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Army Ants Facts & Information

ants-in-kitchen

You're in the middle of preparing lunch, when you notice an ant moving across your plate. Suddenly, you see a whole trail of ants making their way across your countertop! 

Ants can invade a clean environment literally overnight. So far, there are over 22,000 varieties of ants recorded with 12,000 fully identified. It is estimated that there are 10,000 trillion ants worldwide, weighing more than all mankind. Ants are the number-one predator of other insects and are the principal scavengers of small dead animal bodies.

What Are Army Ants?

The army ant travels in very large numbers. Many colonies of these ants have around 1,000,000 in the colony. A good analogy of the method of attack is very similar to what mankind has done for centuries: a direct front movement using very large numbers. It is not uncommon for an attack of army ants to use over 200,000 in the attack. The best bet for anything in the path of the army ant attack is to get out of the way. Small animals do not have a chance. The perimeter of the army attack contains the specialists: the larger soldiers that have pinchers and will protect the flanks of the advancing army. Birds will actually follow behind the army and pick off insects as they attempt to get out the way. This army will kill small lizards, snakes and frogs if they fail to move out of the way. Small ponds and streams are not a problem: the army will morph into a large ball and cross the water.

Being on earth for over 140 million years one thing is certain: they outlasted dinosaurs and if we as humans fail the army ant will be here for many millions of years. I for one am happy that the army ant is not in the United States. Good thing: the army ant will move its nest in the never ending quest for food.

When the nest is not moving: watch out the queen is very busy laying eggs around the clock and when those eggs morph into soldiers and infertile workers the army will go in search of food.

The Ant Colony Hierarchy 

We like to think of ants as an army on a mission. Led by the queen, the army has colonels, majors, leutentiants, and all the way down to privates.  Highly organized, an ant colony has a few very important members: 

  • The queen, who can live as long as 30 years. 
  • The workers, infertile females who bring food to the queen. 
  • The drones, who fertilize the queen and die. 

How Ants Work and Survive

Twenty thousand strong, the army must search for food and water to survive. The queen sends out the workers to bring back locations of food. Ants leave an unseen trail called pheromones. Foragers bring food to the colony and feed the larvae from the stored food and leave a trail to be able to come back to the food!

Ants like to forage during the night to limit their chances of getting caught and their colony getting destroyed. Once found, the queen does not commit the army—commitment would risk death from the enemy: MAN. 

Why Do Ants Come Inside My Home?

One reason that ants come inside your home is because of the never-ending search for food and water. The ant leaves a trail for other ants to follow to the source of food and water. Swarming ants indicates that a new queen is searching for a new home.

Ants vs Termites

Ants and termites are often mistaken for each other. Ants and termites are very different; but, today we will explore ants from the practical side: getting rid of ants through a qualified pest control company.

Solutions to Ant Problems

Researchers have studied and re-studied ants since forever! The researchers have found one extremely important fact: ants forage feed other ants. This fact is being used to destroy the queen and her army. If we can develop products that will eliminate ants through what ants perceive to be food and make that food eliminate many ants through ingestion or other means; we can eliminate the ants in your home.

At Blades of Green, we use products here at our pest control company to entice the ant to ingest the product, carry the product and infect many of the ants by transfer. Often the product will eliminate 98% of the colony within 24-48 hours! If the queen lives, she will get the message and relocate. By keeping a cleaner house, plugging as many entrances into the home that the ant would use, spraying the exterior of the home and placing bait for the workers to take back to the headquarters we can control the situation. We will never eliminate ants; there are just too many ants!! But we can control the ants in your home.

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