Despite ants being the most common species of insect on the planet not many people know much about the way they live and their life cycle. So we’ve taken it upon ourselves to enlighten you and collate a blog full of little known facts about ants!
I said ants are the most common type of insect across the world- there are over 10,000 different species of ant, and it’s estimated that between 10 - 100 trillion individual ants live around the globe.
Ants inhabit every continent in the world excluding Antarctica and have been around since dinosaurs roamed the Earth. They’re impressively versatile insects that can conquer multiple climates and living conditions, but they’ll infest any location that has an appetising source of food. They’ll eat anything they can get their hands (or mandibles) on, but are most likely to be attracted to sugary foods. As a result, ants often find their way into houses and offices. While in the UK they aren’t commonly carriers of disease, they can contaminate food when they come into contact with it as their paths into buildings can be dirty, so they need to be removed if you find them.
Like bees, ants start their nests and colonies with a queen. Queen ants are mated flying ants and can actually work side-by-side to create new colonies. Mature flying ants interestingly breed mid-air, but all the males will shortly after die, with only a small percentage of females surviving. These impregnated females will then shed their wings and begin building their nest to lay the eggs. However, some female ants will look to existing nests and colonies to lay their nests, making their nests effectively immortal.
The eggs take between 1 and 2 weeks to hatch. Ant larvae are similar in appearance to maggots. For the first week after hatching, they begin to grow hook-like hairs. This enables the larvae to attach to one-and-other, making life for the worker ants easier when it comes to carrying them. After nearly two months of development, the larvae will become female ants if their egg was fertilised, or male ants if not. The worker ants are all sterile females. Their job is to take care of the young, feeding them regurgitated food. They also help the nest grow by digging new interconnecting tunnels. Fertile females will have wings, taking part in the aerial breeding, and can eventually become new queens. Males will always have wings and are only responsible for mating.
While ants exist in a variety of forms and species in the UK, they can usually be tackled in a similar manner. Once the queen ant is killed, the nest is likely to die away as new ants can’t be produced or nurtured.
If you have an issue with ants on your property then you can learn more on our website, or contact us now and Accurate Pest Control Management can come up with a solution.