One of the more troublesome and annoying common household pests in the south is the ant. During the late spring and early summer, these critters begin building their mounds and start searching for food, and if we’re not careful they may start taking up residence in our homes.
It is estimated that there are as many as 100,000 trillion ants in the world. Although ants are usually harmless, they can spread germs as they look for food and some, such as carpenter ant, can damage wood structures while some can give a painful bite. The most common in the United States is the fire ant.
There are definitely some crazy insects out there–but very few people would count the ant among them. They’re tiny, everywhere, and they kind of just keep to themselves (unless they’re bothering your kitchen, of course). We may take the common ant for granted, but after reading a couple of these facts, you may find them fascinating.
• Ants keep regular daily shifts for working, sleeping, and eating. They even stretch and yawn when they wake up, just like us.
• The Hormiga culona has been considered a delicacy in Columbia for centuries. They taste like buttered popcorn.
• Fire ants inflict approximately $5 billion of damage in North America alone every year.
• Ants live longer than any other type of insect–they can live up to 30 years!
• Ants have 250,000 brain cells, and are believed to be the world’s smartest insect.
• There is over 12,000 known species of ant.
• Don’t try to drown ants–they can survive underwater for up to two weeks, because they have extremely tiny breathing tubes which water can’t penetrate.
• Every worker, soldier, and queen ant are female. Only drones are male. Drones don’t do any colony work; their only function is to fertilize a princess ant. They die shortly thereafter.
• Ants can sense the Earth’s magnetic field and use it for navigation.
• Ants communicate with one another using chemical pheromone trails.
• Every ant colony has its own unique scent, so that intruder ants in a colony can be recognized immediately.
• If a man could run as fast as an ant relative to his size, he could do 34 miles per hour.
• If every single human on the planet got on one arm of a giant balance scale and every ant in the world got on the other, the ants would weigh more.
• The largest ant colony ever recorded was found in Europe. It was 3750 miles wide and made up of multiple colonies that came together to form a “super” colony.
• Ants can carry 50 times their own body weight, making them one of the world’s strongest creatures relative to their own size. If an average man was as strong as an ant, he could lift 9,000 pounds!
Who knew such a small insect could do so much? Although they sound cool, it’s not good if they get in your house. They are so tiny they can get into your pantry and wreak havoc on your food.
• Clean Up Dirty Dishes: The last thing we want to do after a big meal is get up and start cleaning, but that’s exactly what needs to be done! Leftover food and dirty dishes left around the house are an instant attractant to ants and can become an ant buffet if not cleaned up in a timely manner.
• Sweep & Vacuum Regularly: Keeping a swept floor can make a major difference as it eliminates stray food crumbs that may go unnoticed. Keeping your floors clean in areas where food is consumed is essential in preventing those scout ants from finding a food source.
• Wipe Down Common Surfaces: While ants are attracted to food, they are also attracted to sweet/sticky substances resulting from spills in and around our home. Wipe down counters, workbenches and other surfaces with cleaning products or vinegar/water to ensure that ants aren’t attracted by spills.
Ants are the most common household nuisance. They may be small, but they can cause big problems. Let Pest Solutions help you exterminate them for good.