Catching most of the collectible fauna in Animal Crossing is a straightforward process. If an unfamiliar butterfly floats by, for example, simply swing your net to capture it. If your inclination was correct, the game will indicate the new acquisition with a "Yes!" displayed before the groan-worthy pun that accompanies the butterfly in question. Likewise, while some can only be found under certain conditions, catching essentially all of the game's fish is as easy as casting your fishing rod in front of a shadow and hoping it's something you haven't seen yet. Some insects, however, break this pattern and require specific conditions to be met in order to appear whatsoever. Among these is the elusive ant.

Getting Ants To Appear In Your Village

Ants will only appear if there are rotting turnips outside in your village. First, to acquire a turnip, find Daisy Mae (the turnip vendor) on any Sunday morning before noon. Then, like any habitual turnip buyer would, cross your fingers and hope you're able to buy them for a reasonable price that day.

Turnips are sold in bundles of 10 and, like the game's various kinds of fruit, they can stack in quantities of 10. This means that any stack of turnips in your inventory actually contains 10 more turnips than the number indicates. If the number icon below a stack of turnips is a 3, for example, that signifies 30 turnips. This is important because getting turnips to rot requires receiving no resell value for said turnips, so do so with one stack of 10—worth somewhere in the ballpark of 1,000 Bells—and not with a stack of 100 worth around 10,000 Bells.


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To get your dropped turnips to rot, simply place them outside and wait until the following Sunday. This mechanic is intended to tank their resale value, giving meaning to the whole "stalk market" concept, but it also just so happens to also be the circumstance required to catch ants.

Capturing An Ant

Ants will quickly appear adjacent to a rotting turnip, crawling between it and a nearby ant hill. Simply swing your net so that it lands anywhere on the line of ants and you will capture one of them. If your net misses and scares them away, leave the screen. Most likely by the time you return, the ants will have reemerged and you can try again.

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