Bug Blog

Ant Characteristics

In order to deal with ants effectively, we need to understand them, and to understand them, we need to look at their characteristics. Different species will behave differently, with some species being much worse than others when they are in the home. Overall however, most species are very similar in their biology, their social structures and their behaviors. Let’s take a look at some of these ant characteristics.

The body

All ants have six legs with three joints each, and these legs have hooked claws on their ends in order to allow for easy climbing. The ants also have compound eyes, elbowed antennae, and their bodies are visibly segmented. The body is also covered in a hard exoskeleton, and ants are able to secrete antibiotic fluid. In terms of size, ants can range from 1/16th of an inch to half of an inch depending on the species. Coloration will also be determined by the species of ant, but it will usually be black, brown or reddish.

The ant habitat

Ants will live in colonies that are highly structured, with one or more queens, soldiers, workers and a few other specialized ants in some species. These colonies will usually be underground, but ants have been known to set up residence inside rotten wood, trees, concrete and various areas of human buildings.

The diet

Ants are omnivores, which means that they will eat pretty much everything, just like us. However, some species will prefer certain foods over others. Generally speaking though, they are after carbohydrates, sugars, protein, and fats. Some ants will grow their own fungus on leaves that they cut and take into the colony, while others will raid neighboring ant colonies and kidnap their young to eat them. You might also see ants eating up animal or bird curcasses, which can be a tremendous source of protein. In the home, they are drawn to grains, sugary spills, meats that are left out in the open, and a variety of foods that we keep in our kitchens.

Dealing with ants

There are several options that you have at your disposal when you have to deal with an ant infestation. You can use baits, insecticides, sprays and several other products that are available on the market, or you can call over a pest control pro who will remove the infestation for you. If you decide to go with the latter option, contact us today and we can set up an appointment.