Ants are some of the most common pests you will find, no matter where you live on this planet. There are more than 12,000 known species of ant on our planet and you can expect a few hundred in any state.
When they are invading your home, you don’t really care much about the species, you just want them gone. Once you have called Earthwise Pest Management, your pest control company in Sacramento, and your ant infestation is under control, you might want to learn about these fascinating insects.
Ants are generally thought of as just a nuisance and famed picnic ruiners, but they are pretty interesting. Here are a few facts about ants.
What Ants Eat
Most ants are generalist predators, omnivorous and scavengers. They will eat fungi, seeds, nectar and other invertebrates. Some species are carnivorous hunters and they will eat everything from spiders to worms to lizards.
Ant Life Cycle
From egg to adult, ants can live anywhere from several weeks to a few months. Of course, this depends greatly on the environment and species. The life cycle of ants depends on the caste as well.
A male ant may only live a few weeks and will die after mating. Worker ants can survive for a few months. Queens, however, can live for decades in the proper conditions.
How Ants Communicate
Ants communicate through sounds, touch and pheromones. Like other insects, ants are able to perceive scent with their antennae.
Ants leave pheromone trails along the paths they travel so that other ants can follow them, mostly to a food source. Pheromones are used to convey other messages as well. For example, a crushed ant will release alarm pheromones and send nearby ants into an attack frenzy.
Ants are Super Strong
It is not uncommon to see an ant carry a breadcrumb or other type of food on its back and carry it for a great distance. This is how the colony is fed and this feat is sheer amazement. Ants are tiny, light creatures, yet they can carry 50 times their body weight. That would be like you picking up a Ford F150 and carrying it across California.
Ants Help Us
Ants are often considered pests, but their contribution to our ecosystem is tremendous. Ants benefit ecosystems by pollinating plants, dispersing seeds and improving the quality of soil.
Fire Ants Cause Damage
Fire ants are little, but they can do a whole lot of damage. These little critters have a very painful bite. But what is worse are the veterinary and medical bills associated with fire ants as they run in the millions every year.
Generally speaking, ants don’t fly. The queen has wings, but they fall off after mating. Males have wings, but they die after mating. You will, however, see swarms of flying ants during the summer months when it is mating season.
Whether you are fascinated by ants or think of them as pests, it isn’t any fun when they find their way into your home. If you have an ant infestation, call Earthwise Pest Management.