An ant may be one of the smallest creatures that we may have come across. But if we do not pay attention to the behavior of ants, it could lead to some serious infestation problem at home. You can never know where can this types of ants enter your house, they need the tiniest cracks to gain access, and once inside they can keep multiplying and eating all your food.
Have you ever wondered how can ants find each other? Well, this is so because when they walk, they release a certain kind of chemical so that their fellow mates can easily follow their trail. The size of the colony can be anything between 3,00,000 to 5,00,000 and can relatively last for many years.
Although they can nest anywhere in your home, do not be surprised if you find them shifting base often. They can uproot colonies and relocate even at the slightest hint of danger. Their diet usually consists of honeydews and insects. But on infesting your home they could start eating your sweets and meats. There are more than 12000 species of ants found across the world.
Following are some common types of ants:
These ants are not really much of a nuisance, but they damage wood which might cause a nuisance. Also, if someone might disturb their colony, they could be bitten. Since they like moisture, you should make sure that all gutters, drains, and leakages are also looked into and cleaned regularly. Store your food in zip locks and airtight containers, so that they cannot feast on it.
Allegheny Mound Ant
Unlike other ants, these ants dig tunnels, and this, in turn, results in mounds, as the excavated soil is piled up, hence giving them this name. You can find these ants in the countryside as well as urban areas. Sometimes, these ants can damage trees and shrubs by spraying formic acid and chewing openings in the barks, while ultimately leads to the death of the tree. These ants are kind of wanderers, as the queen along with a contingent of workers leaves the colony in order to search for new nesting sites. On being disturbed even they leave a formic acid odor.
These ants are known as linepithema humile in Latin. They could be anything between 2.2 to 2.8mm, hence making them smaller than acrobat ants. This colony of ants usually has more than one queen, each one having the capability of laying up to 60 eggs daily and even the size of the colony is humungous. The Argentine male ants usually die after mating, and they are hatched from the unfertilized eggs. If a network of inter-connecting colonies does happen, this will lead to an infestation. These ants are generally persistent and give trouble to the homeowners, as the infestation can stay for many years.
The minor workers are like citizens, while the major workers are the soldiers who defend the colony. Bigheaded ants do not usually stay inside your home but could pay visits every now and then in search of food.
These ants are one of the largest species of ants. Called Camponotus spp they are usually black in color, but some of them may even be on the redder or yellower side. Like the Allegheny and they too like moist conditions to thrive.
These types of ants give out a lemony smell when crushed, hence giving them their name. Also, the workers are yellow (lemon color some could say) and are 4mm long, while the queens are usually double their size (8mm). This species of ants usually nest in wood which has been damaged by termites or fungus.
Many times their mound is mistaken for Allegheny ants. They are vicious creatures who sting any intruder repeatedly. Their diet consists of dead meat (which could have been killed them or not) as well as plants and small insects. The larvae are usually on a liquid diet until their third instar is complete. They prefer warmer climates for survival. The sting of a fire ant contains venom and is the most painful to humans sometimes being fatal. Fire ant colonies are usually quite deep under the ground and hence it is difficult to control their growth.
You are more likely to find them in an area laden with food, and their lifespan is comparatively less. This types of ants have a great survival instinct and are known to cause infestation indoors because of the same. You have to be careful as they are known to spread a number of diseases and scatter toxic substances, which could lead to more problems. It is always best to deal with them professionally.