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Almost everyone has experienced these uninvited house guests – ants! Ants are found on every continent on Earth except Antarctica. According to the National Pest Management Association (NPMA), ants are considered the #1 nuisance pest in America.
There are over 700 types of ants in the United States. Most people don’t realize that these pests can also pose health risks like food contamination and some species can cause costly property damage.
Although no one wants to see ants in their home, these insects are quite fascinating. Keep these fun facts in mind the next time you see one of these tiny creatures.
Ants are really old. Scientists believe ants have been around for millions of years. This means ants shared the planet with dinosaurs like Tyrannosaurus Rex, Triceratops, and Velociraptor. Despite their tiny size, ants survived the mass extinction that killed the dinosaurs and an ice age.
It’s hard to believe that such a tiny creature would need two stomachs, but there is a purpose for this. Ants have one stomach where they hold and consume their own food and another stomach to hold food they share with other ants. This allows the ants that forage for food to feed the ants that remain in the nest to tend to the queen.
Ants are the only creatures besides humans that will farm other creatures. For example, ants will protect aphids from predators and shelter them in their nests during heavy rains in exchange for a constant supply of honeydew.
Even though ants do not have actual ears, they can still “hear” in other ways. Ants feel vibrations in the ground and use special sensors on their feet and knees to receive signals from their surroundings. As they forage for food, they use their antennae and hairs on their body to feel around.
Ants have super strength and can lift between 10-50 times their own body weight. If a human could lift 10 times their weight, a 200-pound man could lift a small car above his head. Even though ants are small, their muscles are thicker relative to their body mass than those of larger animals.
Ants are amazing creatures, but you don’t want them inside your home. Here are some tips to make your house less attractive to ants.
Seal gaps, cracks, and crevices around your home
Eliminate excess moisture around your house
Clean up spills and crumbs in the kitchen
Properly store and seal food items
Identifying the correct ant species is critical to solving an ant infestation in your home. This can be a challenge for someone without proper training. The best thing to do is to contact a pest professional. Ehrlich’s ant control specialists will identify the type of ants you have and develop a customized plan to eliminate and control ants in your home. Contact us today to get started.
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