"The testimonials found on this page are copy and pasted from customers emails, messages, and posts with their permission.  In some instances names are left out(or left as an alias) to protect privacy concerns.  I want to thank everyone who contributes with these testimonials for taking their time to write them. All kinds of feedback and discussion is welcome for Tar Heel Ants.  If you want your testimonial added here please email us at tarheelants@gmail.com.  The purpose of these testimonials is to let  others see what customers have to say about their experiences with Tar Heel Ants.  This also helps match potential customers (experienced or unexperienced ant keepers alike) to a selection of products that will meet their individual style."

Mack Pridgen, Owner, Tar Heel Ants




Hey Mack.  Please take a look at this email review and let me know if you have any questions.  I would like to see it on your review page, you deserve it!  Thank you again for answering my sons' questions for him and allowing us to take up some of your time last month on a Friday night when we had time together as a family.  He has been looking forward to this so much!

We purchased the bundle with the Florida carpenter ants and my son is over the moon!  The colony was healthy upon arrival with lots of eggs.  By use of the moving kit we added to the bundle, they moved in overnight.  The following morning, they were all huddled together in their new home.  The move kit was so helpful in setting up.  This is a thoughtful addition to the package, and we plan on connecting that back up whenever we go out of town for extra water. 

We took your advice and started with mealworms for them and some apple as well.  Once we had the heat setup and got back with the food, the ants were much livelier.  The first feeding was a huge hit with them, and we noticed the "kissing" ants for a while after we fed them.  We did make a mess with the honey we fed them...but the ants drank the smudges from the lid which was interesting.

10/10 rating, 5 stars, over and beyond anything we expected for customer service for ants.  Thank you again!

Beverly D., Georgia, 2024.



"We've had a great experience so far with the Hearth system from Tar Heel. We migrated our ants from the test tube and they made a happy home on the lower floor. The queen and workers appear happy and productive.
The system makes caring for your ants simple and removes a good deal of the guess work. It is easy to keep the environment humid with the syringe, and easy to feed/the colony with the outworld. On top of the that, the setup is aesthetically pleasing compared to a lot of other farms and invites children and adults to stop and look for awhile. The scenery and setups make it seem like the ants are living in a world and not a plastic factory.  The quality is clear, and the folks at Tar Heel are very responsive and knowledgeable. "
-Jim. December 2023

Hey Mack, long time no speak(haha)!  This is the new crazy ant keeper Barry from Arizona that has been hounding you with questions right and left and right! Thanks for being patient with all of them and helping me research some of these ants I want formicariums for.  This is a lifelong dream since I was a kid…..this has come a long way since then so glad I waited to try this out.  My buddy and I are lucky to live where we can keep some cool ants, just can’t find them due to my job schedule and he cannot get around the property without me.  Like I said we will definitely be getting some ants from you down the road a bit.  Just happy to have our first houses, we like this package with 5 Minis.  Have a good holiday, and god bless!

Barry C., Arizona, USA, 2023.


Josh here.  I appreciate you copying this to your page for us as we could not learn that part from your website.

I am a new ant keeper and my mom and I wanted to thank you for talking with us and helping us with all of our questions.  She feels better now about having ants instead of a goldfish or hermit crab, and we ordered the harvester ant and Mini Heat (Hearth) package last month.  I had lots of questions written down and got the answers to all of them, thank you.  I hope my new colony keeps growing and growing so I can get another colony next year.  We just got our first three new workers this week, they are lighter color and not moving much yet.

Lawrenceburg, Tennessee, USA October 2023.


Hello Tar Heel Ants,

My name is ** Greene and I recently purchased the Mini Hearth XL Formicarium in dark blue for my Camponotus modicum Colony. it’s one Queen wit about 35 workers and they love their new home. I love it too. it’s the perfect size and I love the color. The ants are adjusting to it so perfectly, it was a smooth move from their tubes to this. I just wanted to say thank you so much. I am really happy with this purchase and can’t wait to buy again for my other Camponotus colony when they grow a little bigger.

Virginia, USA, February 2023.


Hi Mack 

I'm Shelby's son Otto. I just turned 11 and I would just like to thank you so much for the ants and the formicaria!! The ants are doing really well! And ever since we added a heat pad they have grown in size. The formicaria is holding the ants and keeping them contained amazingly well and it looks Fantastic!!! I'm excited to see the updated formicaria. Thank you for being so kind and nice to me, see you later. 
From: Otto
There is no way to give a review on your website (or at least that I could figure out as I'm not super tech savvy) and Otto really wanted to let you know how much he loves his ants and formicaria! Thanks to you and your incredible shipping they got here the day before his birthday and it has been his favorite thing since then (even beating out his Christmas presents). I can not tell you how amazing you have been in the process of all of this and how much I appreciate your customer service and care. As you have gone above and beyond normal service for us, be assured we will be coming to you for all of our Ant needs forever. Really hope you had a wonderful Holidays and a happy new year.
Thank you so very much for sending out the updated formicaria. I wasn't even aware that the one you sent was a simpler version as it made him so happy. You again show your differentiating integrity and above average customer care!
Can't thank you enough
Shelby P.
December, 2022.

Thank you for the amazing shipment and ants!  We (my family – me mostly) have been keeping ants for almost 9 years for fun pets.  We also have birds, reptiles, dogs and cats and a pet Tarantula.  In the past year we have been getting more into the idea of keeping ants with queens for long-term pets, and started keeping them in test tubes last summer.  Now we have made the plunge after hearing about your products and all the kind recommendations and help, and we have a bunch of new Mini Hearths and a couple of your ant colonies that came with a bunch of eggs and workers, so thank you for that.  The ordering was made easy by a phone call with Mack, and we will be making the drive to visit the store later in the year on our vacation.  I expected a long wait as we had a larger order, but were surprised when most of what we had was already in stock and things arrived sooner than anticipated (and on my daughters birthday coincidentally…yay!).  Thanks Mack and the Tar Heel Ants team for helping us get started off right, and we look forward to watching our colonies grow in these neat ant farms you guys made for us!

T. Rice, Ohio, USA, January 2023.


"I have to tell you that your products are great. I am 52 years old and I started my first ant colony when I was a kid when I ordered uncle Milton’s ant farm that I saw in the back of a comic book. I’ve tried over the years to get back into ant keeping with little success but your website and products have really made it easy. I also have a Tetramorium colony with 150+ workers in a Fallen Fortress nest and they are thriving in it. "
Michael D., New York, USA, August 2022.

When I started talking to Mack I was new to the hobby.  Mack has been very informative with the information he gave and helped me out every step of the way.  I appreciated that he did not tried to sell me more than I think I needed at the time.  Tar Heel Ants makes excellent quality nests and I don’t think anybody could come close. Every time I have questions you try to answer them as fast and painless as possible. Everything I’ve gotten from you has been doing very well packages and I can’t wait to do business with you in the future. I recommend Tar Heel Ants  for anybody that needs a nest and or ants that will get into the hobby!

Eric Prather, California, USA. June 2022.


The nest's Mack produces are without a doubt the best available formicarium on the market.  The care and love he puts into his work is mind-blowing.  Mack's nest are also insanely great for raising new or well-established colonies even my ants prefer these nests over test tubes.  As someone who lives in Australia, I received my nests in excellent condition with no damage. I will definitely be purchasing many other nests in the foreseeable future and highly recommended these fantastic formicaria for anyone.
Thank You Mack, and the Tar Heel Team 
Sincerely - Alex January 2022


The ants (Myrmecocystus mexicanus) came very fast (and with permit).   When delivered they were alive, active, and very healthy with a pile of brood. Mack was very helpful when it came to shipping info and ant info. I will for sure order more products :)

Shanden, Nevada, 12/21.


“I cannot express to you how appreciative I am for your advice regarding A. rudis. Having had them for a little while, I see that you were spot on! They're messy, but I like them. I have them in the XXL mini hearth I bought from you (a work of art in itself). I really like that style, and the background looks great in contrast to the ants!
The P. occidentalis colony I got from you is growing like mad, and it's exciting beyond measure to watch what they do from day to day. 
I am getting far more gratification from this hobby than I could have ever imagined! “
Thanks again,

J.D. Chesser, M.D., Ph.D., Sep 2021
I just wanted to give a little testimonial on how great your products are for more than just ants. That's right more than just ants. One of the hardest things about keeping centipedes is that they must not dry out. You can't leave for a week vacation with out a plan on how your going to keep them hydrated. Last summer unexpectedly I found a beautiful centipede. But had no setup ready and nothing available to make one. Then I remembered the Tar Heel ants Mini Hearth XL version i just cleaned after moving my ants into there larger Tar Heel set up. All I did was add a little moistened coconut husk and peat moss to the top portion and then filled the water tower. Then put my lucky find in. I can easily say for the last year I never had a centipede do so well. He sleeps in the formicarium and when I add a cricket to the top he comes up ready to feed. I also feel a lot safer keeping him in here because I can see clearly where he is. No more fear of him escaping. Or worse a nasty painful bite! Just amazing how great this worked out for both me and the centipede. I can't wate to go hunting this summer again for both ants and centipedes knowing there is an amazing product ready to keep them safe and secure.
Thank you,
Brian Schroeder 
April 2021


The several different styles of formicaria that Tar Heel Ants create for their customers are the best you can find on the market bar none. Not only are they packed with features to keep the most sensitive colony thriving, they are all hand made and completely unique, making them one of a kind. At a glance, it is quite easy to see the quality and attention to detail in any formicarium you get from this company, whether it be a small Mini Hearth or a massive XL Pioneer, you can trust it will be made with very high standards. Even the material Mack (owner) sources for these ant nest & outworlds are of the highest quality. His type III material keeps the ants from drowning during accidental floods, and also retains moisture to provide lasting humidity while also allowing the keeper to create a gradient within the nest. Sand coated chambers, water towers, nest mates, magnets, museum glass,  quality decor and many other features really make THA products stand out from the rest. Mack has truly found the perfect balance between a functional yet aesthetically pleasing formicarium that allows the keeper to view their ants inside the nest and out with the highest of clarity without sacrificing the comfort or health of the ants. As a matter of fact, my ant colonies have continued to thrive and actually grow faster in THA formicarium than any other brand of formicarium. One of the greatest services THA provides is the option to customize and kind of formicarium you want. So, if you're looking for the "Rolls Royce" of ant farms/ formicaria at an extremely fair price, then look no further.
- Mark McLean, 2021


Hello, just wanted to say thank you for the ants! I havent found any other websites selling these ants and you really seem to care about them which i appreciate very much. The packaging was great, there were no dead workers; the queen looks nice and healthy. And they moved into the formicarium so freaking fast; im used to carpenter ants which are so so stubborn lol. The mini hearth is beautiful and so well made, i love it. I appreciate your responsiveness and working with me and the weather :). 100% will be ordering again as soon as i can and recommending to friends! Thanks again!   ------   J Lombardi, USA, May 2020


I received my Ready-To-Ship Mini Hearth (Modular) in the mail yesterday. I wanted to say that I am incredibly pleased with it. It was packaged well, and had no damage when I looked it over. I am also impressed with the fact that you can add more rooms to it. Thank you Tarheel Ants for this amazing product. I will definitely do business with you in the future. My Camponotus floridanus will surely love it.

Michael John Borden , March, 2020.


I just want to say, THANK YOU!!! Your formicariums and supplies are the saving grace of the ant-keeping world. No one does it better, and I know of no one how would argue that. So from me and all of the ant-keepers out there, thank you for your dedication to the craft. 💕

-J Edmonds, USA, Febuary 2020.


Tar Heel Ants is my go-to company for all of my ant supply needs. Whether you are an expert in myrmecology or a beginner hobbyist, the company offers everything from top notch formicariums that are not only customizable to suit your specific colony needs, but also provide ease of maintenance as well as adjustable humidity control. There are also a wide range of accessories available from ant collection vials and test tubes to feeding dishes and substrate. Tar Heel Ants is a one stop shop that has everything that you need in order to aid you into keeping your colonies successful for many years of enjoyment.

-Brandy Odle, USA.  October 2019


I found Tar Heel Ants and Mack when I "rescued" an ant colony that was dug up during some landscaping around my house.  He had me send photos and helped to identify the species as Formica pallidefulva - then provided tips on care and told me where to find good educational information.  I ended up buying a Nucleus formicarium from him based on his helpfulness and he continued to help with input on how to transfer the colony, how to isolate the queen, etc.

That was 4 years ago. 6 species later, Mack is still my go to for tough questions and incredible formicariums and ant keeping supplies.  When I purchase equipment from him, I know it was been tested and tweaked as needed before it is sold.  I can trust it!  He is always learning new things and sharing his knowledge freely!
Most recently, I purchased a colony of the newly deregulated Pogonomyrex occidentalis from him.  Based on his research he suggested a brood boosted colony and explained the rationale and options.  I purchased a boosted colony which I received on 9/11 in perfect condition, very well packed, and sent through USPS.  These ants have adjusted well and are thriving.  Just today the first of the queen's own pupa eclosed, and there are lots of larvae, 4 other pupae, and eggs laid weekly.  All this in just 3 weeks!
Tar Heel Ants helps me to enjoy the ant keeping hobby and learn as I go!
Pam F., USA.  October, 2019.

It's been 7 years now since I bought my first formicarium from Tar heel Ants. In all that time, Mack has been a great help answering questions and discussing custom made ideas for formicarium he made for me. What few problems there were Mack was quick to help fix issues being polite and kind. I've really enjoyed watching how he has changed our hobby for the better over the last few years. Tar Heel Ants innovations in formicaria have literally changed everything about our hobby. From water towers to magnetic glass to basic designs. Nothing I've seen anywhere else comes even close. I look forward to many, many more years of watching Tar Heel Ants grow and innovate our hobby.

I love the new Mini hearths with the XL version and the Genesis inserts. They have both made it much easier to get a founding queen going strong; I highly recommend both. And, of course, the vitally important water tower has made things so much easier. Will be buying more in the near future!

Anthony Turner, USA.  October, 2019


I received the formicariums today, I know that the pictures look good online but I had no idea that these enclosures are so nice.  I can tell there was a lot of thought and time that went into designing these things and I applaud you for providing something so nice. From now on any formicarium that I need will be coming from you, your enclosures are truly a work of art.

Lester, USA, September, 2018.



"I have only used the mini hearths from Mack but I'd like to endorse his product with 100% satisfaction. I have used many different formicariums, first started with 3D printed nests last year for my Campo species. Then moved on to dirt boxes from the container store. I also experimented with various acrylic nests from Chinese manufacturers. They are okay but heating and humidity control is hard. Out of all the ones I just listed nothing compares to Mack's Mini Hearth. The design is just elegant, fits all the utilities you'd need for a healthy colony in a space saving design. Heating and humitidy control has never been easier! Just a heating cable on the side and the temperature is a perfect low 80 degrees F. The water tower provides the perfect humidity as well! I just moved my Campo species out of the acrylic nest into the mini hearth and they really seem to like it. Moved in under 5 minutes. 
First time customer and 100% will return for more. Worth every penny!"

Frank Su, Boulder, Colorado, USA.  October 2018.


I would like to thank you for the Tar Heel ants mini hearth that I bought about a month ago. I wanted to let you know that I was really impressed with it and is now is occupied by my young messor barbarus colony. Also that when my colony outgrows the mini hearth I will be placing another order for a bigger formicarium. Your work is well worth the purchase:)

A. Thompson, September, 2018.


"I don't know where to start, I just want to thank you so much for all you do.  I recommend you to all of my friends. My dad says your a bit pricey but what I say is these are the best formicaria I know of and I trust him to keep my ants alive.  I just bought a Casita for my  Camponotus pennsylvanicus and Im so excited."

Peter, Iowa, USA. July 2018


These are absolute works of art. Function and form work perfectly together. I don't know how you do it, but keep it up!

Tony, New York, USA.  July 2018.


We live in Raleigh and were just so amazed to see Tar Heel Ants retail location directly down the road from our neighborhood.  I did not realize you had just opened your shop the previous week and my son was thrilled to have found one of his favorite ant "stuff" suppliers nearby so we came by and purchased a small colony in a Mini Hearth formicarium.  The fact that you were able to move the colony in within a few minutes while we waited was fantastic! The level of service and knowledge you (Mack) shared with us has to be second-to-none!  I would give our experience a 10 out of 10!  We will be back soon I am sure...

Becky, Raleigh, NC, USA.  April 2018.


"Just a note to tell you how happy I am with the mini hearth. A little work of art! My camponatus queen moved her brood from the test tube setup to the Mini hearth within 10 hours or so without any heat or light! She knew it was an upgrade.Thanks again."

USA, July 2017.


Your formicaria are the best I have seen!  I will be ordering more soon.  My ants moved in overnight and I have been snapping some amazing photos already with my new camera phone!

J.J.S., Massachusetts, USA.  September, 2017.


Thank you very much for this formicarium. It is really well built and came completely intact. I am very satisfied with this product. I will be sure to order again in the future!

T.K., USA, September 2017


My ants immediately moved into the Mini Hearth nest after leaving the test tube.  Impressive habitat overall and much smaller than I thought.  But perfect for the space I have available to me.  I will order more soon!  The PDF guide was a big help!

Ant Keeper from Switzerland June 2017


Thanks man! Good setup. My Formica gnava Colony likes it! Expect me to purchase again!

Ant Keeper in Washington state, USA, June 2017


I gotta say, the more I get familiar with the formicarium (Nucleus 360), the more I realize this is an amazing work of art.  Hats off to you.  It's very smartly engineered.  And good recommendation on the museum glass.  Worth the cost.  Thanks again for opening up the amazing world of ants to us lay folk.  

Scott, Californian Ant Keepers, USA, May 2017


Hey Tarheel Ants, I'd just like to thank you so much for your hard work. Your formicariums are really outstanding, high quality and are perfect for ants. I bought an THA Atom A for my tetramorium queen because cotton stands strangled her brood and from there her colony has grown and grown. Here's a video of them now inside one of your inception chamber smalls!  Anthony, USA, November 2016.


My Casita: I've looked at it every which way. In, as far as I can see, and all around the outside too. This isn't just a formicarium: It's a work of art. It is especially delightful to see how very laid-back the ants are. They have strolled around every nook, crevice & cranny, and will often just hang back enjoying the surroundings with all the corridors and passageways. Under the Casita there is a raised transparent dais, and the Head of State, Queen Lignacia the Compassionate, has parked herself thereon fairly and square. Truly, the Queen is Enthroned!

John, UK.


I have three camponotus queens at this time. One in mini hearth, one in test tube in dark box, and one in a test tube open placed in an out world. All were caught roughly around the same time. All have eggs and pupae, but the only one that has produced workers is in the mini hearth. I love how "natural" the environment looks in the mini hearth and my ants like to use the stalactites to hang up side down. This is a cool product.

Maryland, USA.


I purchased a pinnacle Formicarium from you around this time last year. I just wanted to let you know that it has been a huge success and that the ants are doing well. They are Tetramorium sp. ants. There are upwards of 50 ants with tons of brood. They are put on display in the museum regularly. Thanks for your help in creating this display!

Sean, Rhode Island, USA (Delaware Natural History Museum).


Tar Heel Ants have been my one-stop shop for all my ant keeping needs! Ever since Summer of 2015, I had already purchased 3 formicaria, 1 founding formicaria, and many supplies from the easy- o-use ordering website. Mack, the owner, has always been available to answer all my questions and had provided recommendations for the design and use of his special hand-made enclosures. You will not be disappointed at the quality of these formicaria! The clever designs that Mack has for these formicaria cater to the needs of any ant species.

Currently, I have Novomessor Cockerelli ants in the very first “Traditions” style formicarium that I purchased last summer. They are doing so well and still thriving! For the “Hearth” style formicariu, I purchased earlier this year, I housed my Acromyrmex Versicolor species. The big chamber the Hearth offers is big enough to fit the fungus garden that the ant species is known for. The third formicaria I purchased was for my Formica Francoeuri species. I went with another “Traditions”, but this time with new features like removable glass so that there is easier access to the nest. The founding formicaria “Atom Nest” I purchased a few months ago was used for my Dorymyrmex Bicolor Queen. She has many brood now, proving that this formicarium has been providing her comfort to lay her eggs!

Some supplies like his liquid feeders and nestmates are so cool! You can basically put any liquid thickness you want and it will not gush through the mesh opening and flood your ants. Also, his availability of fluon, feeding dishes, and many other supplies makes his online shop the only place you need to go for everything you will need. Overall, Mack always strives to make his enclosures innovative and better every time! I promise that you will not be disappointed, and I for one can vouch that his formicarias are the most natural looking and the very best quality out there! – Nathaniel V


I received my Mini Hearth and Nucleus t=Type ll about five days ago. After practicing with the water towers for a couple of days I attached two of my queens to each nest. In less than 24 hours both queens and their troops moved into their perspective new homes with very little encouragement. They have settled in incredibly quickly and seem to have got used to their spacious new surroundings in no time. They are already foraging and marking out their new territories. The Tar Heel Ant nests are beautifully made and eye catching and even my friends and family who have never shown any interest before are drawn over to take a look. I'm looking forward to many more months and years of ant keeping with Tar Heel Ant and I am already looking at more products for my third queen and her small brood. Thank you!  Kerry, UK.  June, 2016.


“First off I’m a fan of Tar Heel Ants. Why? Because my Ants prefer Tar Heel Ants. It is that simple. 

I did my research for over a year before getting started in the hobby. And I investigated just about every web site, forum, book, or YouTube video I could get my hands on. I have notebooks full of information, pictures, and stuff pertaining to our hobby. But I am a newb through and through. I learn something new every day. 

So I got started just like everyone else. Found my first queen – got a test tube…. then another queen… another test tube…. And so on. They did OK, but I knew I needing something more. So I will be honest. I tried a couple of different options. Acrylic with the test tubes, 3D printed nest, and Tar Heel Ants Inception Chambers. 

The Inceptions Chambers were a huge hit. The queens moved right in on their own & have done nothing but thrive. The queens I put into the other options did not. But like I said, I’m a newb, I’m not saying I lost those queens because of the nest I gave them. It could have been the result of any number of factors. But I haven’t lost a single queen that I put in Tar Heel Ants nests. 

I can’t wait to place my next order. I need to soon. My ladies have outgrown their nest in the first season. So yes…. Long story short…. I’m a fan. I have happy, health, thriving new colonies that aren't slowing down…. So they’re happy too.” 

Ravenblue2u, USA. (November, 2015)


“For over three years now I have been buying products from Tar Heel Ants.  I have been both honored and privileged to watch Mack develop Amazing new products over the last 3 years from the first Haven to water towers and inception chambers.  It's been truly amazing watching all the new things Tar Heel Ants has developed over the years and I hope to be as privileged for MANY more years to come. 

I would like to review my favorite all-time formicarium, the Haven.  I am the proud owner of 3 Haven formicaria from Tar Heel Ants.  One is an older Haven without a water tower, one with a water tower, and one with both water towers and nest mates.  I bought my first Haven 2 years ago and am still using it.  It's durable, long lasting, and I have reused it numerous times. The second Haven I bought last year was one of the first to have a water tower.  It is the current home of my 2 year old Pogonomyrmex occidentalis colony and they seem to like it.  My newest version of the Haven is just amazing.   My 1 year old Pogonomyrmex occidentalis colony exploded in numbers and it is by far my favorite.   The newest Haven is as durable as my first one and with the upgrades that make it ten times better.  I recommend the newest Haven to anyone with colonies past the founding stage.   I can't wait to see what new improvements THA has in store in future years.” 

Anthony Turner, Colorado, USA. (November, 2015)


Having started keeping ants using tubs and bottles a few years ago to now finding Tar Heel Ants, i couldn't go back. Having bought over 20 formicariums and 7 different types this hobby does get addictive. All made easier by THA's customizable homes, each one comes unique, fulfilling your colonies requirements and you won’t be disappointed. Fantastic options for both beginners and the more experienced keeper.

K Arnott (United Kingdom). (November, 2015)


 As a recurring customer for several years now I wanted to say how much I enjoy the open relationship between customer and seller and how pleasurable it is to be able to ask any general questions or special requests and get back quality service on a more open friendship based relationship! Treat people well and they will be happy! Also the line of formicaria is unique compared to others as well! Having the option of customizing you're formicaria for specific needs with species is a stand out alone by itself, and with the new removable glass added with water towers and the unique natural look it’s the best quality formicaria out there! I have purchased "many" from THA and will continue to do so because I want the best service and quality formicaria that suppliers have to offer!    

Jeffrey from Sacramento, California, USA.  (November, 2015)


“I have been a loyal THA customer for several years and would like to speak to the quality and construction of their formicaria as well as their devotion to customer service. I own seven different formicaria and all were built not only with attention to detail, but also to mimic the specific requirements of the species that I keep. THA owner Mack Pridgen is a gifted craftsman that can build anything anyone dreams up, and is always willing to modify one of his "standard" formicaria. I hesitate to use the word standard as Mack is constantly upgrading and building better formicaria with more options all for a very reasonable price. I have spoken with him both on the phone and on the internet and he has always been very patient and understanding and willing to share his knowledge and experience. I unequivocally recommend THA products for ant enthusiasts of all abilities.” 

Shane Aldrich, Michigan, USA. (November, 2015)


“I have been into ants breeding from some years now and usually I made my ants nests myself. But when I saw Tar Heel Ants nests I understood what the excellence is! So every time I have a "difficult" species or some specific requirements there is nothing better than the works that Mack Pridgen makes. He's simply one step beyond. The materials are excellent, the hand making is accurate, and the care that he puts into every single detail, from cleanliness to moisture control, from ventilation to visibility, from the decor to the choice of colour and materials, make his formicaria unique. In a world of massive productions, having this wonderful works, made one by one and customized, makes the difference between a successful breeding and a problematic one. He seems to know exactly what the ant’s need, and this knowledge surely come from years of research and observations of different species of ants in the wild and in laboratories. And what is also great is that he is open to any discussion, change, or adaptation in order to accomplish the goals required. Being overseas, for me the costs of shipment are not cheap, but the price difference - if compared to other formicaria builders - accounts for the high quality by far. Every time I put a colony into a THA nest, ants immediately settle, as if they have always been there. And this describes THA quality much better than any word! I hope to be able to expose one of his large formicarium in the museum where I work soon.”

Guglielmo Maglio, Naples Italy


Video review of the Mini Hearth by Miles Maxcer!


"The order arrived promptly and in perfect condition. I am extremely happy with it (it looks amazing with the museum glass), and have successfully housed a colony of seed-harvesting ants in it. Thank you for products of unmatched quality! "

Leonid, July 2015, United Kingdom


"My friends think I have lost my mind but I am totally sunk into the hobby of ant keeping.  I maybe a little overboard compared to the average interest of an ant keeper, but I think I am just super lucky to keep finding ants!  I collect them with a peace in mind knowing the habitats are the best and most natural I have ever seen!  Thank you Tar Heel Ants for what you do!"

Carter, California, USA, July, 2015.


“The big thumb up for Tar Heel Ants is that Mack, the owner, is willing to listen to your needs instead of pushing his ideas onto you. No matter how idiotic your requests may be, he will do what he can in order to create your dream formicariums. He will attempt to comply with every small details you demand from him. You will also be impressed how good packaging is for your shipment. While I doubt it will survive a nuclear blast, it will likely survive brutal abuses from courier employees who often play ping-pong with shipments. The price may be on a little on high side but you should know that quality & class do not come cheap”

From Dean_k of Antjournals.com


"Best quality formicarium I have ever seen. Plus when I needed some advice for formicarium needs Mack was more than willing to help! 10/10 satisfaction!"

Christian Taylor, July 2015, USA.


"I am a loyal THA customer and will continue to be so in the future as well. His work is topnotch and I do not know ANY other business owners who give so selflessly of their time and knowledge."

Shane Aldrich, Michingan, USA, 2015.


"I have tried various feeders, and at times they work, but they are prone to mistakes which flood foraging areas and drown ants. This feeder has really no chance of user error and I have not drowned a single ant once. Even when a drop was pushed out of the feeder, the ring caught it and the drop was so small no ants were drowned. These feeders seem bullet proof."

Cameron, Santa Clara, California, USA, July 2015.


"In July 2012 I had just recently caught 2 Pogonomyrmex occidentalis queens and discovered I still had a passion for keeping ants. I searched on the Internet for anything new to try to keep them in. I didn't want to repeat past mistakes and see my queens die. It was thanks to a fellow Colorado Ant keeper that I found Tar Heel Ants.Fast forward to today in 2015. I have watched Mack revolutionized Ant keeping with Amazing new products. I am proud to calm myself a Tar Heel Ants supporter and life long customer. I currently have over 8 thriving colonies in THA products. Three of my colonies are over 2 years old."
Thank you so much Mack!!!!
July, 2015.  Anthony Turner, Colorado, USA.


 This review/testimonial needed it's own page! (link below)

(link goes to a separate page, by clicking you will remain on our website)

Nucleus Review


I am very impressed with your Piece of Haven's. The upperworld is sparse and very Zen-like with the sparkling white sand.

John, USA, May 2015.


I like my Casita Red formicaria because of the color choice I had. I picked red because I introduced a smaller Formica sp that was black and wanted them to show better. I also like it's compact size and it's square shape that keeps the formicarium truly centered. The nest area is in one corner and takes up both sides. I enjoy how it hydrates at different points and levels within the nest. I also like how well it's stays clean and no over- moistening issues have ever been noticed. I contribute this to it's small centered size and excellent ventilation. The out world is big enough for the ants to roam and gather food. The whole package is realistic natural and the ants are happy at home.

I'm at this moment purchasing another Casita Sand color this time. Which I have a growing Formica Fusca that will be using this formcaria. I'm trying a Grass theme with some small pebbles which is their natural environment for this type of species of ant. I'm sure that they will be happy and prevail.

Thanks Mack!

Bill, California, USA.  May, 2015.


First time raising ants and first time buying from Tar Heel and let me tell you I had the best experience! Tar Heel Ants has the best service and the best formicarium designs and believe me I looked everywhere to find something that I would be proud to place it in my room. Also, Mack was so helpful with everything. I asked if he can send the formicarium soon as​ possible and he told me about the expediting process, it was basically paying 20% (which I totally understand since all his formicariums are hand-made) and get my order ship ASAP. In conclusion, I received my order in a WEEK and the Casita formicarium looks just amazing with so many details. Thank you Tar Heel Ants! Believe me this won't be the last time purchasing from you guys. I can't wait until my lasius niger colony to grow so I can buy the nucleus formicarium! Haha.

Joe Y., Georgia, U.S.A., May 2015


“I wanted to thank you for your exceptional customer service.  We received the package in time for our son’s birthday and the birthday card is proudly displayed in our kitchen – so thoughtful!  Also, the products are superb, so meticulously crafted and well thought out.  I appreciate what you have created and I know it is a labor of love.  We enjoyed reading the story about how you got started and when we see the formicarium – we feel a connection from our place to yours. 

We’ll send you a photo if we are fortunate enough to get a colony started.” 

Best regards,

Laurie (de Jong)


​I have always been interested in ants. I can remember, in days of old, watching captured workers tunneling in an old ice cream container that I had filled with sand. The one thing wrong with it, is that they kept dying. I later learned that you needed a queen ant for a truly successful colony of ants.  So, naturally, I would want raise a true colony.​ I would fail miserably. Then I came across Tar Heel Ants, and ordered a Piece of Haven. I would give it a try. I was hugely impressed by the quality and looks of the formicarium. The customer service was (and is) great. It was well packaged, and it came in quick. I can imagine my colony thanking me for such an amazing home, and I in turn thank Tar Heel Ants. If I had to give them a rating out of 10, I'd go with twenty.

Jason L., Crystal River, Florida. 2015.


 I got the ant nest, The casita. Omg it’s amazing. Thank you soo much.. I like the view that it offers.. Love the small cute size of this nest. And how easy it is to clean it and is just very portable!!      Again thanks so much 

Rasiel Diaz, Florida, April, 2015


Tar Heel Ants has the best service and amazing products.  Even with the website down in early May, Mack still helped me order a Longhouse formicarium.  This is the Best place for your ant's needs! My Camponotus floridanus colony did amazing in the both the Talus and the Greater Talus thanks to Tar Heel Ants great work.  The water tower in both formicaria helped me maintain humidity tremendously.  My ants were very comfortable in both formicarium and I liked how the chambers were made.  Now I am upgrading to a Longhouse because they are running out of room!  Customer service was amazing as always.  This is the Best place for your ant's needs! Thank you, Mack!

Bryce Laplante, Florida, May 2015


I thought you would like to know that my A. occidentalis colony is now happily living in one of the chambers of the Tar Heel Ants formicarium. On Saturday night, I connected their old dried up test tube to the new nest using tubing. I shown multiple bright lights on the test tube and covered the nest with a post card to ensure complete darkness. I also moistened the nest interior in several locations. By early morning, without any additional encouragement from me, the entire colony, including queen and brood, had settled in one of the wetter chambers of the new formicarium. This is one of the fastest ant colony relocations I have ever observed in captivity. I am also happy to say that workers began exploring the Tar Heel Ants foraging arena very quickly after the move. It didn't take them long at all to find the piece of cricket I had left in there and drag it back to the nest. The whole unit (formicarium and outworld) is a splendid work of art and design. It far surpasses anything else of its kind that I have bought or constructed. 

Conor Kimball, Fort Collins, Colorado



Tar Heel Ants has great products and outstanding customer service! Two thumbs up!

Derek Wheeler, Grand Prairie, Texas


Hello there, I got home this morning from my vacation and the package is the first thing I opened/unpacked. Everything looks wonderful and it took my colony literally 10 minutes to completely move in. They decided to go to the top level of the inn. The out world looks really good and clean and everything is better than anything I could create. Thanks so much for everything.

Kyle Grinestaff, Leola, Pennsylvania


You can tell Mack has put a lot of effort in the products he makes. The quality is top notch. I am not only amazed by the product but by Mack himself as he provides great customer service. This is what had sealed the deal. I had purchased a formicarium (design and colors of my choice), a few test tubes and a tube connector. The process was fast and simple, with Mack answering ALL the questions I had in a little as a day. I can guarantee that my ants love the formicarium more than I do. 10/10


- Ryan Ardley, Queensland, Australia



Tar Heel Ants is simply the best store for ant-related goods. In the past, I have created my own formicaria and have ordered from various suppliers. Despite owning nests from five other companies, my last six formicaria have all been from Tar Heel Ants. Mack, like the rest of us, is an ant lover. He caters his products to exactly what you need. If you are new to the hobby or are unsure of what you require, he always has suggestions or will ask various questions to determine the exact item you are looking for. If you are an amateur myrmecologist and know the types of ants you wish to keep but don’t know what would fit them best, Mack will go out of his way to perform the research necessary to create something that will accommodate your genus and species. Even if you research ants for a living, he can provide you with naturalistic settings for your studies. I have ordered products that fit all three of the above categories and I couldn’t be happier with my purchases. Mack’s customer service and quality control are second-to-none. If you are unhappy with a purchase, you can simply contact him and he will take care of it. If you have any suggestions for future products or for improvements on his current designs, he is always open to suggestions. We have had over one hundred correspondences now; most of which involve discussions about how to fine-tune his nests and how to promote the hobby of ant keeping. His store exists for the sole purpose of making the hobby we all love accessible to new demographics. His passion for ants and his willingness to help newcomers makes him a great asset to the community.

- Chao Qi, Los Angeles, CA


"I have purchased a formicarium from Tar Heel Ants, and I am very pleased with the quality and the craftsmanship. Several friends have seen it and are now considering purchasing some for themselves. I couldn't be happier with this product and I would recommend it to anyone in a heartbeat. Thank you Tar Heel Ants for a fine product."

-Robert Slattery, Raleigh, NC


My Roommate owns a farm and he loves it. Whenever we asked a question about the farm itself, or tips on finding ants in a busy city like ours, we got our answers quickly and they were very well detailed. We've spent countless hours looking at our queen and it's all thanks to Tar Heel Ants!


Robert Dote

New York, New York


“Hello, I bought a Dueling Formicarium about a year ago for my Messor barbarus colony consisting of about 20 workers and a queen at the time. I put them in the small chamber and closed off the bigger one with cotton. Before long i had to open the bigger chamber up for them and they continue to thrive, they are about 200 strong with majors and minors. I am in need of a bigger tank!”

Brandon Mikec. Pennsylvania, U.S.A. December 2014.


The formicaria came in today and they are beautiful! Everything is perfect! Thanks again. I will definitely order from you in the future. Can't wait to see my colonies grow in them.

Phil, August 2014, U.S.A


“I am currently keeping 6 queens of different species in Growth Chambers.  2 Pheidole sp., 1 Aphaenogaster sp., 3 unknown.   I caught all of them the same morning in mid-July.  After only a couple of days of being in their Growth Chambers they all had a pile of eggs.   I like using the Growth Chambers over a test tube because they are stackable, which comes in handy since my 'ant area' is fairly small.  I also prefer them for the simple fact that test tubes can break fairly easily and I was always worried about them rolling and disturbing the queen and her brood.  Growth Chambers are also better for long time periods since they can be repeatedly watered to satisfy the ants rather than having to change test tubes when one dries up.   I love all my products from Tar Heel Ants and I wouldn't use anything else for my ants.

Tyler, Arkansas, U.S.A. July 2014


“I have to say- my mother was worried about me having multiple formicarium out on my desk for all to see but when the mini pinnacle came in today she unabashedly called it a work of art. I think it's a little more aesthetically pleasing than the gel ant farms I've had in the past. Haha! And by a little more I mean 1,000 times more. What you do IS art!”

Chelsea, July 2014, U.S.A.


“The Formicarium just arrived - just in time too as I am leaving to the airport for the world cup today! The colony took to their new home almost immediately - took less than 1 hour for everyone to move! Actually some of the larger ants were carrying the smaller ones all the way to the new one as if to tell them "this is where you live now!". 

I'm off now - but thank you again for another job well done. I'm sure i'll be purchasing soon again!” Best regards Mitchell, United Kingdom, 2014.


“I am very satisfied with the formicarium. Thanks!”

Dylan, January 2014.