Ants are one of the most common pests in and around homes. different types of ants are present on the earth based on size, color, shape, and characteristics. They are social insects. They are everywhere! Under the boulders, in the depths of the earth, on the foliage of the trees, and finally next to the ceramics and on the kitchen counter, is a place where you can always find an ant colony or ant nest.
The only place that has survived the infestation of ants is Antarctica, a frozen, vegetated land on the continent that makes it impossible for them to live.
Ants are one of the most intelligent living things on the planet. These insects originated about 110 to 130 million years ago, from the differentiation of certain species of wild bees.
Different Breeds And Species of Ants
Ants are very high insects. The population of these insects on the planet is estimated at about eight thousand trillion ants. This number reflects the fact that for every human being, one million ants live on the planet.
More than 20,000 species of these insects are estimated to live on the planet, however, only 12,000 species of them have been identified and classified so far, some of which are more than Other species that live in our homes, which are called house ants.
Stinky black ants and carpenter ants are two very common species of house ants. Carpenter species are more than just a household pest, they can inflict heavy financial losses on wooden structures in a short period of time
Appearance of Ants
Different types of ants have different body shapes, sizes, and colors: each type of ant must have the following parts.
Ant Body Shape: Like many insects, ants have three distinct parts in their bodies:
All ants have a pair of curved tentacles on their heads and a very narrow compressed area between the abdomen and chest.
Body Color in a Variety Of Ants
Ants have a great variety of colors and can be seen in the following colors:
Also, the body color of ants can be different combinations of these colors.
Members of Ant Colonies
Ants live in large, organized communities called colonies. Each colony is made up of a large number of ants, and each member has a specific task. According to the system of division of labor and physical characteristics, ants are divided into four categories.
Queens are the largest members of the colony and are often 2 to 3 times larger than the workers.
Queens have wings but lose their wings shortly after mating. The queen’s wings may be fed to the larvae after the eggs hatch. The queens of ants have very large bellies and can survive for many years. Males and queens fly from their original colony to mate and form a new colony after mating.
Any specific species of ants mates at certain times of the year. After mating, the queen ant searches for a suitable nesting site and begins a new colony. The presence of winged ants flying inside the house indicates an ant nest nearby.
Males are generally the same size or larger than workers, have wings, a small head, and relatively large eyes. They are produced in older and larger colonies, and their sole purpose is to mate with new queens, and they die shortly after mating.
Workers are barren, wingless females.
Workers Some species of ants are different in size and are divided into two groups of workers large and small.
Soldier ants are a special type of worker and are responsible for protecting the colony. They are relatively larger than worker ants and can protect a colony from the threat of other insects or other colonies.
Types Of Ants
Many researchers believe that ants are the most successful insects on earth. Due to their highly advanced social life, they can occupy different habitats. There are many types of ants, and this article will introduce you to the different types.
- Citronella Ants
- Carpenter Ants
- Thief Ants
- Fire Ants
- Harvester Ants
- Amazon Ants
- Leafcutter Ants
- Crazy Ants
- Odorous House Ants
- Honeypot Ants
- Army Ants
- Bullet Ants
- Acacia Ants
- Pharaoh Ants
Ants of this genus emit a lemon-like odor when crushed. The color of worker ants is usually yellow. Acanthomyops species live by keeping and caring for aphids and feeding on their excreted honey. This species enters homes during mating and needs more food and feeds on leftover food.
Carpenter ants are some of the insects you should look for in your home. Unlike termites, they do not feed on wood but dig nests and tunnels in moist wood. As mentioned, carpenter ants prefer wet wood to dry wood, so if you have had a water leak in your home recently, beware of this infestation!
Carpenter ants work as natural decomposers of deadwood and are not among the pests. This species of ants is omnivorous and feeds on plant sap to dead insects. The body length of workers of this genus is more than 5 cm and they are in the group of large ants.
Species of this genus include burglar ants and fire ants. Thieves ants, commonly referred to as oily ants, feed on high-protein foods such as meat, fats, and oils. Species of this genus are known as burglar ants due to the theft of food resources and the offspring of other ants. Thieves ants are very small and usually less than 2 mm long. Solenopsis species often nest outdoors and sometimes attack human homes for food. If they live in your home, it is very difficult to get rid of them because of their small size, they can live for years in places you may not realize.
Fire ants aggressively defend their nests and attack any creature that is considered a threat. People who are allergic to bee venom may also be allergic to fiery ant bites. Fire ants often form dome nests in open and sunny spaces, so parks, farms, and especially golf courses are often exposed to these insects.
Reaper ants live in deserts and meadows. They store plant seeds in their underground nests. If the seeds get wet, the workers carry them to the ground to dry and prevent the seeds from germinating. Reaper ants build their dome-shaped nests in grassy areas and cover their central nest with leaves. Species of this genus, like fire ants, protect the nest from invaders with their venomous stings and painful bites
Amazon ants are one of the worst types of warriors. They attack other ants’ nests and the workers take them captive. The queen of the Amazon ants also attacks the nest of neighboring ants (genus Formica ) and kills them. Captive Formica workers care for the babies of Amazon ants. As slaves breed a new generation of Amazon ants, the Amazon ants invade another nest en masse and breed their pupae to breed the next generation of slave ants.
Leafy ants or garden ants have been planting seeds and gardening for a long time before humans. Workers cut the leaves of the plants and carry them to their underground nests. The other workers then chew the leaves, mix them with their saliva, and finally use them as a breeding ground for mushrooms. Garden ants can even use antibiotics produced by Streptomyces strains to prevent the growth of mold and fungi.
Crazy ants, unlike most ants, which tend to move in a certain order and direction, move in all directions without a specific purpose (they seem a little crazy!). They have long legs and tentacles as well as coarse hair on their bodies. Crazy ants are very interested in nesting in the soil of tropical potted plants. It is very difficult to control these ants if they enter your house! Crazy ants have very strange interests! They like to enter the cooling valves of electronic equipment and form a colony there, which can shorten the useful life of computers and other electronic devices.
Odorous House Ants
Species of this genus emit a stink compound called butyric acid into the environment if they feel threatened. This odor is often described as the smell of sour butter or rotten coconut. Fortunately, Tapinoma ants usually live under rocks, wood, or mulch, but they may enter your home in search of food.
Species of the genus Myrmecocystus live in deserts and arid regions. Worker ants feed some infants with a sweet liquid made from nectar and dead insects. After puberty, these infants hang from the roof of the nest and expand their abdomen into a sac filled with plant nectar. Ants of this genus can store 8 times the bodyweight of nectar. Ant colonies can survive in harsh conditions through this stored food source. Sometimes people in the living areas of this and feed on them.
Army ants are not monogamous. They do not build permanent nests but live in empty rodent nests or natural cavities. Army ants often work at night and workers are almost blind. They attack other ants’ nests at night, then bite their prey and cut off their legs and tentacles. Army ants sometimes settle in one place at the time of the queen’s spawning, and as soon as the spawning is over and new workers appear, they start moving to another spot. Contrary to popular belief, most military ants, although they bite, are harmless to mammals.
The reason they are called gun bullet ants is because of the unbearable pain caused by their bite to humans. According to the Schmidt-Schmidt pain index, species of this genus are divided into the group of the most painful insects. These large ants, 2.5 cm long, live in the rainforests of Central and South America. Bullet ants live under small trees in small colonies of several hundred people. The people of the Satire-Mawe tribe in the Amazon basin use bullet ants in a ritual to show masculinity. They weave a few hundred ants into a glove, and young men have to wear gloves for 10 minutes. Young men must repeat this ritual a maximum of 20 times to get the title of warriors.
Acacia ants are so named because of their coexistence with acacia trees. They live inside the hollow thorns of the tree and feed on the sap of the tree leaves. Acacia ants defend their host tree against vegetarians in exchange for food and shelter provided by the tree. Acacia ants also prune creepers and their host tree parasites
Pharaoh ants are very common insects that attack homes, grocery stores, and hospitals. This type of ants are native to Africa but are now found all over the world. Ants belonging to this genus carry dozens of infectious pathogens, so if they are seen in a hospital, they must be controlled. The diet of Pharaoh ants is very diverse. They can even feed on soda and shoe polish! Pharaoh ants are also known as sugar ants or sugar ants
Nesting Habits And Food Preferences Of Types of Ants
Ants choose different places to nest. Some ants build their nests in the soil and build specific hills, while others nest in houses behind plasters, the lower edges of walls, the top of cabinets, and similar places. Even some other species of ants make their nests inside the decaying or damp wood.
Different Types of Ants feed on a variety of foods and, like flies, are omnivorous. Foods that different types of ants can eat include:
- All kinds of sweet ingredients
- Starchy materials
- Many ants feed on plant nectar, a sweet liquid produced by the body of plant aphids and laxative insects.
Getting enough information about ants’ food cravings and nesting plays a very important role in destroying their colonies. This means that by placing the ants’ favorite items in different parts of the house, you can find the ant colony location and then destroy them by using a strong poison to repel the ant killer ants.
Difference Between Ants And Termites
Winged ants are sometimes confused with winged termites. Types of ants are different in appearance from termites. In short, the difference between the appearance of ants and termites is as follows.
- The size of the wings
- Trunk size
- Ants have a slender, compact waist, curved tentacles, and two pairs of wings, the hind wings being smaller than the front wings.
Termites have a rectangular body shape and do not have any contracted parts on their bodies like what we see in ants’ backs; Also, their tentacles are straight and seeded, like bead seeds that are placed next to each other, and they also have two pairs of wings of the same size and shape, which are much taller than their bodies
Are Ants Useful to Us?
The presence of various types of ants is useful and necessary for nature in many ways. As ecosystem recyclers, they bring many useful substances back into the natural cycle. By digging long tunnels deep in the soil, these insects increase the permeability and drainage strength of the soil, thus increasing soil fertility.
Sometimes these beneficial insects can be a real disaster for nature, for example:
A colony of deciduous ants can empty a large tree in a matter of hours! Given that the leaves are the food-producing units of plants, we leave it to you to decide whether ants are beneficial or harmful.
Where Do All Types Of Ants Live?
The conditions under which ants can live are almost common to all types. They need adequate water, food, and temperature to survive. What sets these insects apart is local. Where ants build their colonies.
While most ants nest deep in the soil, there are species that build their nests in the margins of tree leaves, such as the weaver. make. Carpenter ants also prefer to build their colonies inside damaged wood tissues, such as wet wood.
What Draws Different Types of Ants Into Houses?
Ants are always looking to expand their colonies. Colony expansion is not possible without finding more food sources. What brings them to our homes is the search for more food sources for the colony.
Apart from food, the temperature conditions inside the house are always stable, so ants, like other pests, prefer to live at home to living in the natural environment.