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Different Purposes of Ants

Serving Vancouver WA | Portland OR | Beaverton OR

What purpose do ants have?Dealing with pesky ants in your home can be frustrating. These little insects are resilient, as well as diligent, in all that they do. As you strive to protect your house from ants, you may be asking the question “What purpose do ants have?”

Nature’s Janitors

Within their natural environment, ants work hard to keep things clean. They feed on dead animals, other insects, and organic waste, helping them decompose quicker and more efficiently. Some species of ants even prey on other insects.

Helping Plant Trees

While we don’t actually see ants working to help plant trees, they inadvertently do exactly that. Carpenter ants, nuisances to homeowners because of their penchant for working on wood structures to break them down, serve an important purpose in forests. These little workers help to speed up the decomposition of dead wood in forests, which provides nutrients for the soil and helps foster new growth of trees.

Some ants also have a mutual arrangement with some types of trees in that the trees produce a sweet, sugary sap for the ants to feed on. In exchange for the favor, the ants kill insects that could harm the trees if left unchecked. This is one area commonly overlooked when answering the question of what purpose do ants have in the natural world.

Ants Are Pollinators

While pollination is not chiefly what ants are known for, there are some varieties of plants, including some aphids, that ants help to pollinate. In fact, without these little helpers, the plants would not be able to survive.

What If You Have Ants?

While ants have varied purposes and jobs in the natural world, the little workers lack one important trait: They cannot differentiate between a residence and a forest, which can make it difficult to protect your house from ants. This means that a dedicated carpenter ant can break down the wood in your home as if it were a decomposing tree in the forest.
If you feel your home is at risk for ant occupation, you can protect it from ants. It is recommended that you consult a professional exterminator to prevent the problem from worsening.

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