Compared with most other ant species such as Camponotus, Carebara are generally poor climbers.
However, larger colonies can form large trails and if anti-escape barriers are not properly put up, escape can be a nightmare!
My preferred anti-escape measure is a combination of a first layer of baby powder barrier and a second layer of Vaseline barrier. See pictures below.
I also like to use a butter knife to create “waves” in the Vaseline barrier, making it more challenging for the ants to cross. Step by step pictorial guide at the bottom of this page.
Baby powder barriers must be thick, like so:
This barrier needs to be maintained however, touch ups need to be done on a fortnightly to monthly basis, depending on your local humidity and temperatures.
Please note that temperatures and humidity will reduce the effectiveness of the barriers.
On Fluon/PTFE, this works well too, but personally I find it too expensive especially for really large outworlds. Also, fluon/PTFE appears to have weaknesses when applied at the corners of rectangular/square tanks.
Avoiding Raids by invasive ants
Aggressive as Carebara Diversa/Affinis may be, young colonies are susceptible to “raids” by invasive species of ants, such as Ghost Ants, Pharoh Ants, BCA, Pheidole, just to name a few.
I’ve heard too many stories of newly founded or young colonies being lost to “raids” by invasive ants.
Unless your colony is so large that it can kills lizards which unfortunately fall into your outworld, do consider implementing some of these “anti-raid” measures to avoid loosing your colony to invasive local species.
1. Oil moat – Place your formicarium and outworld on a tray with oil, of at least 2cm width and 1cm depth. This would prevent invasive ants from entering your outworld/formicarium.
2. Water moat – same as oil moat but replace with water. Downside is that water evaporates, meaning the moat liquid must be continually refilled.
3. Thick Vaseline barrier – like such:
Image provided by Benedict Yeap of Singapore Ants
4. Secure lid fitted with appropriately size hole wire mesh (need to custom build) – like such:
Step by step guide for barriers: