Ant Control: Facts & Identification
Ant control can be very difficult to eradicate in our home, but there are a few things that you should know about how ants’ behavior can lead to big headaches for you and your home:
- Entry: Ants can enter through even the tiniest of cracks, seeking water and greasy or sweet food substances in our kitchens as well as other parts of the home
- Scent trails: Ants leave an invisible chemical trail which contains pheromones for other ants to follow once they locate the food source
- Nest locations: They can nest in just about any area around your home which can include the lawn, in the walls and in the foundation as well
- Colony size: Colonies have been to seen to have 300,000 to 500,000 ants in them and whole colonies can uproot and relocate quickly when threatened
- Colony Lifetime: A colony can live a relatively long lifetime. Worker ants may live seven years, and the queen may live as long as 15 years
Do-it-yourself ineffectiveness: Most do-it-yourself ant control processes kill only the ants you see. It is only truly effective treatments that can penetrate and destroy nests to help prevent these pests from returning. Also, home remedies do not supply the different types of treatments needed to remedy different types of ant infestations that can occur.
Ant Life Cycle
The ant life cycle has four very distinct and different life stages: egg, larvae, pupae and adult. This is known as a complete metamorphosis. It generally takes from several weeks to several months to complete the entire life cycle, depending upon the each ant species and the environmental factors.
Female ant that successfully mates with a male ant will become a queen ant that will lay eggs. Fertile queen select a dark and sheltered place to begin a nest (colony) and begin laying eggs. Ant eggs are very small they are usually only about a half of a millimeter in diameter. The eggs are also oval, white and transparent.
After about 1-2 weeks in the egg stage, a insect like, legless ant larvae hatches. This stage has a very healthy appetite, and the adult ants spend much of their time feeding the larvae with food and liquid that they digest and regurgitate.
After the larvae sheds their layers, they change into the pupal stage. Pupae appear somewhat like adults except their legs and antennae are folded and pressed against the pupal body. Initially, ant pupae are usually white, but slowly become darker in color as they age. Depending upon the ant species, the pupae will be housed in a protective cocoon
Once the pupal stage is complete, the adult ant comes to life. At the time of emergence from the cocoon, the adult ant is fully grown, but darkens in color as it ages. Adult ants are one of three different colony casts; queens, workers or males. Queen Ants are fertile females that lay all the eggs in a colony. Workers ants are females that do not reproduce, but do gather food and feed the larvae as well as maintain and clean the nest. Worker Ants are wingless and it is the worker stage that is seen looking around for food or defending the colony from intruders. The male have wings but their only job is to mate with the queens during the swarming process.
If you do not get professional treatment, new groups of ants can
invade your property again from the outside.
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