Treating ants can be difficult, but there are some things you should know about how ants’ behavior can lead to big headaches for you and your home:
- Entry: Ants can enter through even the tiniest cracks, seeking water and food substances.
- Scent trails: Ants leave an invisible pheromone trail which other ants will follow once they locate the food source.
- Nest locations: They can nest about anywhere in and around your house.
- Colony size: Colonies can number up to 300,000 to 500,000.
- Colony Lifetime: A colony can live a relatively long lifetime. Worker ants may live seven years, and the queen may live as long as 15 years.
- Do-it-yourself ineffectiveness: Most do-it-yourself ant control approaches kill only the ants you see.
Ant Life Cycle
The ant life cycle has four distinct life stages: egg, larvae, pupae and adult.
A fertile queen begins laying eggs. Ant eggs are very small – only about a half of a millimeter in diameter. The eggs are also oval, white and transparent.
After about 1-2 weeks in the egg stage, a grub-like, legless ant larvae hatches.
After the larvae molts and shed their skin, they change into the pupal stage. Pupae appear somewhat like adults except their legs and antennae are folded and pressed against the pupal body.
At the time of emergence, the adult ant is fully grown, but darkens in color as it ages. Adult ants are one of three different colony castes; queens, workers or males.