Ants, Know Their Habits, and Know How to Tell an Ant From a Termite

Ants, aren’t they enough to make you start buying canned foods only?

 

Remember watching ants as a kid? Remember that they always travel in two lines — one going from “home” to a food source, and one coming from the food source to “home”?

 

Those ants don’t follow each other, they follow a scented path. As ants move away from their home point, they leave a pheromone residue that guides them back.

 

Like Hansel and Gretel’s breadcrumb idea, the pheromone keeps the ants from getting lost. It also gives them a “road” to travel back to any food that they find.

 

If you destroy that “road” you remove the pheromone, and the ants on the outbound side of your point of destruction become lost. They can’t find their way home. You also force the ants at home to start new searches for food because they don’t know where that last one is anymore.

 

Once you hinder their foraging, it’s time to attack the colony, and rid yourself of this nuisance. The problem is if only 10% of the colony survives your attack, that 10% can build a new colony equal to the size of the original…and larger.

 

That makes ant invasions tough to control. Certainly they’ll disappear for a while during that colony rebuilding, but keep a watch for them because after a season or two they come back, and you must set afloat a new attack.

 

By the way, do you know how to discriminate an ant from a termite? They look almost exactly alike, but have two major differences:

 

  • Ants have a “pinched” waist. Think of a woman’s body measurements of 36 – 24 – 36. Ants have the 24-inch waist. Termite bodies are already along the whole length; they don’t have a “pinched” waist.
  • Ants have “elbows” (or a bend) in their antennae. Termite antennae are straight.

 

Keeping the above criteria in mind saves you frustration and worry when you see a swarm and need to clarify quickly which kind of insect it is.

 

Speaking of swarm now is a good time for me to explain what I average by that information.

 

Both Ants and Termites have swarming seasons. This is their mating time. The reproductive members of the colony come out all at the same time. This often looks like a sudden cloud of bugs.

 

Reproductive ants have wings and typically fly toward a light source when they appear from the colony. If the colony is under the floor inside your house, or inside a wall, you’ll see these winged ants gathering around a window.

 

The ants mate and the males die. The females return to the walls, floors, or ground to start new colonies.

 

Not all species of Ants appear into the open when they swarm. already nevertheless, be aware of this possibility, and be prepared to clarify which insect you have invading your home.

 

Having the ability to discriminate between these two species of insect saves you from experiencing ulcers when you know you’re only looking at an ant. 

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