Facts About Ants and Their Habits

Ants are one of the most abundant insects on Earth with several species found in North America alone. However, their life cycle may be confusing for some people. Ant colonies generally consist of a queen and hundreds of workers. As a community, they help break down organic materials in the garden, recycling nutrients back into the ground. They can become a nuisance if they enter the home. Take a look at an ant’s general life cycle to understand how pest control professionals pinpoint their targets. An ant exterminator in New Jersey that is skilled in removing and  securing the access points into your home are keys to success in effective removal of these pests.

Mating And Egg Laying

Because ants are cold-blooded insects, they usually wait until late spring or early summer to mate. Winged ants take flight and mate with females. The females return to the colony to lay their eggs. Although there is usually one queen, she cannot produce enough eggs individually to keep colonies thriving. Many females that are smaller than the queen, but bigger than the workers, keep a constant supply of eggs flowing. Worker ants, the largest population, don’t have long lifespans, making it critical to reproduce consistently.

Hatching Period

It only takes a few days for the larvae to emerge from the eggs. Because they are so frail, worker ants provide them with food and protection to increase their size and encourage maturation. After about 8 days, usually during the summer or early fall, the larvae create their own cocoons to eventually turn into a silent pupae. Their final transformation into an ant takes another 3 weeks. By this time, the outside temperatures could be dropping, depending on the region. As these new ants hatch from their pupae state, they typically stay in the nest until the weather warms up.

Where To Find Ants

Ants typically prefer the outdoors where they can forage for food. Each species has a slightly different nest type, but most prefer a hidden space from predators. Ant hills from built up soil are common, whereas other ants may look for scattered wood to burrow and hide beneath. They also enjoy gardens where they can hide amongst the foliage. You could possibly lift up a rock and find an ant nest below. They use natural materials to create burrows and hide the huge colony.

The Nuisance Factor

If food and water are scarce outside, ants will come indoors to forage. For homes with pet food constantly out, ants can find these food sources very attractive. Any pantry food that isn’t secured, including an open bag of chips, can tempt ants indoors. Initially, they send a scout to find the food source. Because ants leave a scent trail behind, they’ll eventually lead a line of ants right to your pantry or pet dish. Some ant species may even invade your bare wood, burrowing inside for sustenance and protection.

Controlling Ants

Exclusion is still one of the best ways to keep ants out of your home. Pick up any pet food and secure all pantry foods. If ants don’t sense a food source, they’ll move on to the next target. Try to avoid piling items, such as tree limbs or compost, near the home. Ants may find a perfect nest in that pile, leading them directly into your home.

Speak to an Experienced New Jersey Ant Removal Company

Having ants invade your home is not only inconvenient but also a matter that needs to be controlled in a timely manner. If it is not taken care of quickly, then the ants will grow in numbers and the problem will escalate into an even bigger problem. Contact Precise Termite and Pest Control, who have been providing pest services in Passaic County, Morris County, Bergen County, and other New Jersey counties for over 25 years. Call (866) 971-2847 to schedule a free home inspection. There is also a 15% off special for first time customers who request services with Precise Termite and Pest Control.