Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Top 5 Interesting Facts about Ants

Just like termites, ants are common, especially where people live. These creepy little animals can make your living space uncomfortable, and some species of ants are associated with very painful stings. Therefore, if you suspect your home, office, or even business premises has been invaded by ants or termites, it is time to seek the help of professional offering services related to ants or termite control in St. Charles.

Some species of ants are unique and offer insights into a broad range of topics about social behaviour. Here are some of the most interesting facts about ants.

1. Ant colonies are usually bigger than just an average ant farm

Generally, ant colonies come in all shapes and sizes. Some species live in colonies of only a dozen ants, but an average ant colony has thousands of ants. Sometimes, small colonies live in natural openings and crevices while large ant colonies can create vast nests and probably forage for food and other supplies. Don’t be surprised that there are ant super colonies that contain over 300 million ants. Some of these colonies have been spotted in southern Europe, Australia, Japan, and the United States.

2. Ants have specific jobs

Generally, ants are social insects, and they tend to divide jobs among themselves. In each colony, the queen has only one job – lay eggs. Any other female ant is a worker who feeds the larvae, take out the colony’s trash, defend the nest, and forage for important supplies such as food. The male ants have a single role – mate with the queen.

3. They don’t have ears

That’s funny, right? Well, instead of hearing via auditory canals, these insects ‘hear’ be sensing vibrations in the ground. They have special sensors on their knees and on their feet that help them interpret different signals from their environment. They also use hairs and antennae on their bodies to feel around when foraging for food.

4. They can become zombies

This is a strange fact. But it is true. There are an ant species that infect other ants and takes control of their entire bodies. Note that the fungus is likely to finds its way into the skeleton of the ant and begins to consume its soft tissues. By an unknown mechanism, this makes the infected ant to leave its colony. Then, the infected ant finds a leaf bites it, and dies!

A couple of days later, the fungus creates and releases some spores to infect more and more ants. Fortunately, some ants have been able to recognize infected ants in the colony and carry them far away to protect the others.

5. …and some ants are homeless

Well, not all species of ants build nests. There is a group of about 200 species of ants known as army ants. They have two important phases of their life – the nomad phase and the stationary phase. During the nomad phase, these insects travel the entire day and attack other colonies and insects to get food. They create a temporary nest during the night, and the next day they keep on moving.