The world is full of myths and legends. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between these myths and facts. Ants have their share of myths and falsehoods that seem to follow them around. In this article, we will look at some of these myths, and some of the crazy facts that surround these interesting insects. For instance, will ants cross a chalk line? A chalk line will deter ants temporarily because it will mask the scent that they use to navigate. But ants always find a way.
Any dust or chalk can become a temporary barrier for a line of marching ants, because they use pheromones, or scent based hormones to navigate. The chalky powder will slow down this process, but ants will either move away the chalk from their path, or simply go through it until it wears away. Ants are extremely tenacious. There are some imported chalks from China that have pesticide in them specifically used for this purpose. These are illegal and very dangerous because the pesticides can be breathed in, and children can possibly inject them. Never use chalk pesticides for this purpose.
ANTS AND PEONY’S
Peony’s are the home for another ant myth. It is often believed that ants are required for a peony to bloom. This is simply not true. Let’s explore why…. Peony’s are one of the largest blooms in the plant kingdom. When they start to bud, ants can be found all over these buds. Once the flower opens, suddenly the ants are gone. From this, people have deduced that ants are required for this flower to bloom.
The truth is that these two organisms carry on a form of mutualism. Mutualism is where two different organisms work together to benefit each other. When the peony begins to bud, it produces green sepals around the bud. At the base of these sepals are nectaries that will produce the sugary nectar that ants love. The insects will begin feeding off of the nectar, and as they are very territorial, they will protect the food source from other insects. This allows the bud to come to full bloom without being attacked by other damaging insects. Once the flower blooms, the nectaries stop producing, and the ants go on to find other food sources.
Many myths that we have heard about ants are actually true. It has been said that one individual can lift up to fifty times their weight. Barbell freaks everywhere are envious. But this one is true. The reason for this is that their muscles are thicker relative to their body size. It gives worker ants the ability to achieve massive amounts of work in their short life spans. The leaf cutter ant, for example will cut off sections of leaf for use in farming food. These leaf sections are much larger than they are, but they haul them quite easily.
There are an estimated ten thousand trillion ants worldwide. If you were able to take all of these and put them on a scale, you would find that they weigh about the same as the entire human race! That’s a lot of ants! These insects can be found on every continent except Antartica, which, considering the name, is a little ironic. There was once a nest of ants found in Argentina that was over 3,700 miles wide. It was found that 33 ant colonies had merged into a super colony. Call your Tulsa exterminator for more information.
WELL INTO OLD AGE…
Ants also get the award for the longest lifespan of an insect. Many insects can only survive for days, or even hours, but the queen of the Pogonomyrmex Owyheei can live up to thirty years. That’s a lot of egg laying! Social insects such as the ant often have queens that live for a very long time. Another ant, the Lasius niger, had a queen that lived just short of twenty nine years in captivity. And some termite queens can live up to twenty five years!
Ants have other records as well. The trap jaw ant has the fastest moving mandible of any insect. It can close its jaws at 140 miles per hour. This is roughly 2300 times faster than the blink of a human eye! These ants use these fast and powerful mandibles to clamp down on their prey. With ants like this around, you may be looking for pest control near me. We’re the ones to call!
AND THE MOST PAINFUL STING AWARD GOES TO…
The bullet ant… This ant has famously been found to be the most painful bite in the animal kingdom by many brave (or possibly stupid) you tubers. The sting of this insect is the current highest on the Schmidts sting pain index. Justin O. Schmidt, the creator of the pain index, described it as ”Walking over flaming charcoal with three inches of nails embedded in your heel”. The ant is called a bullet ant because it is said that the sting feels like you have been shot by a bullet. If you are looking for pest control Broken Arrow, or other Tulsa area places, call TermMax Pest Control today!
But bullet ants aren’t the only ant with a searing sting. The fire ant is much more common to the United States and also two species are found here in Oklahoma. These ants are responsible for over three billion dollars of damages. Most of these damages are in medical and veterinary bills. These ants also can damage crops in large numbers.
HOW TO GET RID OF ANTS
There are just as many myths about how to get rid of ants and any other subject surrounding this insect. There are many over the counter remedies and pesticides that may have a limited effect. But the best solution is to call in a professional Oklahoma exterminator to solve your problem. Here at TermMax Pest Control, we specialize in ants and many other kinds of insects. We service the greater Tulsa area including Sand Springs, Sapulpa, Pratville, Jenks, Bixby, Broken Arrow, Coweta, Claremore, Catoosa, Turley, Owasso and so much more. Call us today for a free estimate. We are here to help!