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11 Fascinating Facts About Ants

Ants are social insects that live in large colonies. These pests can be frustrating when they get into your house. Ants are among the most hardworking and organized insects in the world. But how much do you know about these fascinating creatures?

Here are a few facts about ants you probably didn’t know.

1. There are Over 12,000 Species of Ants

There are over 12,000 ant species in the world that have existed for over a hundred million years. They come in different colors, including red, black, and brown. Some of the common types of ants in Florida include:

  • Argentine Ants – Originally from Argentina and Brazil, these ants prefer to live in wet areas. Though they don’t pose any health risks, they can contaminate your food. They can eat almost anything, including meat, fat, and sugary food.
  • Carpenter Ants – As the name suggests, these ants build their nests in wood. As a result, they can cause significant damage to homes.. However, they don’t eat wood; they only live in it.
  • Red Imported Fire Ant (RIFA) – These ants are known for their aggressiveness. They have a painful sting, and they can adapt to various environments.

2. Ants Are More Numerous Than Any Other Insects

Of all insects, ants are the most numerous in the world. Each species may require slightly different conditions to thrive. You can find ants in all continents except Antarctica, Iceland, Greenland, and a few island nations.

They do well in temperatures between 75F and 95F. For this reason, it’s rare to find them in cold and hot deserts.

3. They’re Social Insects that Live In Communities

One of the most known facts about ants is that they live in large colonies. Like bees, ant colonies consist of a queen, male ants, and female workers. Only the queen and male ants have wings. The male ants mate with the queen, and the queen’s work is to lay eggs.

A colony can have one or several queen ants. The female ants do most of the work, which involves searching for a food source to feed the colony. In addition, a community has army ants who are in charge of protecting their territory.

4. Ants Can Live From A Few Weeks To Decades

Male ants have the shortest lifespan. They die a few days after mating with the queen. Worker ants can live for several years, and the queen can survive for more than a decade. Lifespan also depends on the species.

A queen can live up to 15 years. As the longest-living member of the colony, the queen is also the largest in body size. Even though some ants have a shorter lifespan, their colonies can live for several decades.

5. Ants Can Lift More Than Their Body Weight

Ants can lift objects 20 times their own body weight. If human beings had the same strength as ants, a person weighing 60kg could lift 1.2 tons. This massive strength is helpful when foraging for food. It enables leafcutter ants to transport large stalks of leaves to their colonies.

6. Ants Cause Over 3 Billion Dollars in Losses Each Year

The Red Imported Fire Ant costs U.S citizens billions of dollars each year. This ant species has a painful sting that results in subjects incurring high medical expenses.

This species also destroys crops on farms as they searches for food. The carpenter ant also causes losses by destroying wooden structures. These insects make tunnels inside the wood, thereby making the buildings weak. In addition, getting rid of these ants adds to the expenses.

7. Ants Have No Ears

Ants don’t have ears. Some species don’t even have eyes!

Ants move around by using their feet and antenna to sense vibrations from their surroundings.

Those with eyes can have both simple and compound eyes. They use their eyes to sense light levels in the environment.

8. Ants Have Two Stomachs

Ants have two stomachs, one for carrying food and the other for food consumption. They use the first stomach, called the crop, to take food to the rest of the colony members.

9. Some Ants Can Fly

Ants have wings at certain times of the year. However, not all members of a colony are flying ants. Only the male and queen have wings. The males die after mating. The queen will shed her wings after mating with a male to begin a new colony.

10. Ants are the “Thieves” of the Insect Kingdom

Some species of ants steal eggs from other colonies and bring them to their nests. When the eggs hatch, the new ants become “workers” for the colony.

11. The Largest Ants Nest Was 3,700 Miles Wide

According to the Guinness World Records, the widest ant nest, discovered in January 2002, was 6,000 kilometers (3,700 miles) wide. This nest crosses northern Italy through France to the coast of Spain. The members of this colony are the Argentine ants.

Looking For Pest Control Services?

These facts about ants reveal a few key things. First, ant control is difficult since they hide in the soil and wood. Second, these pests can cause significant losses if you don’t remove them from your property.

If you’re looking for ant treatment services, reach out to McDonald’s Pest Control services. We provide effective ant treatment methods that eradicate all types of ants. Get in touch with our team at 727-734-0963 for more information and to schedule a free consultation for ant control and treatment services.