What are ants?
Ants are by fa some of the most common insects in the world and they are a member of the Formicidae family. Unlike other species of insects, they are social and this makes them more than interesting for researchers. These insects have evolved from ancestors that were similar to wasps during the Cretaceous period and they have become quite diverse to say the least. There are around 22000 species of ants to begin with and you can find a variety of them in our world, some of them helpful and others not so much.
An important thing to note when it comes to ants is that they form colonies that have small or very large sizes and they tend to occupy a large space although most of the time they reside underground. They have a wide range of ant types in a colony which include queens, workers, soldiers and drones. You can see the colonies to be pretty much a large organism because they created it in such a way so that it can be a unified entity that works together in order to support the entire colony. It’s definitely a very interesting way to organize that can’t be found that often in the insect world. That’s what also makes ants distinct and very interesting, but also quite dangerous depending on the situation, which is what you need to keep in mind.
Where do ants live?
Due to the way their organize and the fact that they can live underground without any problem, ants can literally be found anywhere in the world as long as the climate permits them. In fact the only place where you can’t find ants is in Antarctica, mainly because there’s not that much earth to colonize, instead there’s mostly ice.
It’s interesting to note that ants tend to thrive in most of the ecosystem and may create around 20% of the terrestrial biomass, a great thing to keep in mind. The fact that they have a huge success in colonizing a variety of environments has definitely been attributed to the fact that they have no problem colonizing habitats, defending themselves and tapping resources in just about any region. This makes them powerful and this way they don’t have a problem colonizing any region which is always a great plus for these great insects.
Since they tend to have a division of labor you will see that the overall structure that they have is visually stunning and definitely very impressive. That’s what has managed to help them evolve all these years and the fact that they can easily sustain their own society is nothing short of amazing in its own right!
How do ants reproduce?
Ants have an interesting way to reproduce, that’s for sure. The idea is that no reproduction will take place unless the colony has been established beforehand. So basically the workers need to create a colony and that’s where many ants will die actually, as they try to establish their own society.
The queen ant will get approached by the winged males whose only purpose is to fertilize the queen as they do not work. The queen will lay eggs continually and she will sometime choose to fertilize eggs with sperm from the nuptial flight. Unfertilized egg will lead to male ants whereas fertilized eggs lead to female ants.
The entire process is nothing short of bizarre but it is retained by some other types of ants as well so this is quite unique, interesting and exciting to say the least.
Common ants in the United States
The US is home to more than 1000 ant types and the interesting thing about them is that each one has a variety of unique traits and look. Some ants are easy to recognize, others are dangerous for humans and so on, so you do need to understand which are the most common ant types in the US. With that in mind, here is a list with some of the best ant types to be found here:
- Acromyrmex- leafcutter ants
- Anochetus- small trap-jaw ants
- Atta – leafcutter ants
- Brachymyrmex – rover ants
- Brachyponera – needle ants
- Camponotus – carpenter ants
- Cephalotes – turtle ants
- Crematogaster – acrobat ants
- Cyphomyrmex- small fungus-growing ants
- Dorymyrmex – cone ants
- Formica – field ants, thatch-mound ants
- Formicoxenus- guest ants
- Labidus – army ants
- Linepithema – Argentine ant
- Liometopum – velvety tree ants
- Myrmecocystus – honeypot ants
- Neivamyrmex – army ants
- Nomamyrmex – tank army ants
- Nylanderia – small crazy ants
- Odontomachus – trap-jaw ants
- Pachycondyla – huntress ants
- Paratrechina – black crazy ants
- Pheidole – big-headed ants
- Pseudomyrmex – elongate twig ants
- Pseudoponera – stigma ants
- Solenopsis – fire ants, thief ants
- Stigmatomma – dracula ants
- Technomyrmex – white-footed ants
- Trachymyrmex – fungus-growing ants
- Wasmannia – little fire ants
How to get rid of ants?
There are many methods to get rid of ants, some of them more efficient than others. You can start off by sealing the entrance areas to make sure that no more of them are coming in. then you can load in the soapy water.
The interesting thing to note about ants is that they do not like detergent and chemicals at all. Things like white vinegar and water, citrus oil, black cayenne pepper, turmeric, a line of chalk, powdered charcoal as well as baby powder and citrus oil and Vaseline can offer you incredible results so you should definitely give this a shot as you will like the results for sure.
In conclusion, you shouldn’t have a problem getting rid of ants as long as you use any of the products listed above. You can also try to acquire some solutions from the market or hire an exterminator if things tend to get out of hand.