Ants are some interesting little creatures. Here’s a few facts some may not know about them!
ANTS CANNOT SURVIVE ON THEIR OWN
Ants rely on each other to live. They are restless workers who do not sleep. They spend every second of each day hunting for food and water, while expanding their nests. In recent studies, when an ant becomes isolated from the rest of the colony, they are lucky if they make it 24 hours on their own.
While it has not been confirmed why they die so quickly, it is believed that because food doesn’t transit in a normal way to an ant’s digestive system. Typically, when an ant ingests their food, they store it in a balloon-type sac called the crop. When the ants return to the nest, they regurgitate some of this food to share with the others. What food remains in the sac is then pumped into their digestive tract. When an ant is isolated, not near enough food is pumped. Researchers believe the fluid that ants exchange when they share food stimulates digestion, so when an ant is unable to do so, this causes the digestive slow down.
SOME COLONIES CAN HAVE MULTIPLE QUEENS
When a colony has more than one queen, it is referred to as a polygyne. The queen ant is the only one that can reproduce, so having multiple queens means multiple broods of worker ants. This can increase the chance that the colonies will survive after the first year. The downfall is that the workers can sometimes turn on the queens. They will attack until only one remains, and sometimes, none. Which is basically suicide to the colony! Having no queen at all means no more reproducing, and once the last worker ant dies off, the colony is finished.
ANTS DON’T HAVE EARS
Ants “listen” by feeling vibrations from the ground through their feet. They use these vibrations to hear by picking them up in the subgenual organ, which is located below the knee.
“ANT”ARTICA IS ACTUALLY ANT-LESS!
Ants prefer warm weather, so they do not populate in Antarctica. They are very tough and have learned how to survive in the most extreme environments, however this continent proves to be a bit to cold.
ANTS CAN BECOME ZOMBIES
Perhaps the strangest of ant facts, there is a species of fungus that infects ants and takes control of their bodies. The fungus finds its way inside of the ant and begins to consume soft tissue. Shortly after, by unknown mechanisms, it causes the ant to leave its colony. The ant finds a leaf, and bites it with a “death-grip” and eventually dies. A few days later, the fungus releases spores to infect more. Some species have learned to recognize when another ant has been infected and will carry them far away to protect the rest of the colony.
Despite how fascinating ants can be, it is important to have a pest control plan in place to prevent these insects from invading your home. If you suspect an infestation, contact 3 Seasons Lawn & Pest Control today.