The Butterfly & Nature Gift Store is one of the best online sources for live animal kits and science gifts and winner of our TopTenREVIEWS Silver Award. With a wide selection of ant farms and the option of ordering the ants simultaneously, this site is one of the most hassle-free ant farm stores available. The website is simple and lacks the bells and whistles of some of the other toy store sites, partly because the site’s product selection is narrowly focused on live animal and plant gifts. Nonetheless, when shopping for an ant farm, this store is one of the best options.
In recognition of its great products and its inviting website, we’ve ranked this site among the best ant farm stores.
Butterfly & Nature Gift Store carries a fairly complete line of ant farms, including sand kits and gel kits. Within the gel kits, there are green and blue color options and one type of farm with a lighted LED base that shines through the gel to allow for an impressively clear view of the ants as they build and maintain their tunnels.
The Butterfly & Nature Gift Store has an advantage over other ant farm stores because they sell ants directly. All kits come with a coupon or a certificate for ordering ants from the manufacturer, but this site offers the unusual ability to order the ants along with the kit so they will arrive at or near the same time.
This is the only site surveyed that actually stocks the live ants themselves, not merely brokering them through another company. They guarantee that your ants will arrive alive or you will be able to request free replacements. If you wish, you still have the option to wait and use the enclosed certificate to order your ants from the manufacturer of your ant farm. This might be preferable if you aren’t sure the ant farm will be set up right away or if you want to take advantage of whatever discount is offered by the certificate.
With some companies, the live ant certificate entitles you to free ants (you only pay shipping) included in the price of the farm; with other companies, the certificate is more like a coupon and just gets you a discounted price on the ants. Once your ants have all expired (usually within 1-6 months), you can order more ants at the regular price.
Collecting Your Own Ants
Of course, you have the option of collecting your own ants from outside, but it is not recommended that you mix native ants with mail-order ants, or that you mix more than one variety of ant in a farm at any one time. If you collect your own ants, make sure they are big enough that they won’t escape through the ventilation holes in your farm. Most farms come with a tool for removing dead ants from the farm and for starting tunnels, and this tool can be used to collect ants from outdoors.
This site’s products are almost all animal- or plant-related. With a full line of live animal kits and a wealth of animal-themed art and gifts, this site is a great source for gifts for animal and science lovers young and old.
One unique item offered by this site alone is called a “butterfly release.” Normally used for weddings, a butterfly release is a box (or several boxes) of live butterflies that can be released en masse for a stunning photo opportunity and to commemorate the happy couple’s new union. Few events could make a wedding more memorable than a butterfly release. The site contains a wealth of information about how butterfly releases work and how you will need to handle the butterflies.
Among the other live animal kits and habitats, there are numerous options including but not limited to a ladybug farm, a worm farm and of course, a few different types of butterfly observation kits. Some of the kits are meant to become habitats, while others require you to release the animals once they have reached maturity.
The site also offers a selection of animal habitats for animals like birds, bats and toads that are already living around your home and garden. By providing shelter for these critters, you’ll encourage them to hang around more and eat garden pests. It’s a win-win situation!
The Butterfly & Nature Gift Store has a well-suited website for the products it sells. While there are no options for searching by price, brand or child age, those options aren’t necessary when shopping for this type of product. The categorization of products by theme is more than sufficient to allow shoppers to find and browse the right areas of the site. Because the product selection is fairly narrow and focused only on animal and nature gifts, it doesn’t take long to browse the entire store one category at a time. For shopping in a rush, there is a search function that will take you to a certain type of product instantly.
Another helpful feature of the site is the “About Our Butterflies” section, which contains a bunch of articles about butterfly farming, butterfly kits and butterfly ecology. As some shoppers might feel misgivings about buying some of these products (such as the real, mounted and framed butterfly art), the site offers explanations about farming practices (the butterflies used for the art have died of natural causes) and its positive effect on ecology.
Customer service is available by email or phone. Our customer service request was answered within one hour even though it was on a weekend, so we’ve concluded that the email method is effective even for an urgent request.
The Butterfly & Nature Gift Store is a great source for ant farms and other live animal gifts. The selection of ant farms is very good and the live ant purchase terms are excellent, offering the most options and the easiest ordering methods possible. While the website is fairly basic, it suits the product selection perfectly and we found it to be more than sufficient. The helpful information about butterflies is a bonus for anyone who is concerned about the ecological soundness of live animal gifts. The customer service is quick, friendly and helpful. Overall we were very impressed with this site and we happily awarded it a top spot on our list of the best ant farm stores.
This site sells ants directly, so they can be shipped along with your farm.
The website offers very few options for browsing or narrowing your search.
This site is a great place to buy ant farms and other animal kits, especially live butterfly kits and real butterfly art.