ANT FACTS | IDENTIFICATION & CHARACTERISTICS
Ants are eusocial insects of family Formicidae, and are related to wasps and bees, and belong to the order Hymenoptera. There are an estimated 20,000+ species of ants worldwide, making this one of the most prevalent and successful types of insects on Earth. Ants are most easily identified by their distinctive node-like structure which forms their waist, as well as their elbowed antennae which on termites will appear straight.
ANT HABITS | DAMAGE, FOOD SOURCE & REPRODUCTION
An individual species of ant often has a very specialized diet, but when considering all 20,000+ species of ants it must be said that ants have one of the most diverse diets in all of the animal kingdom. Most ants forage for their meals which may be found in sugary foods, meats, vegetables, seeds, grains. Some ants are wood destroying but generally do not cause anywhere near the level of damage that termites are capable of. An ant colony contains one or more queens and their sole purpose is to reproduce. In a single queen colony the death of the queen means the death of the colony, whereas colonies with multiple queens will thrive. The queen controls the sex of her offspring and produces new queens only when there are sufficient workers to allow for colony expansion. The number of eggs produced also varies on the species of ant. Ants undergo a complete metamorphosis (egg, larvae, pupa and adult).
EVIDENCE OF ANTS | SIGNS OF INFESTATION & WHERE TO LOOK
The presence of ants is usually the most obvious sign of a potential problem. Upon further inspection, you may find hundreds or even thousands of additional ants in or around the home. The specific locations for where to look are based on the species of ant you are attempting to locate. Often times ants are found foraging for food in the kitchen, whereas another type of ant will only be found excavating the wood of a structure. An infestation of ants can quickly become become severe if left untreated.