All ABOUT ANTS
Ants are eusocial insects belonging to the family Formicidae. Ants are found worldwide in different environments. They are one of the most frequently found pests found in human surroundings and residences. The body of ants is divided into three parts, gaster, thorax, and head. There are about 12,000 different ant species, the majority of which are red, brown, or black in color.
What Do Ants Eat?
Sugar Rich Foods
Ants may obtain sugar from a variety of sources. Typically, they obtain it by floral nectar or by extracting honeydew from aphids. The nectar contains two types of carbohydrates that ants adore: fructose and glucose
Naturally, ants may be seen eating a variety of fruits, including oranges, bananas, and strawberries. If you spill a drop of jam and do not wipe it up properly, keep in mind that ants can detect it from a great distance and will rush to your kitchen .
Seeds, Grains, And Plants
Certain ant species are vegan. They search for leaves, grains, plants, seeds, and other vegetation. They even generate fungus on the leaves. Leaf-cutter ants are well-known for their gardening abilities. They cut parts of grass leaves, flowers and transport them to their nests, but do not consume them. Rather than that, these ants remove waste. Leaves function as a fertilizer, promoting the growth of fungus, which ants larvae consume.
Ants, like humans, are meat-eaters. This is the case with fire ants, which are omnivorous and capable of feeding on sweet foods, plants, and meat. They prefer oily food, which insects or worms may supply. Additionally, fire ants can eat dead animals. They are capable of eating rodents, birds, ticks, and spiders.
Furthermore, ants also eat their offspring. For example, if the queen is threatened by a lack of food supplies, she may eat her progeny.
The Life Cycle Of Ants
An ant passes through four stages to become a full adult ant. These include egg, larva, pupa, and adult .
Ant eggs are oval in shape and very little (around 1 mm in length, while the queen’s egg is several times bigger).
The larvae are worm-like in appearance and lack eyes and legs; they feed on food regurgitated by adult ants. As the larvae grow in size, they molt (lose their skin) several times.
When the larva reaches a specific size, it forms a silk-like cocoon around itself and pupates (against a solid object, such as the chamber wall). The body undergoes metamorphosis (changes) throughout this time period and turns into an adult form.
The pupa develops into an adult. The complete life cycle typically lasts between six and ten weeks. Some queens live up to 15 years, while some workers live up to seven years.
Reproduction in Ants
In comparison to mammals and the majority of other species, ants are unique because they do not have separate females and males that mate exclusively.
Only queen females are capable of mating; all other females are worker ants. The majority of male ants exist purely to reproduce. They die shortly afterward, having accomplished their purpose .
Ants can reproduce by three methods.
In the case of fire ants and the majority of other species, queen female ants and winged males swarm away from the colony. After that, the pregnant queen sets up a new colony.
Certain species of ants have queens that breed asexually, despite the fact that all progeny are females.
Colony budding occurs when a queen ant marches with wingless worker ants in order to transfer a colony or establish a satellite colony.
The most effective way to control the ants is by putting pesticides into the nest and killing the queen. This can be accomplished by either a direct treatment or the use of bait. Ants construct nests in stones, boards, soil, open lawns, beneath concrete slabs close to foundation walls, inside house walls, in rotting wood, or in hollow spaces associated with waste in human habitats.
- Sanitation is a crucial step in preventing ants from infiltrating a home. Insect-proof containers, such as plastic containers or glass jars, should be used to store human and pet foods that are appealing to ants.
- Completely clean all kitchen surfaces on a regular basis.
- Wipe ant trails with a mild vinegar and water solution to temporarily stop ant activity.
- Seal any cracks that ants could use to gain access to your house. This may not always be possible due to their tiny size.
- To keep ants away from plants and other goods, use sticky barriers or water moats filled with soapy water.
- Mongkolsamrit, S., Kobmoo, N., Tasanathai, K., Khonsanit, A., Noisripoom, W., Srikitikulchai, P., … & Luangsa-Ard, J. J. (2012). Life cycle, host range, and temporal variation of Ophiocordyceps unilateralis/Hirsutella formicarum on Formicine ants. Journal of invertebrate pathology, 111(3), 217-224.
- Green, E. K. (2012). Ants. Bellwether Media.
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