This time of year, your Tulsa exterminator has all sorts of calls about ants. While it is late in the season, usually these ants will have one last hurrah before settling in for the winter in their nests. Ants can be a prolific pest, and very troublesome for many homeowners. In this article, let’s take a good hard look at ants, how they function, their life cycle, and what you and your local Tulsa exterminator can do to stop them from invading your home.


Ants are eusocial insects. This means that they split the work in their colony up into castes in a caste system. Many individuals live together in a single colony, each taking up their own workload. The first and largest of these castes are the worker ants. These ants are always female. They are tasked with all the menial jobs of the colony, which includes foraging for food, harvesting food, feeding the other caste members and young, tending to the young, tending to the eggs, taking out the trash and many other things. These individuals are very important to the survival of the colony.

The next caste that we will find in the ant colony are the soldiers. These ants often are somewhat larger than the other ants, depending on their species. They have large mandibles and other mechanisms to fight and protect the colony. When the colony is breached by a predator, these insects come to life. They will run into the fray and fight to the death in order to protect the colony. In case of the big headed ant, these ants have much larger heads than their counterparts. During the summer months, the soldiers will stay fit and ready to protect the county from attackers. But those large heads also require much more food to survive. Because of this, the big headed ant will kill off all the soldiers when they go into the winter months. A new batch of soldiers will come in the spring when predators become available again.


Lastly, we have the reproductives. The reproductive caste is headed by the queen. The queen is tasked with the task of laying all the eggs required to keep the colony populated enough to maintain itself, and do all the things required to survive. Once she starts laying eggs, she will lay eggs all of her life from morning till evening without sleep. Other parts of the reproductive caste depend upon the type of ant that they are. Some ants use swarmers in order to reproduce their colonies. These ants will produce special reproductive ants that have wings. They will go and swarm outside the colony. In the swarm, males and females from different colonies will pair up and mate. Once they mate in mid air, they will find a place to land and create a new colony. This the colony will reproduce itself on a macro scale.

Other ant species use a process known as splintering to multiply their colonies. These ants use a special hormone known as a pheromone to communicate from the queen to the workers. pheromones are a smellable hormone that communicate different things between ants. In this case, when the workers are in contact with the pheromone from the queen, it tells them to remain sterile. As worker ants leave the colony and come back, sometimes they will get separated from the colony for long periods of time. If they are separated long enough, and don’t have access to the pheromone given off by the queen, then one of the workers will become reproductive and start producing her own pheromone. This worker will now become a new queen for a new colony, wherever they are trapped at. By this method, the colony will reproduce itself through its workers. Your Tulsa exterminator can stop that.  


Ants require a lot of different kinds of nutrients in order to survive. When the ants first hatched from the egg and they’re young, they need a lot of protein in order to develop and build the physical traits necessary to be a full grown ant. Often in these ants will hunt out other insects or other forms of protein in order to provide for their young. But once an ant becomes a fully grown adult, it does not need anywhere near as much protein. For instance, some ant species form rating parties to go and hunt out termites attacking their colony. They will carry off as many termites as they can, breaking them down and feeding them to their young.

As ants grow older and becomes an adult, they need less protein and more energy. This energy comes in the form of carbohydrates. Ants can find carbohydrates in many different places, but one of the most common is in the form of honeydew. Honeydew is produced by aphids. Aphids will feed upon the nectar of flowers and plants, and then as they pass the food from their bodies, there will be a high amount of sugar left over in their dung. This is honeydew. Some ants will actually heard aphids in order to protect the aphids in exchange for their honeydew which feeds their colony. this symbiotic relationship works very well for these guys advance. Call a reputable Tulsa exterminator to help.  


The leaf cutter ant also uses a symbiotic relationship in order to provide food for itself. It will go out and find plants and cut leaves from those plants. The ant bring the plants leaves back to the colony where it has a fungus farm inside the colony. The fungus feed off those leaves, creating a fungus that they can ants can eat. The symbiotic relationship allows them to survive.

If you’re having an issue with ants or any other pest, it’s time to call in a professional Tulsa exterminator that you can trust. He at TermMax Pest Control, we are the best in the business when it comes to dealing with ants or any other pests. We service the greater Tulsa area, including Turley, Owasso, Broken Arrow, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Prattville, Jenks, Bixby, Claremore, Catoosa, Coweta and much more. Call today for a free estimate. We’re here to help!

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