Argentine Ants Invade
Droughts, intense storms, and forest fires are all being associated with this year’s El Nino. One of the biggest problems stemming from it, however, is the spread of the Argentine ant. These ants throve on the warm and wet conditions brought on by El Nino, and can spread especially far if their homes get flooded and they are forced to build a new one. Pest control companies are on high alert, and reports of the ants spreading have been coming in en mass.
One fear that comes with the spread of Argentine ants is that they bring with them food-borne diseases into peoples’ homes. However, they are also a major problem for the agricultural industry. Argentine ants actually protect those nasty invasive pests aphids, which destroy countless crops each year and are a farmers as well as a gardeners’ nightmare. The ants “farm” the aphids and protect them from humans and other predators so they can get their sugary honeydew in return.
One thing that sets apart Argentine ants from other species is that they all get along and are not at constant war with each other. This allows them to build a kind of super colony across continents since they will join and welcome any others they come across. This makes them particularly difficult to control.
Have you seen an Argentine ants near your home this year?