the rabbit’s water is easily accessible.

Preventing Ants In A Rabbit Cage

To prevent ants from being attracted to a rabbit’s cage, you need to keep the cage and surrounding areas clean enough to eliminate or reduce potential food sources for ants. These ant food sources include rabbit pellets, insects, and sweet rabbit treats.

Make sure that you don’t leave uneaten pellets in your rabbit’s cage. This should be pretty simple since pellets are a small portion of a rabbit’s healthy diet.

Next, make sure that you’ve eliminated insects that are naturally drawn to a rabbit hutch. These include flies, earwigs, and spiders. Each of those types of insects is linked to an article I wrote about controlling them in your rabbit’s cage.


Will Ants Bite Your Rabbit?

Ants may bite your bunny rabbit but most ant bites are not particularly painful or dangerous to a rabbit. In most cases, rabbits won’t even notice an ant bite.

Ants do not actively try to bite rabbits, but they will if they feel threatened.

As we discussed above, some uncommon types of ants do have particularly painful and even poisonous bites. If your rabbit is scratching the same area of the body frequently, check for redness or swelling. If the bite was from a more dangerous type of ant, the bite location swells and itches.

If you see a swollen or itchy bite on your rabbit, keep an eye on it for signs of infection. If you see indications of infection, take your bunny to a veterinarian.

The typical ant bite to rabbits take one or two days to heal completely.


Are Ant Traps Safe For Rabbits?

Ant traps should not be used where pet rabbits might reach those traps. Rabbits are curious creatures and they are chewers. Most ant traps or ant baits are filled with toxic poison which could sicken or kill a rabbit. Other ant traps are sticky, which would be very difficult to get out of your bunny’s fur.

Bait stations are filled with poison and can be effective against ants and other pests species. However, you must keep these ant baits out of reach of your bunny and should carefully consider if the dead or dying insects might fall into the reach of your bunny.

A bunny who curiously chews on one poisoned ant is going to be fine. However, a really curious bun who nibbles inquisitively on a bunch of poisoned ants might be a risk. Personally, I wouldn’t take the chance.


Is Ant Poison Dangerous To Rabbits?

Most ant poison is dangerous to rabbits. Even small amounts of the ant poison can cause gastrointestinal upsets and stool problems for rabbits. However, there are some pet-safe ant poisons that can be used to get rid of ants near rabbits.

6 Ant Killers That Are Safe For Bunnies

After thorough research, I came up with these six ant killers that are bunny-safe and can control ants in a rabbit cage. Each of these pet safe ant killers are also rabbit safe ant killers. I’ve included a convenient affiliate link to Amazon for each of these safe ant controllers.

  1. Diatomaceous Earth: Made up of naturally occurring fossilized remains of diatoms (a type of algae), it’s 100% safe for rabbits and other pets. 
  2. Mighty Mint Natural Spray: Even if the solution is concentrated to kill ants and pests instantly, it’s safe for rabbits and small children in your house.
  3. EcoRaider Ant Killer: Great for both indoor and outdoor use — EcoRaider claims to kill 100% ants on contact instantly.
  4. Raid Ant Killer Aerosol Spray: It’s great to use when your rabbit’s hutch is heavily infested with ants and other pests, as it can kill more than 20 pest species.
  5. EcoSmart Ant Killer: It’s a plant-based spray that is safe to use near rabbits to kill ants instantly. The smell of the spray fades after a few hours.
  6. RapidTuff Organic Pest Control Spray: Stop rabbit hutch invading ants with this powerful organic spray that is fast-acting and long-lasting against domestic ants.

DIY To Get Rid Of Ants In A Rabbit Cage

The best DIY ant treatment for rabbit cages is pretty simple. You just have to have another place to let your bunny hang out while you’re treating their rabbit cage for ants.

To get rid of ants in the rabbit’s hutch, use a mixture of 50% water and 50% distilled white vinegar in a clean sprayer. Then move your bunny to a safe play pen while you spray the ants in and around the rabbit cage. Spraying this mixture on ants will immediately kill them while your bunny won’t be harmed. 

The only downside to this vinegar ant treatment is that it stinks like vinegar.

You can also buy fly tape { Click here to see on Amazon. >>> } which works for almost every small pest including ants. You just have to make sure that this sticky tape is well out of reach of your bunny. Trying to get fly ribbon off of a rabbit would be a nightmare, especially if it’s a long-haired rabbit like an angora.

But all of these remedies are useless if the ants keep coming and finding their way into the hutch again and again. Therefore, it’s mandatory to cut off the ants off at their nest..

Track the trail of ants and find out where they are coming from to eliminate the nest.

~Stacey

P.S. If you have any ant-repelling tips for your fellow rabbit owners, please mention them in the comments section below.

Stacey

My name is Stacey Davis and my family has kept rabbits for decades. Here on RabbitPros.com we share our love of rabbits, our experience, and lots of research to help you enjoy your pet bunny even more.

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