As a child in California I always loved ants. Now as an adult I want to pass that love on to my daughter. The problem is you can't get ants shipped here and every attempt to catch them wild has failed! Is there any program breeding them or groups authorized to import them?
Because of restrictions by the Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA), it isn’t possible to legally import Pogonomyrmex barbatus, the species of ants sold for use in a child’s ant farm. But perhaps you might consider rearing any of a number of alternative insects or small creatures, all of which can be quite interesting. You might even consider starting a worm bin which will have the side benefit of providing compost for your garden.
To assist in your chosen project, explore these and other websites featuring insect education for kids; you may need to sort through them to locate materials suitable for your child’s age:
- How to rear a Carolina mantid
- The University of Florida 4-H bug club
- “Bug Hunter; A Guide for Collecting, Preserving and Displaying Insects and Other Arthropods”
- Orkin's Science Education for Kids & teachers
Now and then, you might also plan to visit the Insect Zoo, which is one of the many displays at the nearby Oregon Zoo in Washington Park.
Good luck and have fun!