Oklahoma has lots of different plants, animals and insects. We have a vast ecosystem to enjoy. One thing that most people don’t know is that we have more lakes than most states do. But in our ecosystem we have a number of insects that are can be nuisances. One of these insects are ants. Ants find a way to our homes and businesses and can mess up a lot of different things. In this article let’s take a look at ants, their lifecycle and how we can protect ourselves from them.
INDOOR VS OUTDOOR ANTS
Many people separate ants into two different kinds: indoor and outdoor ants. In Oklahoma, the majority of the types of ants that we have are outdoor ones. We see these insects making their way into our homes, they are either an indoor ant that is set up shop inside our house or an outdoor ant that’s found a food source in our house. When we have outdoor ants in our home, they’re going to find food, collect it and then bring it back to their nest outside of the home. They can make their way through gaps in the bricks or cracks and crevices developed in the foundation or any at number of other places where they can make their way in. Your Tulsa pest control company can help.
Indoor ants are much more specific. For the most part, we have one type of indoor ant in Oklahoma. This ant is the odorous house ant. It’s a small black ant that is unique in the fact that if you crush the ant, their remains have a slight odor to them. Many people describe it as a rotten coconut smell. These ants will build a colony inside of your home. Often then you’ll see them in your kitchen and bathroom searching for food and water. Odorous house ants are one of the ants that uses splintering in order to multiply their colony.
SPLINTERING ANT COLONIES
The way ants splinter is that the queen emits a special pheromone. This pheromone is a hormone that can be sensed by smell. The worker ants are all females and as long as they sense this pheromone they remain sterile. If they don’t have contact with the pheromone, then they will become reproductive and begin a new colony. So if a group of workers get separated from their home colony, one of the workers will become a reproductive queen and start a brand new colony. This is important because if you’re trying to get rid of ants, you want the fewest number of colonies possible. If you go to the store and you get a can of ant spray, the pesticide inside will be a repellent type spray. This repellent will kill ants on contact, but as you spray it around your house you will build barriers.
When ants come out of the colony later, they will sense this pesticide and go away from it. If you spray enough of this pesticide you can trap a set of ants inside a wall or cupboard space. Here they will continue to multiply and grow bigger. You can also separate a group of workers from the colony. If you do this, that group of insects will become reproductive and create a brand new colony. Now you have two colonies in your house instead of one making the problem worse. Because of this it’s important to contact your local Broken Arrow pest control company in order to help when you have issues.
Another type of ant that we see often in Oklahoma homes are carpenter ants. These ants range in size based on their role in their colony. They are usually black but can have some brown to them as well. The unique characteristic of these carpenter ants is that they will burrow into wood in order to create their nests. Because our homes are made of wood, this makes it a perfect situation for these insects to create their colony in the timbers in our homes. Not only does this give us a new way to be infested with ants, but it can also create a structural problem in your home. A reputable Tulsa exterminator is in the right person to call.
Ants develop using a complete metamorphosis. That means that the queen lays an egg that will eventually hatch. When it hatches a larva will emerge. This wormlike creature will be fed by the worker ants until it grows large enough to pupate. At this stage, the ant will cocoon itself and develop into the full adult ant. Once it comes out of its pupa, it will take its place in whatever caste it was chosen for.
THE CASTE SYSTEM
The castes that it belongs to could be a worker ant. These are the most numerous of all the castes. These work ants are tasked with forging for food, attending to the eggs and larva, digging out new parts of the colony, removing refuse and other menial tasks. These workers are all female. The next caste that the adult could be a part of is the soldier caste. These soldiers are tasked with protecting the colony if it’s ever invaded. In some cases these ants will also go in and attack other ant and termite colonies. They usually do this in attempt to capture prey to take back to the count to feed their own young.
Lastly that could be part of the reproductive caste. These are the Kings and Queens that are tasked with producing the eggs required to keep the population of the colony at the levels necessary. While most ant species have only one queen, some species have multiple queens.
If you’re having an issue with ants or any other pests, its time to call a Broken Arrow exterminator that you can trust. Here at TermMax Pest Control, we’re the best in the business when it comes to dealing with ants or any other pests. We service the greater Tulsa area including Broken Arrow, Sand Springs, Coweta, Claremore, Catoosa, Prattville, Bixby, Jenks, Sapulpa, Owasso, Turley and much more. Call today for a free estimate. We’re here to help!