Some people have dogs, some people have cats. And then there’s a handful of people who keep ants as pets. Wait...what?!
We’re not kidding. Ant-keeping is an actual hobby and there are people out there who invest a whole lot of time and money in those tiny creatures. Though it’s more popular abroad, there’s a growing interest in ant-keeping in Singapore, and you can get started at Just Ants - the first physical ant-keeping store in Singapore with over 30 species of ants.
Read on to find out more about Just Ants at Yishun, Singapore!
Just Ants is located in a quiet corner of the heartlands of Yishun, a stone’s throw from Northpoint City shopping mall and Yishun MRT station. Those who are familiar with the famous laksa at Yishun Central will be glad to know that Just Ants is only a few units down.
This ant hobby store was started by John Ye, an ant enthusiast who quit his corporate job to get elbow-deep in the business of ant-keeping. The outlet was opened in February just before the circuit breaker kicked in, but sales started picking up well since the middle of this year.
To him, ants are a lot more interesting and complex than people give them credit for, and are just as worthy of being pets as furry friends like canines and felines.
Other than colonies of ants, Just Ants also sells all the equipment you need including formicariums, which are basically ant farms where you can observe your ants and how they behave. These start from $6.90 for a starter kit, but can go up to $169.90 for more intricate models that come with temperature meters.
As for the ants themselves, you can expect to pay around $20 for a colony, though rarer ones can go up to $60. These aren’t your regular household ants that invade your kitchen, mind you. In fact, Just Ants currently carries over 30 species of them, and each one has different needs.
The staff shared that if you mix different ant colonies together, they might start fighting, so you should refrain from throwing any household ants into your ant farm.
Every ant colony needs a queen, because that’s who all the other ants take the lead from. If the queen escapes, chances are, the rest of the ants will find their way out too.
Don’t worry, there’s a special ant-repelling powder mix you can use to line the rim of your ant tank so that they won’t make a prison break, and of course, one should always keep their ant tank closed overnight or when not at home.
Keep your ants well-fed with protein jelly , which you can also buy at the store - though you can also feel free to throw in household pests like dead lizards and watch them swarm around devouring them. Below is a video of some Golden Ants enjoying a blob of honey.
Just Ants can help set up your ant tank for you, customised to your preferences. Whether you prefer something plain and rocky or with a dose of greens, they can do it all.
Otherwise, you can also purchase equipment from their store to DIY your tank. Check out their miniature figurines which will give your set-up a cute pop of colour!
Ant-keeping is a hobby that’s suitable for all ages, even kids - so long as they’re under proper supervision. Rest assured that Just Ants’ staff will give you proper instructions on how to start and care for your ant farm, and they’re always open for a chat if you have any further questions as you go along.
In fact, they’ve set up a WhatsApp group chat specially for past buyers - a safe space where anyone can feel comfortable asking questions or having discussions about this unconventional hobby. It’s a great way to meet like-minded ant enthusiasts and make friends with them too!
Fun fact: Actress Fann Wong and her young son are also into ant-keeping.
If your parents or partner are hesitant about you getting a pet like a cat, dog, or rabbit due to the amount of attention they need, perhaps you can try raising the idea of keeping ants instead. And if Yishun is a tad too far to travel to for repeated equipment-buying trips, you can always make your purchases online via their website.
📍 Address: Block 928 Yishun Central 1, #01-143, Singapore 760928
⏰ Opening hours: Daily, 12PM to 8PM (Closed on Public Holidays)
☎️ Telephone: 9091 9599
Check out our other articles on interesting places to visit in Singapore:
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Text by: GirlStyle SG