There are all sorts of ants that can infest your home or business. These creatures range from grotesque to downright dangerous, and preventing a single ant can be a key step toward thwarting a full-on invasion. Knowing a little bit more about these insects can help aid your prevention efforts. Otherwise, consider contacting an ant control or pest removal specialist to ensure you are safe from these pesky bugs.
Ants are impressively strong
It's no secret that ants are among nature's most impressive creatures, and the Smithsonian stated that an individual can carry between 10 and 50 times its own body weight. Likewise, an ant can cover nearly 800 times its body length in a single minute. It's this remarkable strength that make ants so effective at clearing out a picnic basket or kitchen cupboard.
This is key for anyone who owns a home or business, because left over food waste will likely attract dozens of ants. Working together, these insects can make short work of leftovers or crumbs, even if their nest is many meters away.
They use smell to navigate and communicate
Ants have incredible senses, including a highly developed sense of smell. As social insects, they use a variety of pheromones and other chemical markers to communicate with one another about food, danger and other helpful information. This is so effective that some species of ants can distinguish between individuals using smell, as well as send detailed messages related to specific dangers or concerns.
An ant may lay down a trail of chemicals to lead others into your home or business. By cleaning floors and countertops every day, you can not only wipe away any lines of communications for ants but also confuse the insects by introducing new, powerful smells.
Queens can live for many years
Most ants live in complex colonies centered around a single queen. This individual is the only ant that breeds, and thousands of individuals may work together to defend a single queen. The lifespan of queens may be many years, meaning that simply getting rid of the ants you find on your kitchen floor or countertops will do little to eliminate the colony. If your ant infestation appears to be severe enough, it may be worth investigating where the queen is living. Otherwise, you could be dealing with unwanted pests for weeks or months on end.
Winter temperatures may exacerbate an ant infestation
Cold weather is a major problem for insects living in the northern parts of the country, but opportunistic species will look for ways to use human structures to stave off bitter temperatures. For that reason, unsealed openings may provide a safe haven for insects and other pests as fall turns to winter.
Even with heated homes, insects may lay mostly dormant throughout the winter months. That being said, protection from the elements and predators indoors creates the perfect opportunity for insects to breed, leading to big outbreaks in the early spring.
There are 10,000 known species around the world
Not only are ants among the oldest and most diverse creatures on the planet, but in recent memory new species have been able to spread across the world thanks to human activities. These invasive species create even more headaches for home and business owners, often necessitating the help of pest removal professionals.
io9 found that the red imported fire ant and the tawny crazy ant are both examples of invasive ants that are causing all sorts of problems in the Southern U.S. Not only are they out-competing native insects and other creatures, but these can deliver painful or even dangerous bites to humans. The tawny crazy ants, for example, can disrupt electrical wires and use chemical defense systems to irritate competing bugs and people alike.
Abell Pest Control is a family owned Canadian company dedicated to providing effective, professional and courteous service in pest management.Started in 1924 with one office, Abell now employs several hundred people with branch offices across Canada and the United States.