Interesting Facts About Ants

Author: Kurt Treftz, Cascade Pest Control

Commonly known as summertime picnic ruiners, ants are a common site in the Seattle and Greater Puget Sound region. These insects are quite pesky to get rid of sometimes, as it’s not always clear where their main colony is. A proper ant control plan will be helpful especially in the warmer months to ensure that you don’t develop an ant infestation.

While ants can cause a lot of problems, they’re quite interesting creatures to learn about. Effective ant control is rooted in an understanding of what you’re trying to prevent. Knowing their habits and more about their characteristics is the best tool in learning how to identify and keep ants out of your house.

What to Know About Ants

Cascade Pest Control technicians are experts in the ant control field. Through 40+ years of experience, we’ve learned a lot about these pesky critters. They are definitely annoying when they show up in homes or businesses, but they are impressive when you understand more about them. Here are some of our favorite facts about ants:

  • Ants were around with the dinosaurs. Scientists found evidence of ants first showing up about 130 million years ago. Talk about a persistent and resilient insect!
  • Thousands of different ant species exist today. There are an incalculable number of ants crawling around from over 12,000 different ant species. We are still discovering different types and working to classify them appropriately.
  • Ants don’t have ears. Surprisingly, this doesn’t mean that ants are deaf. They use vibrations in the ground to guide them and get the lay of the land. Most ants have a dedicated organ in their legs that processes the vibrations for them.
  • Ants use a pheromone trail when scavenging to find their way back to the colony. Instead of a trail of breadcrumbs, they use a chemical trail to keep track of where they’ve been. This is why cleaning your house regularly, especially wiping down countertops, is helpful in keeping ants out of your home.
  • They breathe through their skin. Ants actually don’t have lungs because of their small size. Little spiracles on the sides of their abdomens take in oxygen and release carbon dioxide. The spiracles are connected to the respiratory tubes that disperse the oxygen to all the ant’s cells.
  • They are able to carry 10-50 times their body weight. We learn as kids that ants are strong, but it continues to speak to their durability to understand this as adults. Especially when you consider what a colony of ants is capable of carrying, it makes you double down on cleaning up crumbs or other food sources to avoid attracting them.
  • Ants are natural farmers. Most of the time if you see ants in your home, it means there’s a colony nearby. Part of some ants’ colonies are aphid farms–they provide aphids shelter and protection while the aphids contribute nectar and food for the ants. This is one of the few species besides humans who we know to farm like this.

An effective ant control plan eliminates the worry that these crafty critters will gain access to your space. Regular cleaning and maintenance goes a long way, but if you suspect an infestation, don’t hesitate to reach out to a professional pest control service for help. We at Cascade are happy to answer the call and begin working with you to keep your space ant-free!

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