All About Ants
Ever wondered why ants do not seem to vanish from your sight? No matter how many you capture, wash off, or crush with your fingers, their numbers just seem to get stronger. Well, no matter what you do, ants are here to stay. There are actually 10,000 species of ants all over the world. The ants that you see in your Lake Norman home aren't even the tip of the iceberg.
Do not confuse ants with termites. Ants’ waists are narrow, while the termites’ waists are not. Ants’ heads are large with antennae and powerful jaws.
They form colonies that range in size from a few dozen individuals to a highly organized colony consisting of millions of ants. Each colony has one queen and plenty of fertile males.
The only function in the life of the queen is to lay as many eggs as possible to ensure the survival of her colony. For the male ants, they too have only one role: to mate with the queen.
The ant workers are actually sterile female wingless ants. They perform many tasks: are the ones who feed the colony by looking for food; they care for the young; care for the young, and protect the colony.
Ants have four stages of development: egg, larva, pupae, adult. The eggs are so small you can only see them through a microscope. They also vary in shape: spherical, elliptical, or cylindrical. When the egg hatches, it produces a larva. The pupa is a much smaller version of the adult, but has no ways or means to move around. The adult ant is what we commonly see.
Ants are usually attracted to sweets. They eat nectar, fungus, seeds, and insects. There are some species that have different food preferences. Army ants, for example, eat anything alive that crosses their path, be it insects, birds, frogs, lizards, and even some small mammals.
Ants As Pests
Ants can be considered pests when they start to intrude on your private space. They can, in fact, do more structural damages to your home than termites. They feed on your food and are definitely eyesores to an otherwise beautiful house.
Here are a few things you can do to get rid of ants in your home:
Seal off cracks and openings. Caulking cracks and crevices make it impossible for the ants to get in your homes.
Put your food inside sealed containers. Ants have scouts that are constantly looking for your food so be vigilant. If you remove their food source, then there is no reason for them to go inside your house.
Use ant baits. This is a key tool for managing ants. When an ant gets attracted to the bait, it signals the others to follow suit. When the ants return to their colon, it carries with it the poison which would eventually kill every ant in the nest.
Clean off food residue. Any food residue should be cleaned up whether on the table, floor, or the sink. Otherwise, the ants would feast on them.
Regularly throw away your garbage. Obviously, the trash can has a treasure trove of yummy treats for ants. Regularly dispose of your garbage so it will not attract ants.