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How to get rid of ants in a rabbit hutch


If you have found ants in your rabbit hutch, do not panic; although it is not pleasant to find ants crawling around in the rabbit hutch, an ant infestation is not the end of the world.

In this article, we will discuss with you how to get rid of ants in rabbit hutch. We will also discuss what attracts ants to get into rabbit hutches and how to prevent ants in rabbit hutches.

Let’s get started!

Do ants harm rabbits?

Most ants will not harm rabbits. There are poisonous ants and swarming ants. Thankfully, they are rare. The ants you find in the home and yard are not harmful to your furry friend and do not swarm.

The most common ants inside the home and yard are the Pavement ants, Odorous house ants, and Carpenter ants. None of these ant species will harm your pet rabbit. They may cause your pet bunnies discomfort and stress when they bite rabbits; most ant bites are not dangerous or painful. However, the ant problem in the rabbit cage will not kill pet rabbits.

Even amongst the dangerous ant species, the majority will not kill pet rabbits.

The species of ant called the Bullet Ant which will give an excruciating bite but would not kill pet rabbits; the Bullet Ant can be found in Central America and South America. There is also an African ant called Siafu which would quickly kill pet rabbits and humans; thankfully, they are not in this country. They inhabit Central and East Africa.

In the United States, the deadliest of ants are the Fire ants.

Can Fire ants kill rabbits?

There have been reports of rabbits being killed by Fire ants in the United States and other countries worldwide. Red Fire ants are very aggressive and will kill rabbits by inflicting thousands of bites when they swarm together in a short space of time.

Fire ants do not usually come indoors. They will harm outside rabbits. Baby rabbits, especially newborn rabbits and young rabbits, are particularly vulnerable to Fire ants because they are unable to move and have little in the way of fur. The mother cannot pick up and carry the babies to safety, so they are left to the Fire ants.

Even adult pet rabbits can be harmed near a Fire ant nest. Older rabbits can have their eyes and eyesight put at risk from Red Fire ants, as this is the area they bite; infections can lead to blindness for the rabbits.

Fire ants are rust-colored ants with a black thorax; the workers are 1/8 inch. If you discover a fire ant has bitten your pet rabbit and is infected, take them to a veterinary surgeon for treatment.

Are Carpenter ants dangerous to rabbits?

Carpenter ants get their name from the wood they chew through, leaving sawdust behind. Evidence of them can also be small openings in the wood. They will not be interested in your pet bunnies. Carpenter ants around your rabbit’s cage are probably after the hay and the wood in your rabbit’s cage.

Carpenter ants eat mainly honeydew, juices from fruits and plants, and grease. Workers will forage for food away from the colony at a distance of up to 300 feet. If you have a look around, you may find their colony.

Move the rabbit’s cage to a different location. Consider purchasing a metal or plastic cage. Cut back branches and shrubs away from the cage, and remove rotten moist wood from the yard.

Why are ants attracted to rabbit hutches?

Ants infesting rabbit cages are doing so because they are attracted to dead or dying insects and other pests, rabbit food, and the water in the rabbit’s cage, especially during dry spells.

One ant on its own is usually just an isolated incident and not much to worry over, but keep an eye on things just in case.

How to prevent ants in a rabbit cage

To deter ants keep the rabbit’s hutch and around it clean. Remove any uneaten sweet rabbit food treats and rabbit pellets and wash the food bowl. You will need to eliminate other insects like earwigs, spiders, and flies.

Clean the rabbit cage. Often a dirty cage will attract ant infestations and other insects. Empty the litter box frequently.

Will ants bite my rabbit?

Ants do bite. However, it is unlikely your rabbit will even notice a bite. Some ants give painful and poisonous bites. If you notice your rabbit scratching over and over, take a look and check for any infection and swelling around the ant bite.
If you see an infection, take your furry friend to the veterinarian. Ant bites usually clear up after a couple of days.

Is ant poison dangerous to my rabbit?

Yes, it is; there are some pet-safe ant poisons you can use that are rabbit safe. Below are some natural remedies.

How to get rid of ants in a rabbit hutch

There are various ways to get rid of ants. We will talk about pet-safe ant poisons and other ant traps you can use.

The first thing to do is to take your rabbit from the cage and leave it in a safe place so you can safely kill ants. Check the rabbit over for any ants on the body.

Change all the bedding and hay inside the cage once the cage has been cleaned.

Natural methods to get rid of ants


Ants despise strong scents; use the following all-natural pesticides to repel ants from your rabbit cage and keep your rabbit safe. Many rabbit owners turn to natural plant oils and other natural remedies as ant killers. Listed below are some excellent methods to use as ant killers and repellents.

Cinnamon essential oil

You can wipe around areas where ants have been entering the cage with Cinnamon essential oil; it will kill ants.

Peppermint oil

Peppermint essential oil is excellent for many bugs; this natural repellent will keep ants, spiders, fleas, beetles, moths, ticks, and roaches away. Place near the cage respray regularly, especially after rain.

Orange peel extract to kill fire ants

These biting Red ants used to be a problem in the South-eastern States now; they can be found in California. There are commercial products to get rid of them. However, if you would rather not use chemicals, the following method will kill them.

The oil found in citrus rind contains an extract called d-Limonene, a toxic poison to Fire ants. Keep your orange and lemon peels and make a suitable pest control liquid.

Cut up lemon, Lime, and Orange peel. Place the cut-up peel in a gallon jar and fill halfway with water; place a lid on and allow the contents to infuse for about five days. The peels should look pale in color, and the water will be colored when it is ready for use.

Remove the peelings by pouring everything through a strainer. Pour it back into the jar and add one teaspoon of Molasses and a teaspoon of dish soap. Mix up the contents and pour them into the ant nest hole and along their trails if you know where they are.

Although this extract will not kill other ant species, it can be used along trails to disrupt the pheromone trail.

Natural Ant killers safe for rabbits

Clean the cage with Vinegar or Lemon juice at a ratio of 50/50 Vinegar and water or 1/3 Lemon juice to water; spray every area in the cage and the ants. Leave to dry before putting in the hay, bedding, etc.

Cayenne pepper

Ants also despise Cayenne pepper; you can sprinkle it around the outside perimeter of the cage, but not anywhere your bunny can get to, though. Replace the pepper if it has rained. Powdered Cayenne will also kill spider mites and deter squirrels. Please keep your pets away when in use it could irritate their eyes.


Another great way to keep ants away is to use mint; bugs, including ants, do not like the scent. It is safe for rabbits to eat mint, so you can plant some mint near your rabbit’s cage.

Food grade Diatomaceous earth

The spikey particles on this natural powder will pierce the exoskeleton of insects, including ants; the white powder dries out the insects’ bodies, causing dehydration and death.

Apply a thin layer around the rabbit cage; you should see results within 24 hours. The great thing about Diatomaceous earth is it can be used with pets around.

The downside to using Diatomaceous Earth is that it must be reapplied after rain.

Beneficial Nematodes

This is one of the great ant killers; Beneficial Nematodes are microscopic worms in the soil that will attack and kill insects. It will not affect other animals, plants, Humans, and Earthworms. Due to their green benefits, they are often used in organic farming. Beneficial Nematodes will quickly and easily kill an ant colony.

When Nematodes are at the third larval stage, they require a host. They enter the insect host’s body; when it does so, the Nematode carries a bacteria called Xenorhabdus sp. The bacteria will kill the host within 48 hours.

Nematodes usually come in spray form and can be applied directly to an ant hill.

There are a couple of downsides to using Nematodes; firstly, they must be applied to the soil at a temperature of between 55 and 90 degrees F.

Secondly, animal movement or water will make Nematodes less effective. They are available to purchase in stores and online.

Boiling water

You can kill off a colony outside using boiling water straight from the kettle. Pour the water carefully and directly on the ants and on the ant’s nests. This method is not foolproof as some ants may be away from the nest foraging for food.

Red Fire ants will form a floating flotilla during heavy rainfall, so the water you use must be boiling.

Are ant traps safe?

Most ant traps contain a type of toxic poison; the rabbit could nibble some and suffer stomach problems. Bait stations are ideal for getting rid of ants, but you need to put your rabbit somewhere else while the bait is being used to keep the rabbit safe.

Do not let your rabbit eat any of the bait or dead ants that have eaten the bait; eating one poisoned ant is ok; however, eating a lot of poisoned ants could put a rabbit at risk.

And finally,

In the article, “How to get rid of ants in a rabbit hutch,” We presented a few DIY ways of fighting ants in your rabbits’ cage, but if you do not think you can fight these insects, then call a professional pest control company for a free estimate to get rid of them; please do not leave it for too long. Ants can get out of the hand very quickly.

Good luck!

Ronald has 25 years of pest control experience under his belt. He scrutinizes each control method, product and process to prevent infestations effectively. 

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