Ants and Info

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When I spot an ant or an ant hill, or even worse several ants in the house, all I can think of is what a nuisance they are. Recently, I read an article on this insect and realized that for a tiny two to seven millimeters in length, they are quite interesting. It seems ants been around for over a million years and are found all over the world with the exception of Antarctica. There are approximately 12,000 – 14,000 species of ants that are currently known to the science world. They evolved from wasps around 120 million years ago or so. Some insects live in colonies and ants are one of them. The life span of an ant is short, only forty five to forty sixty days and some worker and may live longer. The queen ant may live up to 30 years and produce as many as 150 million workers. The queen sole purpose in life is to reproduce workers. The queen ant controls the sex of her off spring. She may copulate with many males within the short period. After that period she will not mate again but store sacks of sperm to be used as need throughout her life.
Pitcher of a black ant on a tree

A colony of ants has about two million insects and they consist of workers, male and female ants. Sometimes these colonies get so large that a male and female ant with wings fly away from a colony and starts a new one. After the queen lays her eggs in the new colony she loses her wings. A queen can generate thousands of ants in her life time.

Ants are generally predators scavenging and eating seeds, fruits, and other insects. These little insects can carry twenty times their own weight. Ants will travel approximately 700 feet from their nest and use sent trails to find their way back. Not all ants have the same society’s behavioral patterns; different ants from different parts of the world demonstrate different characteristics.
Picture of an ant on a black leaf

An ant colony really is amazing. It is very structured and everyone has a job. They have activities and a social class. Ants do different jobs and what work they do determines their color. For instance, an orange ant is certain species, takes care of the queen’s nursery and her new eggs, while yellow ants clean and maintain the mound. Ant colonies are kept very clean and they even have compartments for waste and dead ants. It is hard to believe what these little insects are capable of doing. Scientists say an ant’s brain has around two hundred fifty thousand cells. They have the largest brain of all insects. People have around ten million brain cells which would mean that an ant colony consisting of forty thousand ants equals one human. Another interesting fact is that the weight of all ants in the world compares to the weight of all people in the world.

It’s a good thing that there are products available with natural ingredients to control and get rid of ants and other hardy insects, like bed bugs, that can end up in your home and cause a real problem not to mention the danger of ant mounds and humans.

By: Bradley Skierkowski