Ants are one of the most common insects on earth and found everywhere on this planet except the coldest place, Antarctica. Everywhere humans live, ants live too and they seem to live to annoy us. Most ants species are harmless, very few are actually a danger to humans. Ants are a nuisance pest and are mostly a cause of irritation to homeowners. Though a great cause of aggravation, ants are pretty spectacular creatures. Ants are one of the most common complaints from homeowners when it comes to summer pest control, but you might be surprised to learn these few crazy facts about them. As your summertime nemesis, it’s best to know your enemy so you know what you are dealing with, right? Well here are a few crazy facts about ants to help you understand them better:
1-Ants have super power communicating skills
From simply observations, it seems ants almost have a freaky kind of telepathic way of communicating. They cannot hear, they don’t have ears, yet their communications skills are out of this world, almost alien like. They have highly specialized senses and can feel vibrations in the ground keenly. Sensors in their legs feel the vibrations within their environment helping them interpret their environment and situations around them. When they pick up signals from around them, they use specialized communicating efforts to “speak” to their fellow colony ant friends. They emit pheromones, scents their bodies produce, to warn the colony of danger or alert them of delicious food they just discovered. This is why you never seen one ant. If an ant discovers a tasty treasure, a pheromone is emitted and soon the entire colony is there to partake.
2-Beware of the zombie ant!
There is a fungus known to infect ants which gets under the ant’s exoskeleton. It consumes the soft tissue and makes the ant walk around “out of its mind.” Eventually, the ant wanders off and bites a leaf with a death grip and dies. Soon after, the spores released from the fungus become airborne and infect the other ants. Some ant colonies have learned to recognize this infected fungus infiltrating their colonies and will carry the infected ant far away from the colony and leave it there to die.
3-Ants are crazy strong and fast
Ants are known for their strength and can lift anywhere from 10 to 50 times their body weight. They can also run 300 meters an hour, which is 800 times its body length in a minute. This might not seem very much, but equating this into human terms, this would be the equivalent of a human lifting 850 pounds and running 52 miles an hour. Seeing such a human would be like glimpsing a real life superhero. Ants are the superheroes of the insect world and should definitely be respected for their unique traits.
4-Some ants are farmers
You may be surprised to hear this but some ant species have taken to “farming.” Just like we raise chicken, sheep and cows for their byproducts that help us survive and give us food, ants raise other insects for the benefits they give the colony. One common insect farmed by ants is the aphid since it produces honeydew that the ants harvest. A constant supply of honeydew definitely helps to sustain the colony.
5-Ants have unusual organs
Unlike other species, ants have unusual organs. For instance, they do not have lungs. Ants breathe through a series of small holes around their bodies called spiracles. These spiracles are connected to tubes that distribute the oxygen to every cell in the body. Another oddity is that ants have two stomachs. This is not because they are gluttonous or selfish, it is quite the opposite. Ants use one stomach for their own consumption and the other stomach is used to feed other ants in need when food is scarce.
Don’t forget the ants with your summertime pest control
Pest control in the summer needs to be handled differently than other seasons. When you set up these vital, routine pest control treatments throughout the year, your experienced Pointe Pest Control technician will tailor these inspections and treatments to that particular season. Pest control in the summer is extremely important when it comes to keeping your home pest free all year long. Call us today to ensure these pesky, crazy ants are not breaking into your home this summer.