This time a year I get many calls for ants. These tiny insects terrorize homeowners and can cause actual damage to your home. Some of these insects actually bite and can cause allergic reactions in your loved ones. Ants are an important part of the ecosystem, but if they find themselves in a place where they are hazard to us, then as a pest, we have to get rid of them. Let’s talk about ants, how they work and how to get rid of them.
ANTS AND THEIR COLONIES
Ants are a part of the family Hymenoptera. This is a family of insects that contain bees, wasps and other insects like this. These insects come in many varieties, and number easily in the millions. They are a colony insect. Because of this, they have many individuals in their colony. The hierarchy starts with the queen. The queen is in charge of laying all the eggs for the colony. She will be the longest living of all the ants. Most of the eggs that she lays will be workers. Worker ants are sterile females that will do most of the menial work for the colony. They will forage for food, build the nest, throw out trash, feed the queen and the larva and other menial task.
TYPES OF ANTS
Soldier ants are also a part of the colony. These are usually larger ones that protect the colony from invaders and predators. Often they will have to sacrifice themselves for the betterment of the colony. And finally the reproductives are present as well. These are male and female ants that will eventually go off to create new colonies. Ants come in many species. In Oklahoma we have a lot of different species of these tiny creatures. Pyramid ants are one of those species. They are called this because they tend to build their mounds large and in almost a cone shape. Pharaoh ants are much the same. These both these ants are outdoor ants. Call your Tulsa exterminator for help.
The thief ant will create its colony very close to the colony of the pharaoh ants. It gets its name from the fact that it will act like a pharaoh ants and go into the pharaoh ant colony, retrieving a larva. It will carry the larva back to its colony where it will feed the lava to its colony. Ants use pheromones to identify themselves to one another, and communicate. The thief ant will use those pheromone signals against the pharaoh ant by mimicking their scent.
Pheromones are hormones that are detected by smell. The ant has one of the best senses of smell in the insect kingdom. They use pheromones to do all sorts of things. One of the ways the queen stays in charge, is by emitting pheromones. The workers are sterile females because they sensed the pheromone of the queen. If the queen dies, this pheromone is no longer present. At this point, these females will suddenly become reproductive. A fight ensues, and one female will kill the other reproductive females and reign supreme. Your Broken Arrow exterminator will have more information.
This female will begin secreting it’s own pheromone and start reproducing in the colony. This puts all the other workers back into a sterile state. This has the effects, in many species, of splintering colonies. If a number of workers is somehow separated from the colony, they will no longer have access to that pheromone. The females will become reproductive, and one will become queen. Now you’ll have two queens that will each parent their own colony. In this way the colony is splintered from one colony into two.
Ants use pheromones to describe where they found food. They will leave a pheromone trail as they forage. If two ants find the same food but one goes a longer distance, then it will take longer for that ant to get back to the colony. The next ant that goes back to the food will search out the stronger pheromone scent. Over time, these pheromone trails will start to weaken. Every time that a new ant goes over that pheromone sent, it will drop it a new pheromone scent strengthening the trail. Over time, fewer and fewer ants will go the long way and more and more ants will go the short way. In this way they will make the most efficient use of their time. Contact your Tulsa pest control company for help with these insects.
Ants often use gaps and cracks in the home in order to get inside. They will use air holes in bricks to enter. These holes are left there by the builder in order to let the foundation breathe. They allow for expansion and contraction in the heat and cold. But they can also allow small insects to make their way inside. Also, windows sometimes have caulking that wears out. This caulking will weaken over time causing gaps and holes in windowsills allowing ants to make their entrance on the windowsill.
ELIMINATING ANTS FOR GOOD
These are areas that are important to keep an eye on if you’re having ants come into your home. Ants almost always enter a home when they are foraging for food. If they find food in your home, they will continue to come inside until the food they find is gone. And even after that, they will forage in the house again. It’s often that once they find a light snack they will come again and again into your home. It’s important to keep your house clean, clutter free and food cleaned up.
If you’re having an issue with ants or any other pets, it’s important to get help from your Broken Arrow pest control company. Here at TermMax Pest Control, we are the best at dealing with ants and ant issues. We service the greater Tulsa area including Bixby, Jenks, Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Prattville, Turley, Owasso, Claremore, Catoosa, Coweta, Broken Arrow and much more. Call today for a free estimate. We’re here to help!