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Just wondering if anyone here has used wild caught insects for food? I had to do this last year when I lost all my FF cultures and had to resort to using ants from my compost bin until I received a fresh shipment in from one of our great vendors. I was not a member of the board at the time and did not even know it existed. I know this can be risky in some cases, but my bin is 100% organic using only my organic kitchen waste and ground up leaves from my yard. I don't spray any chemicals of any kind on my trees so I felt pretty safe in using part of the huge ant nest I found down near the bottom of the bin, lots of good eggs and larva as well as adult ants. My frogs loved them to and it saved my neck in a tough spot. I was thinking today while doing some work in the yard about this. I have Isopods, the purple kind that people around here call pill bugs but they can get a bit large fully grown, and I discovered an area that has termites that were working in an old piece of cardboard that was laying under some leaves in the dirt. I know it's taking a chance in some ways but I think my yard is safe because I have never used any chemicals in it in 9 years because I don't want to mess up my well water. So any one else ever do this?
 

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i would worry about ants for 2 reasons 1) they bite 2) toxins ie making the frogs toxic. but ive read alot of ppl using termites and isos from the yard. i was planning to get some termites from the woods this year, just for some variety.

ive also read of ppl doing field sweepings with a fishtank type net.
 

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I collect termites and keep them in a sealed plastic bucket with damp cardboard. I usually feed them out as a treat, but I've had to resort to them when all my cultures crashed and the newly ordered cultures came in dead due to heat. All of my frogs love termites - yum!

I made some simple termite traps by using a small plastic basket-type container stuffed with damp cardboard and held down by a 2nd container. I buried it next to a log that already had termites, and it didn't take long to collect a nice batch. Easy enuf and great to have in case of emergencies. They seem to live a long time in a sealed bucket. I had some that I had forgotten about for 3yrs and I was sure they were all dead. When I finally re-opened the bucket, there they were, alive and running from the sunlight. Sweet!

My exterminator is a bit confused, tho - he's never seen anybody happy about having termites :D
 

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this used to be pretty common. usually insects were collected by either "field sweeping" or by trapping (for instance wild FFs) either way most of what was being fed was small soft bodied flying insects. i tried feeding ants once, years ago, and even the small "black ants" were not accepted.

james
 

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I collect termites and keep them in a sealed plastic bucket with damp cardboard.

I made some simple termite traps by using a small plastic basket-type container stuffed with damp cardboard and held down by a 2nd container. I buried it next to a log that already had termites, and it didn't take long to collect a nice batch. Easy enuf and great to have in case of emergencies. They seem to live a long time in a sealed bucket. I had some that I had forgotten about for 3yrs and I was sure they were all dead. When I finally re-opened the bucket, there they were, alive and running from the sunlight. Sweet!

My exterminator is a bit confused, tho - he's never seen anybody happy about having termites :D
hi Guppy :)
can you elaborate on this termite trap. id really like to try this :)
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Nice Guppygal, I have a large woods next to my house so I may use this and put out multiple bins for collection of termites. I just think these wild grown insects would be very healthy if they come from the proper environment.
 

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I treat my beardies with black soldier fly larvae (sold as phoenix worms) from my organic open air compost bin. I also feed off isos and earthworms from the same bin. I have been for three years now, my beardies love the variety and have thanked me with large healthy clutches.
 

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Only one thing about termites - they're like candy to a pdf. They're great if your ff cultures crash, but they're very fattening. It's not something you'd want to have your frogs eating everyday.

Those bsf larvae are BIG and they have a tough exoskeleton (is that right?). I watch a wren sit outside my kitchen window, just beating the heck out of one in order to eat it. I don't think poison dart frogs would go for them, tho my wild birds love 'em.
 

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I used to like to use "field sweepings" as dart frog food, but came to realize that the potential dangers outweighed the potential benefits. There are unknown thousands of pathogens that can get into a collection this way and my frogs are too valuable to me now to risk them getting an illness or dying.

The again, I'm willing to keep about 300 melanogaster and Hydei cultures going every month, something I don't recommend to everyone!

Take care, Richard.
 
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Here in Germany some people swear about field sweeping. Especially those that have histrionica and sylvatica... Those people do raise their froglets on a diet of only about 25% springs and the rest from field sweeping, called field plankton, no FFs and only very few pea aphids. During the winter they roll cardboard around trees with a towel over it to keep in place. The plankton loves these places and can be regularly collected. But you have to find a place far from a road and free from pesticides (quite hard these days) and as already said parasites are a risk. No need to mention the time you need for collecting a decent amount.

They think the nutritional values of the plankton is far better, but ED would be best qualified to give more advice about this.

gluedl
 
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I used to collect field plankton twice a month. I'd sort out the smallest sizes I could with a series of sieves and feed it to all my frogs. I stopped (in part) after a friend told me about a wolf spider that came in as a tiny spiderling, grew up, and killed all his R. imitator.
 

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i would worry about ants for 2 reasons 1) they bite 2) toxins ie making the frogs toxic. but ive read alot of ppl using termites and isos from the yard. i was planning to get some termites from the woods this year, just for some variety.

ive also read of ppl doing field sweepings with a fishtank type net.

any ants you catch here would not contain any toxins the frogs could use because they didnt evolve together. if you were feeding them wild ants from south america, that might be a different story.
 

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Only one thing about termites - they're like candy to a pdf.
Ain't that the truth! I fed termites for the first time tonight and my azureus have been following me around the room ever since.
 

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Does anybody know if there are many termites in michigan? I work in the woods cutting trees most of the year, but can't say that I have ever seen any. Carpenter ants are everywhere, and I have thought about feeding them, but I think they are to large.
 

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I used to feed out field sweepings quite a bit. I would transfer the sweepings to a freezer for a few minutes. Once they were sufficiently chilled, I would pick out the nasty bugs (spiders, grasshoppers etc). I stopped using them because most of the uneaten insects would decimate the plants inside my tanks. Apparently Bromeliads are like candy to field sweepings.
 

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Here in the UK I use meadow plankton a lot during spring, summer and autumn for my histrionica and sylvatica - they do seem to thrive on it. I agree there is a risk but I personally feel the 'benefit' outweighs it. I only collect from sites that I know for a fact that no pesticides or herbicides have been used.

Regards
Marcus
 

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If you find an area where one species of tree is being replaced by another (for example, here in New York, Gray Birch thickets are often replaced by native oaks), the trees that are dying-off are often being consumed by termite hoards. I have been able to collect massive quantities this way.

Good luck, Richard.

Does anybody know if there are many termites in michigan? I work in the woods cutting trees most of the year, but can't say that I have ever seen any. Carpenter ants are everywhere, and I have thought about feeding them, but I think they are to large.
 
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