Frequently Asked Questions
How do I place an order? I'm confused
Placing your order is very simple. First find the item you want, then click “Add to Cart”. If you would like to continue to shop, click on the other items(s) you would like to purchase in the shopping cart window to add them to the shopping cart. Once you have added all the items you want, click “View Cart” which will show up next to any item you have added to your cart. If you are having trouble placing your order, call us at 877-332-8706.
Can I pay by check or money order?
Sure. That’s no problem. Once you are done shopping find your total by clicking View Shopping Cart, then click Checkout. Add the Amount and the shipping & handling together. That’s your total. You can now close that window. Make your check or money order payable to: Murphy Solutions, LLC, 5501 Willard Norris Road, Milton, Florida 32570. When you mail your payment, make sure you let us know the quantities and items that you want. As soon as the check or money order clears, we will ship out your order. It’s that simple.
How soon will my antlions arrive after I order them?
Antlion Kits are shipped Mondays and Thursdays using USPS Priority Mail so it will usually only take about 2 – 5 days for you to get your antlions. Books are shipped via media mail.
Holiday Shipping Information
If you would like your order to arrive by Christmas, we recommend that you place your order by Dec. 17th. If you would like your order to arrive as close to Christmas as possible, just let us know. Remember that your order includes live antlions. And while they can survive for a while without fresh air, try not to leave them packaged up for longer than 3 days from the time you receive them.
Arrive Alive Guarantee
In order to guarantee that your antlions arrive alive, your low temperatures must be 40 degrees or above before we can ship to you.
We will check your temperatures, and ship out your order as soon as the weather permits.
Can you ship antlions to my country?
We currently only ship within the continental United States.
My antlions keep throwing out sand from their bowl. What can I do?
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Do the antlion zen gardens come with a lid? How do you keep the antlions from escaping?
These antlions are in their larval stage and cannot escape the bowl. However, at some point they will cocoon themselves in the sand for about a month, and then reappear as a winged adult antlion. When they do cocoon, it is a good idea to use netting so that the adult won’t escape — it will almost certainly emerge from its cocoon when you’re not watching. A stick placed upright in the sand will provide the newly emerged adult with a place to rest while its wings expand and harden properly. Ideally, the adult antlion should be returned outside within a day after emerging from the cocoon. If held captive any longer, it will lose energy and may die.
How many days should I wait until I introduce the first ants, and how do you keep the ants contained?
The best time to introduce the ants into the Zen Garden or Habitat is after the antlions have made their pits. If you drop the ants directly into the pit, you won’t have to worry about the ants getting out. One ant per pit. If you put the ants in the sand with the intent of letting them fall into the pit themselves, just keep an eye on them so they don’t crawl out of the habitat. If they manage to crawl out, just move them back into the habitat. Another idea is to put a thin layer of vaseline around the bowl so the ants can’t get out.
Will the antlions bite me?
I have heard rumors that antlions can bite humans, but I have never had one bite me or anyone I know. You can place them into your palm and they will just scurry around. It kinda tickles. From my experience, there is nothing to be afraid of when handling these Antlions.
Do I need to buy antlion food?
Most people feed their antlions with ants and small insects living around outside their homes. However, if you prefer having your antlion food shipped straight to your door, then you can try these options:
Flightless fruit flies are convenient. You don’t have to worry about feeding the flies, and one vial will last around a month. You can purchase fruit flies here.
Young lobster roaches work very well for feeding your antlions. Since they breed, they can provide an endless source of nutrition, and are inexpensive. Just be sure to ask them to include a few smaller roaches in your initial order so you can feed your antlion until the breeders make babies. For more info or to order visit: https://wormman.com/pd_lobster.cfm
At this time, we have not been able to locate a source of ants that will work. If anyone can find a source for smaller ants (smaller than Harvester Ants) that we feel will work, we will pay you $50.
Antlions love crickets too. Check with your local pet store to see if they sell pinhead crickets. They probably run about .05 cents per cricket. You can also order them online at www.flukerfarms.com.
Do I need to water my antlions?
We have heard that antlions get everything they need to survive from their food. However, just to be on the safe side, we recommend that you mist their sand about once every two weeks.
The ants I put in the pit are too strong for my antlion to grab. What can I do?
If the ant is too strong for them you might need to put the ant in the refrigerator for a couple hours….the cold slows them down without killing them. If that doesn’t work well enough, consider purchasing argentine ants which are available at https://antsalive.com. To order these ants just call AntsAlive.com at (877) 864-2207. A months supply of ants (25 ants) runs around $2 – $3 shipping included. These ants are smaller than Harvester ants (ant farm ants) so your antlion should have no trouble with them.
How long will my antlion live? What is the life cycle of an antlion?
Antlion larva have been known to live anywhere from one to three years. Then they cocoon themselves for about a month, and emerge as a winged adult antlion. When they do cocoon, it is a good idea to use netting so that the adult won’t escape — it will almost certainly emerge from its cocoon when you’re not watching. A stick placed upright in the sand will provide the newly emerged adult with a place to rest while its wings expand and harden properly. Ideally, the adult antlion should be returned outside within a day after emerging from the cocoon. If held captive any longer, it will lose energy and may die. The adult antlion lives from 30 to 45 days. Here is more info on hatching antlions. Because of the difficulty of telling the age of an antlion, we cannot guarantee how long your antloins will live.
What species of antlions do you sell?
We have had some of our antlions identified, and found that they were of the species Myrmeleon crudelis Walker. However the species could change from time to time depending when and where we collect them. You can find information regarding the kind of species located in North America here.
Can I purchase antlion kits in advance as gifts?
Sure, that will be no problem. Just place your order and let us know when you would like your gifts to arrive, and we will make sure they arrive alive and on time.
Can I put antlions in my ant farm?
First, if you dropped an antlion into an ant hill (or ant farm) the ants would attack and kill the antlion. Ants know their enemies. However, if you placed an antlion in an environment and let him have time to burrow himself, and then added ants into the environment, the antlion should be fine.
The ants that come with ant farms are usually Harvester ants. Harvesters are generally too big for antlions. Instead consider purchasing argentine ants which are available at https://antsalive.com. To order these ants just call AntsAlive.com at (877) 864-2207. A months supply of ants (25 ants) runs around $2 – $3 shipping included. These ants are smaller than Harvester ants (Ant Farm ants) so your antlion should have no trouble with them.
Also, antlions do not have to eat very many ants to survive, but if given the chance the antlion would eat as many as he could and as fast as he could….I would venture to say that if you had an antlion in a habitat with 25 ants, that all the ants would be dead in maybe a month or so….but that is just a guess.
Having a separate yet connected area for your antlions would work great, and if the ants don’t seem to be exploring that area enough to keep the antlion fed, you could always put some sugar around the antlion pit.
What famous movies had antlion-like creatures?
How can I create my own antlion habitat?
An antlion habitat can be as simple as a styrofoam cup or as elaborate as you want to make it. Just make sure that each antlion has about two cubic inches of space. It’s that simple!
How big are the antlions?
As babies, our antlions are less than 1/16th of an inch. Within around three years can grow to a little larger than 1/2 an inch.
Can antlions be used for ant extermination?
The following answer comes from Mark Swanson of The Ant Lion Pit. Thanks for the info Mark.
I’ve been asked this question too, and I answer with “probably not.” I haven’t actually put this question to an entomologist, and I don’t have any evidence to support my view, but I’m basing this opinion on the fact that an antlion can eat only one ant every 20 minutes or so and probably couldn’t keep up that pace all day long. I suppose it depends on the size of the ant colony, but my guess is that they could never keep up with them. One of the “beneficial insects” websites includes antlions in its list but doesn’t say that they could actually be used for ant control. Wishful thinking perhaps? I would suggest looking up alternative ant control methods on the web.