What is an Ant?
Ants are social insects that have colony size ranges from a few dozen up to millions of individual. Ants are considered as superorganism as they operate as a unified entity working together to support the colony. Ants have a lot of species and vary in length, their size range from as small as 1.6mm up to 2cm. most species are Black, Red brown or yellow in color. Ants have 6 legs, an elbow antennae and a pair of large jaw that open and close like scissors.
Ants usually live in a structured nest of community located usually underground, in ground level mound or in trees. Some ants dont have a permanent home such as Army ants, army ants build a living nest using their bodies by holding into each other legs.
Ants are omnivorous, they eat almost anything such as fruit, plant, vegetable, seed, meat and other insect and dead animals.
(Wood ants nest)
Ant Life Cycle
Ants have 4 life cycles which are Egg, Larva, Pupal and Adult. Similar to termites Colony, only ant queen can produce eggs in a colony, there can be 1 or multiple ant queen in a colony depending on the ant species.
The adult ants are divided into worker, male and queen. Worker are female sterile ants that would take care of the egg until they become adult, they also do the harvesting of food and protect the colony from treats. Male ants are fertile who breed with the queen and Queen ants function is to lay eggs. Ants need between 6-12 weeks to complete its life cycle from egg to adult.
Only the queen ant is capable of reproducing in an ant colony. Depending on the ant species, there can be 1 queen who will be the mother of all ants in that colony, there are also some ant species who have hundred of fertile queen in their colony. An ant queen can lay up to a thousand on eggs per day.
Ant Infestation Risk
Most ant species are considered more of a nuisance than a pest and cause no health problems to humans. But there are also some species who can cause harm like fire ants and harvester ants who have powerful bites and poison stings which cause pain and sometimes disfigurement and death of people and animals when severely attached.
(bite from fire ants after coming in contact with a nest)
Carpenter ants can cause major structural damage in homes but they don’t eat wood like termites, they just tunnel through it to make a nest. Ants can make a nest almost everywhere but most nest are located underground or in a tree.
(Carpenter ants nesting inside wooden wall of a house)
Pharaoh ants which are known to spread diseases like Staphylococcus, Salmonella and Clostridium in hospitals.
(Pharaoh ant with a sugar crystal)
To prevent ants infestation, you will need to limit ants source of food inside your home.
Vacuum will help a lot in removing small food particles that ant usually eat.
Garbage should be taken out on a daily basis and wipe out any garbage residue. It’s also a good idea to wash your trashcan once in a while.
Keep in the refrigerator all food left over, open juice, soda and put on a vacuum sealed container all open food items such as bread, chips, cereal etc. and powder item such as sugar, powder juice, milk, etc.
Keep the kitchen clean especially the kitchen tables and cabinets from grease and food scrap and don’t leave your dirty dishes in the sink. Always consider cleaning areas under, behind and sides of appliances, stove and oven which are frequent habitat of cockroach.
Brick holes are covered with cement to stop ants from entering your property or creating a ant habitat inside the hole. Any small hole or gap inside and outside your home should be sealed properly.
Trim trees and plants away from your property. Plant and trees are one of ants natural habitat, if the plant or tree is directly
This advises will greatly reduce the ant population in your facility,
but if infestation cannot be managed anymore,
it’s time to call a Professional Pest Control Provider.