Ant-Keeping Laws

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Ant Keeping Wiki, including any of it's users, are NOT liable for any laws you break . While this page will attempt to be accurate as humanly possible, this page is for informational purposes only and should NOT be used as a guarantee that the laws in your area are the same, or if they have changed. Please contact local authorities in your area for latest laws.






North America


The laws are controlled by Aphis, a sub-division of USDA. Ant's are classified as plant pests[1]. The specifics of each law regarding collecting and migrating/transporting any species varies from state to state and often, in regards of quarantine zones, county to county. Currently, the only non-regulated (no permit required) species is Pogonomyrmex californicus, however, this strictly applies to workers only[2] and recently added is Pogonomyrmex occidentalis[3]. All other species require permits to transport into another state, or out of the Country for that matter. There is currently only 1 classified Pest Threat that covers the whole United States; this is Solenopsis invicta Buren, S. richteri Forel[4]. This species has quarantine zones, meaning it is illegal to transport them into or through a non-quarantine zone. Quarantine zones vary by counties of each state. The list of counties in which a quarantine is in affect, are listed here. Regarding preserved or dried ants, you are legally allow to transport them without restriction[5]. However, if planning on importing them into the states, please be aware they will be inspected.


Laws covering all the states:

  • Preserved or dried ants in any life stage ✔️
  • Pogonomyrmex californicus (workers ONLY) ✔️

Continental U.S. Only (No Hawaii)

  • Pogonomyrmex occidentalis (All life stages, as of 8/9/2019) ✔️

Laws covering specific states:

  • California - No permit required for transporting Linepithema humile or Pogonomyrmex californicus[6] into or within state.


South America