Pest Control

Animal Control

Controlling Spiders

Pigeon Control

Ant Control

Mouse Trap

Poisonous Snake

Rat Posion

Organic Pest Control

Squirrel Repellent

Pest Control Services

Raccoon Traps

Natural Pest Control

Mole Control

Garden Pest Control

Controlling Termites

Gopher Control

Skunk Smell Removal

Bat Control

Insect Control

Rabbit Control

Geese Control

Controlling Roaches

Vole Control

Non-poisonous Snake

Deer Control

Coyote Control

House Pest Control

Alligator Control

Porcupine Control


Ants

Ants are considered to be one of the most successful insects on earth. With over ten thousand different species of ant, they are highly adaptable creatures that are extremely difficult to control once they infest an area. Considered pests around the home due to their tendency to feed on and contaminate human food, create ugly mounds in lawns and infest and cause damage to structures. Some species of ant can inflict painful bites and stings. No species of ant feeds on or attacks fabrics, wood or leather, but depending on the species (particularly Carpenter ants) can cause as much or more damage to wood than a colony of termites.

Ant Identification

Ants can be identified from other insects largely because they have a narrow waist and have one or two joints between the thorax and the abdomen. Winged reproductive ants have four wings, the first pair being a good deal larger than the second. There may be some difficulty in determining whether your infestation is a termite or ant colony (termites are often called "white ants"). The following are distinctions between winged ants and winged termites:

Ants

  • Appear constricted or pinched at the line of the waist
  • Have elbowed or bent antennae
  • Wings to the front of an ant are much larger than those in the rear
  • Wings are transparent or brownish
  • Wings are firmly attached to the ant

Termites

  • Have no waist constriction
  • Antennae is straight and have a beaded appearance
  • Wings have equal shape and size
  • Wings are easily removed or sloughed off.

Ant Biology

Ants are social insects, meaning they live in colonies that typically have three castes, workers, queens and males. In ant biology, the queens and males are reproductives.

Worker Ants

In an ant colony, workers are sterile females. Workers seldom have wings and are constantly doing what their name implies--working. They construct, repair and defend the nest, and are also expected to feed and care for the rest of the colony including the young, the other adults and the queen.

Queen

The queen is usually winged until she first mates, at which time the wings are shed. The primary function of the queen is to reproduce, but in some species she will care for her first brood of workers until the colony's numbers increase. A queen can live and reproduce for many years and may be replaced eventually by a daughter queen.

Males

Males are typically winged and will retain those wings until death. The sole function of a male ant is to mate with an unfertilized female reproductive or queen. After fertilization occurs, the male dies. Once maturity is reached, males rarely remain with their original colony.

Life Cycles

All ants undergo complete metamorphosis, passing through four stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult.

Eggs are nearly microscopic in size and will hatch into a soft larvae. Completely helpless, having no legs, larvae are fed and cared for by worker ants who will do so with a process called trophallaxis. Trophallaxis means a worker will use regurgitated food that has been previously stored in its crop for communal storage. Pupa resembles an adult in shape, but it is soft, colorless and cannot move. It may take between six to eight weeks for an egg to develop into an adult ant.

Food and Diet

Most ants can and will eat most anything, but there are some species that have specialized tastes. For instance, carpenter ants prefer sugars, honeydew from aphids, dead and living insects, and meats. Crazy ants prefer sweets, proteins and other insects as well, while Fire ants also enjoy seeds and plants as a part of their diet.

All ant species use scouts in order to find food. When a worker/scout finds food, she will bring back a portion of it to the colony. They require water in order for colonies to survive, and will travel great distances in order to get it. Workers will bring the water back to the nest in their stomachs for the rest of the colony.

Prevention and Ant Control

Prevention is truly the best line of defense against the infestation of any pest insect. A thorough inspection of a home and yard can reveal potential infestation problems and possible solutions for the infestation.

Cleanliness is most defiantly the best tool in the prevention approach. Any food or food particles are a major attraction to ants. Cleaning up quickly and storing food in air tight containers is critical. It is also important to seek out and repair any moisture problems in the home. Check for condensation problems and leaks and have them rectified as quickly as possible.

Indoors, ants will nest in walls, behind baseboards and beneath the foundation of the house. Carpenters ants in particular will especially seek out decaying or moist wood and create galleries for nesting purposes. Smaller ant species can fit through the smallest cracks and holes in order to gain access to a home.

Ants that are typically considered as pests that can become household pests are Pharaoh Ants, Carpenter Ants, Argentine Ants, and Red Imported Fire Ants.


Pest Control - Interesting Facts

A house fly tastes with its feet, which are ten million times more sensitive to sugar than the human tongue.