Though ants are unwelcome pests inside the home and throughout the lawn, they are quite interesting animals. Here are some amusing facts about ants.
- Ants have been on Earth since the Cretaceous Period. Which means they’ve been here almost 100 million years and even outlived the dinosaurs
- These insects are believed to be the first creatures to have their own civilization
- They have been cultivating fungus for 660 million years! That makes ants the worlds first farmers
- In addition to farming fungus, they also keep livestock. Some species are known for farming aphids. They feed on the honeydew these insects produce. The ants milk the aphids by massaging them with their antennae. In turn, ants protect these aphids from their natural predators, yet another reason not to want them in the yard
- The queens can live up to 30 years
Ants can be a year round pest indoors.Throughout the year, these insects keep warm under our foundations, driveways and patios. They absolutely love heated floors and homes with baseboard heat. They can cause some damage indoors. For example, I’ve seen them pop ceramic tiles up from a basement floor. In addition to creating problems inside the home, our landscaping can suffer greatly with a colony living under the soil. If you need help controlling an active colony or just want to prevent them from becoming established, contact me today!
Common Front Range Ants
- Field ant – Medium sized, about 1/8 to 1/4 inch. Very often found in homes. Workers are polymorphic, which means they take different forms and sizes. They are also aphid farmers
- Pavement ant – Small and about 1/10 to 1/16 inch. Being somewhat new to the state of Colorado, they are surprisingly the most common type of ant found in homes. The workers are monomorphic, being of the same size. They produce small mounds of soil and generally nest under sidewalks, rocks, and driveways
- Cornfield ant – Less than 1/8 inch. Nest around homes. Workers are monomorphic. They prefer moist places and sweet foods. Also feed on honeydew
- Harvester ant – Large about 1/6 to 1/3 inch. This ant will most likely stay outdoors. Often nesting in fields around homes. Workers can be both monomorphic and polymorphic. They will defend their nests and can deliver a painful sting. Some people may have an allergic reaction to their venom.
- Pharaoh ant – Less than 1/8 inch. These little guys prefer to nest indoors. Workers are monomorphic. Very hard to control. They do not like chemicals and will split off into separate colonies when sprayed with pesticides.
- Thief ant – Less than 1/8 inch. They nest both indoors and outdoors. Workers are monomorphic. They get their name from the habit of living in the nest of larger ants. Often killing and eating the larva of other ants
Contact me anytime for ant control.