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How To Get Ants In Animal Crossing: New Horizons

You need spoiled turnips to catch an ant in New Horizons, but you have to be careful about how you make them.


Ants are a rare bug in Animal Crossing: New Horizons that can show up all day, all year, but require some specific conditions to catch. It's simple, but time consuming. Ants will only appear on rotting food, and there doesn't appear to be a way to make fruit rot in New Horizons, even if you leave it on the ground for weeks. Turnips are exempt from this--they're the only way to get ants to show up on your island that we know of. Here's what you need to do.

How To Get And Catch Ants On Your Island

To catch ants in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you need to follow this step-by-step guide:

  1. Buy turnips from Daisy Mae
  2. Set aside 10 turnips
  3. Leave them for one week to rot
  4. Catch ants that appear on the spoiled turnips
Ants trailing off of a spoiled turnip in New Horizons.
Ants trailing off of a spoiled turnip in New Horizons.

This sounds simple, but there are a few extra things to be aware of. Ants will appear on spoiled turnips as a long colony, taking bits of turnip away into an ant hill. If you miss with your net, they will scatter and disappear, but don't worry! Just leave the spoiled turnip on the ground and return later. Ants will eventually re-appear. Rain may prevent them from showing up, so if it's raining on your island, just have patience and come back when the weather clears up.

How To Rot Turnips

When you buy turnips from Daisy Mae, you can only buy turnips in bundles of 10 and can't break them out into single turnips. That means catching an ant will require a sacrifice of 10 turnips. If you buy a lot of turnips from Daisy Mae, you have to be very careful about how you set aside the turnips you're going to rot. Turnips can stack in bundles of 100, but in your pockets, it will say "10" unless you hover over it to see it is actually "100 turnips"--10 bundles of 10.

Click on the 100 turnips and hit "Grab 10" to separate 10 turnips from the bunch and into a new item slot. The old bunch will now say "9" and the bundle of 10 turnips won't have a number at all. This single bunch of 10 turnips is what you want to set aside for a week until they rot. If you aren't careful, you risk rotting 100 turnips, which is a high price to pay just for some ants!

Turnips will spoil after one week, either on the ground (indoors or outdoors) or in your inventory. The best way to rot a turnip, in this guide writer's opinion, is to leave a bundle of 10 on the ground somewhere on your island, separate from your stalk market pile. That way you don't accidentally sell the turnips you're trying to rot and end up having to do the whole thing over again next week.

Spoiled turnips can also be used to catch flies in New Horizons, another rare bug.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons Ant Sell Price

Once you catch an ant, you can donate it to Blathers at the museum or sell it for bells. You can catch multiple ants from one instance of rotting turnips, you just have to wait until they respawn.

An ant in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
An ant in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

You can sell an ant to either Timmy and Tommy at Nook's Cranny, or the special visitor Flick, who will buy your bugs at 150% market value. The ant isn't worth a lot so it's not really worth hanging onto one for Flick unless you want to commission an art piece, which will require bringing him three ants.

  • Nook's Cranny price: 80 bells each
  • Flick price: 120 bells each

How To Get An Ant Farm

There is an ant farm item you can get in Animal Crossing: New Horizons to place as furniture, but collecting ants has nothing to do with it because it can't be crafted.

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The ant farm may be purchased at Nook's Cranny for 1,400 bells when it's available.

Separate from the ant farm furniture, the ant is one of the few bugs that can become a neat decoration when you place it as an object--similar to the flea, it will appear under a cup on a piece of paper instead of inside a tank.

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