All About Ants – Control, Identification and Facts
Ants (family Formicidae) belong to the order Hymenoptera. They are usually 0.08 inches to 0.3 inches long, but there are some species that can grow up to 0.8 inches. There black, brown and red ants as well as ones with wings and without wings. Ants are so fascinating that there is whole science dedicated for their studying called Myrmecology.
What is interesting about ants is that they are social insects – they live in large colonies or groups. There are three different types of ants in each of those colonies/groups: the queen, sterile female workers and males. Furthermore, those works can be divided in two groups: regular workers and soldiers.
Ants have existed for more than 100 million years on our planet and they can be found on almost every corner of our planet. According to some experts there are more than 12.000 different ant species and that’s why they are sometimes referred to as the most successful specie in the world. The situation in USA is no different and there are hundreds of ant species that live here and some of the most common species include – Pavement ants, fire ants, Pharaoh ants and Argentine ants.
They live in dead trees, underground or they build mounds by applying different solid elements. When we talk about nature and ants’ contribution to the stability of the nature they are very useful insects. For example, they participate in the transportation of different types of seed and they actively fight against forest and agricultural pests. But sometimes these insects can be located near or inside residential objects. In these situations they can be very harmful and potentially dangerous. For example, the Pharaoh Ant (Monomorium pharaonis) can produce a lot of damage to medical equipment if it reaches some hospital and it can also transfer various diseases.
Different types of ants can cause different damages. Some of them can cause material damage to power cables, electronics while others can destroy wooden items (fences etc.). Ants can be easily spotted when they enter a house or an apartment because they linger near food and water sources. They are especially fond of food rich in sugar and proteins. Ants often move on surface that is dirty and there is a high chance of transmission of infectious agents. Their bite can cause anaphylactic shock in people that are allergic to formic acid. Even if they don’t reach the house, they can ruin the garden by consuming the plants.
A lot of people use insecticidal sprays against ants but these sprays can actually worsen the situation. They just make the ants avoid the areas that are sprayed but they always find another way to reach the food and water sources. Ants have strong jaws and even if the whole area is sprayed they can eat through materials to reach their destination.
This is the reason why you need professional help in dealing with ants. If you are living in Portland, Oregon feel free to call our pest control company and we’ll be glad to solve your ant problem.