Every spring we here at TermMax Pest Control get call after call for houses that have been severely attacked by ants. Ants are an insect that can be pretty much found all across the world. They invade everybody’s home at one point or another. But what can you do to stop them from doing this? Do we have any answers that would work? In this article we’re going to explore what you can do to deal with these insects, how they work, their lifecycle and ways of preventing them from invading your home.
ANTS THE EUSOCIAL INSECT
Ants are eusocial insects. This means that they group together in a hive like environment. They have a caste system in which all the individuals work together towards the common good of the entire colony. At the top of the cast system are the reproductive‘s. These insects are responsible for creating the mass numbers of insects that it takes to run the colony. At the top is the queen. The queen lays all of the eggs for the colony. Reproductive’s also have a male counterpart ant and swarmers in many cases. This depends upon the type of ant and how they reproduce. Some colonies use Swarmers. These are flying ants that will go out and find other swarmers of the same species, mate and create a new colony. This is the method that also termites use to create new colonies.
The next part of the cast system are the soldiers. These ants are specifically designed to protect the colony. Often they have large mandibles, muscular heads and other ways of protecting the colony. At the bottom of the caste system are the workers. These are all sterile females that do the grunt work of the colony. They tend to the eggs, clean out the nest, search for food and many other things that are required for the day-to-day workings of the colony. In some species, when the workers are separated from their colony they will activate and become queens and create a new nest. This is called splintering. Not every species of ant can do this, but there are some the can.
WHAT ANTS EAT
Ants are varied in what they consume and eat. In a lot of cases, honeydew is a very common food for these insects. Honeydew is the droppings of aphids. Aphids will consume nectar from plants and then pass on the sugary materials in their dung. This dung is called honeydew and feeds a lot of other insects including ants. Some ants farm aphids. They actually will herd them and give them protection in return for the honeydew that they produce.
These insects also need protein to survive. Because of this, ants will often attack other insects in order to feed off of them. One of the main prey of ants are termites. Ants were will attack termite colonies carrying away eggs and fallen soldiers for food for their young. In many cases, the young ants need more protein whereas the adult ants need more carbohydrates. This is because protein helps in creating new bodily structures, while carbohydrates provide the energy that workers need to do their job.
Ants have developed interesting ways of finding and foraging for food. These insects use pheromone trails in order to find their way back-and-forth from a source of food. As worker ants leave the colony in search of food, they will leave a path of pheromones. This is a hormone that can be detected usually by smell. As they forage, they’ll find the food and then follow that pheromone trail back to the colony. Often other ants will have also found newer trails to the same food source. As the pheromone trails age they get weaker. So what happens is the longer the trail, the faster that pheromone trail ages. Because of this the shorter trails will stay stronger because more ants will use them in overtime they will find the shortest path to their food source.
Ants will often have a symbiotic relationship with their surroundings. The leaf cutter ant is a great example of this. Leaf cutter ants will go out into the forest and find plants with leaves and cut those leaves off. Then they will carry the piece of leaf back to their colony. It’s here in the colony that you’ll find a fungus that feeds off these leaves. This fungus provides food and sustenance for these insects, and the ants provide food and sustenance for the fungus. They also will protect the fungus giving it the ability to thrive. This symbiotic relationship is found often in nature and ants are no exception.
Ants can be persistent once they find a food supply. If they find a way into your house and find a source of food, it can be very difficult to discourage them from continuing to come into your home. Because of this it’s important that you protect your foods, especially sugary and fatty foods from being discovered by ants. Keeping sugars, flour and oils in sealable plastic containers can help. Many people think that they can plug up all the holes in their home in our effort to keep insects out. The problem is is that there are many holes in in the home that can’t be filled. Often, because of moving ground cracks and other things, cracks can develop in the foundation. Because of this, it’s important to call your Broken Arrow pest control company to help you take care of any issues that you may have with ants.
ELIMINATING ANTS IN YOUR HOME
Dealing with ants can be tough at best. If they’re found in your home or on the base of the outside of your home, it’s probably time to call the best Tulsa exterminator in the business. TermMax Pest Control is the best in the business. We service the greater Tulsa area including Coweta, Catoosa, Claremore, Broken Arrow, Sand Springs, Owasso, Jenks, Sapulpa, Prattville, Turley and much more. Call us today for a free estimate. We’re here to help!