Appearance and Size Facts
- Ants range from the tiny, essentially harmless Ghost ant (also commonly referred to as the sugar ant) to the ferocious and prolific Fire ant that deliver a sting that literally feels like you've touched fire
- Ants have a three-part segmented body, three pairs of legs
- Live in a colony with many other individuals of the same species
- Members of the order Hymenoptera, along with bees and wasps
- All ants are in the family Formicidae, which is divided into a dozen or so subfamilies
Behavior and Habitat
Ants are social insects. They live in colonies that may include thousands or even millions of individuals. The wingless worker ants are the most common adults seen. However, there are three types of adults: Queens, Males, and Workers. Ants become adults in just a few days to a few weeks. Each ant passes through four distinct growing stages: egg, larva, pupa, and the adult. Ants live a very busy, but short life compared to humans. The average life expectancy of an ant is 45-60 days. However, they reproduce so quickly that the overall colony just gets larger with time.
Signs of Infestation
Ant mounds can damage lawns and landscaping, as well as, contaminate food, food preparation areas, and invade pet food bowls when they make their way into your home or business. They may be small, but they make up for their size in numbers; if you spot one ant, be certain there are many, many ants; long trails of ants busily moving back and forth around the food site and the surrounding areas.
Tips for Prevention
Keep food items secured and pet food off of the floors. Keep bushes and shrubs trimmed 2 foot from the home. Caulk any visible cracks around windows and doors.
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