10 Things to Know About Ants

Ants are really big in Utah. There are a lot of these insects in Utah but the 3 most common types are Carpenter Ants, Pavement Ants/Sugar Ants, and Little Black Ants.

Carpenter Ants: Carpenter ants get their name from their nasty habit of creating nests within the wood parts of buildings, during which they chew the wood and create holes. This can weaken the building over time but unlike termites carpenter ants don’t eat it. 

Pavement Ants/Sugar Ants: The pavement ant/sugar ant are typically the ones you see crawling along the cracks and seams on sidewalks and pavement.  Pavement ants/sugar ants are omnivores and will eat almost anything. They like to feast on other insects, seeds, honeydew, honey, bread, meats, nuts, ice cream, and cheese. 

Little Black Ants: When these ants are seen indoors they are typically first seen in the Kitchen, Bathroom, or Laundry Room but can spread to other areas rapidly. Little black ants will form multiple colonies with multiple queens and eggs laid by a queen can take just 10 days to hatch. This can make little black ants more difficult to get rid of than other species. 

10 Questions about Ants

1.Why are ants important?

Ants play a huge role in the environment. They turn and aerate the soil, allowing water and oxygen to reach plant roots. Ants eat a wide variety of organic materials and provide food for many different organisms. 

2. How do ants communicate with each other?

When ants need to communicate with each other they will use at least one of these. Scent, their antennas are how they receive a message, like our nose we use to smell. Touch, what they touch and use to show is a way of communication. Body Language, they can tell other ants just by lightly touching or stroking the receiver in different ways. And lastly they use sounds, they make sound that mean certain things to each other. 

3. Are ants dangerous?

Most ants that you find in your home are unlikely to be harmful unless they are fire ants. Large amount of fire ant bites can be harmful to a human being, causing massive anaphylaxis and eventually death.

4. Will ants eat plants?

Ants like to eat the sweet nectar from flowering plants and honeydew waste from aphids. Although ants can become a healthy part of your garden’s ecosystem, they can also cause destruction by eating your plants and any fruit that they may produce.

5. How long do ants typically live?

This depends on the type of ant it is. Unlike some insects that only live a couple of days or even hours, ants typically live anywhere from 4-12 months. Some can live up to 15 years!

6. If ants don’t have lungs, how do they breath?

Ants are so small that they don’t have a respiratory system. Therefore, they don’t have lungs to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide. Ants have holes throughout their bodies that take in oxygen so that the oxygen can circulate throughout the whole body.

7. What is the average amount of ants on the earth?

There is an estimate of 1 million ants for every one human. Ants outnumber humans big time, just imagine if they were our size they would rule the humans. With both of their intelligence, adaptability, and the number, they could dominate over us if only they were a little bit bigger.

8. Can ants swim?

Ants can doggy paddle throughout water to swim. They are able to hold their breath for a very long period of time. When it floods, ants will build their own boats to survive through the water. They are very smart survivors. 

9. How long have ants been around?

Ants have been around for about 130 million years. They were here when the dinosaurs existed, this means they know more about dinosaurs than humans do. Through millions of years of evolution, they have evolved into highly advanced creatures that are as complex as human beings. 

10.  Do I have ants or termites?

It can be very hard to tell the difference between ants and termites. Ants second pair of wings will be smaller than their first ones, whereas termites wings will all be the same length. Termites also have a broad waist, where ants will have a slender waist. These are the main ways to tell the difference. 

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