Ants

Facts, Identification & Control of Ants

Latin Name for Ants

Family Formicidae

 

What do ants look like?

Adult ant species come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Generally, each ant belongs to one of three different colony castes: queens, workers, or males. Queens are fertile females that lay eggs. Workers are wingless females that gather food, feed larvae, maintain the nest, and defend the colony, but they do not reproduce. Male ants are winged and their only job is to mate with the queens.

 

How Do We Rid of Ants?

Every Greencare technician is trained to help manage ants and other similar pests. Since every building or home is different, your Greencare technician will design a unique pest control program for your specific situation. For example, we have a specific pest control solution for carpenter ants.

Keeping ants out of homes and buildings is an ongoing process, not a one-time event. Greencare’s comprehensive solution not only takes care of the problem at hand, but also includes continued monitoring to ensure the problem does not return.

Your Greencare technician will provide the right treatment to keep ants out of your home, or place of business.

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Did You Know

Most DIY ant control methods only kill the ants you see. More effective treatments can penetrate and destroy ant nests to prevent these pests from returning. Also, different types of ant infestations require different treatments – something that home treatments don’t account for.

Frequently Asked Questions About Ants

How Did I Get Ants?

Poor sanitation is the main cause of ant infestations. Leaving dirty dishes in the sink, food residue on kitchen tops, crumbs on the floor, and not emptying trash all provide food sources for ants. What starts with a few foragers entering a home can become a problem if ants establish colonies in walls, cracks, or crevices.

How Serious Are Ants?

Ants carry bacteria on their bodies, which spreads when they crawl in kitchens and across countertops. Only a few species are known to transmit diseases though.

Some species, like carpenter and fire ants, cause additional problems. A carpenter ant infestation can cause damage by chewing tunnels through wood beams. Fire ant stings that involve envenomation can cause pain and more serious symptoms that often result in allergic reactions.

What are the behaviors of ants?

These are some things you should know about ants’ behavior:

  • Entry: Ants can enter through the tiniest cracks, seeking food in the kitchen pantry or storeroom areas.
  • Scent Trails: Ants leave an invisible chemical trail that contains pheromones for other ants to follow once they locate food.
  • Nest Locations: Ants can nest just about anywhere in and around your house – in lawns, walls, cabinets, etc.
  • Colony Size: Colonies can number up to 300,000 to 500,000, and whole colonies can uproot and relocate quickly when threatened.
  • Colony Lifetime: A colony can live a relatively long lifetime. Worker ants may live for seven years, and the queen may live as long as 15 years.
  • DIY Effectiveness: Most do-it-yourself ant control solutions only treat the problem at a surface level. More effective treatments can penetrate and destroy nests to help prevent these pests from returning. But home remedies don’t account for the fact that different kinds of ant infestations require different treatments.

What's the Life Cycle of Ants Like?

The ant life cycle has four distinct and very different life stages: egg, larvae, pupae and adult. This is known as complete metamorphosis. It generally takes from several weeks to several months to complete the life cycle, depending upon the ant species and environmental factors.

Eggs

A female ant that successfully mates with a male ant will become a queen ant that lays eggs. Fertile queens select a sheltered place to begin a nest (colony) and begin laying eggs. Ant eggs are very small – only about a half of a millimeter in diameter. The eggs are also oval, white and transparent.

Larvae

After about 1-2 weeks in the egg stage, a grub-like, legless ant larvae hatches. This stage has a voracious appetite, and the adult ants spend much of their time feeding the larvae with food and liquids they digest and regurgitate.

Pupae

After the larvae molts and shed their skin, they change into the pupal stage. Pupae appear somewhat like adults except their legs and antennae are folded and pressed against the pupal body. Initially, ant pupae are usually white, but slowly become darker in color as they age. Depending upon the ant species, pupae may be housed in a protective cocoon.

Adult

Once the pupal stage is complete, the adult ant comes on the scene. At the time of emergence, the adult ant is fully grown, but darkens in color as it ages. Adult ants are one of three different colony castes; queens, workers or males. Queens are fertile females that lay all the eggs in a colony. Workers are females that do not reproduce, but do gather food; feed the larvae; and maintain and clean the nest. Workers are wingless, and it is the worker stage that is seen foraging around for food or defending the colony from intruders. The male ants are winged, but their only job is to mate with the queens during the swarming process.

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Samples: PKR Dormitory | PPT Lodge

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Common Pests

We know about pests and you can too. Visit our Pest Library for information on the habits and habitats of some of the most common pests, plus easy ways to control them.

Ants

Formicidae Farris

Bedbugs

Cimicidae

Cockroaches

Order Blattaria

Mosquitoes

Culicidae

Rodents

Order Rodentia

Termites

Isoptera

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