There are a lot of things we know about ants that you probably don’t! They’re more than just a pest; as it turns out, they are only considered to be a pest if they decide to make their home in yours. Whether it’s in the driveway, the backyard, or in your own house, there is a lot to learn about our varmint ‘friends’ such as what we’re going to go over in our article. Are you ready to learn more? Here goes!
Fact: Ants are the Same Age as Dinosaurs
We thought silverfish were the only prehistoric insect next to cockroaches, but as it turns out, so are ants! Scientists have estimated that ants have actually existed since the mid-Cretaceous period, which existed 110-130 million years ago. In comparison, we evolved from our ancestors approximately 2 million years ago. To ants, it is we who are considered to be the little guys!
Fact: Ants Think Like One Mind
Rather than having individual actions and thoughts like us humans, ants can actually combine forces to become a giant, coordinated “superorganism”. Ants tend to act and react to situations as a collective whole, and their decisions are based on what is best for the colony as a collective. A single ant may make a mistake, but an army of them can work together to accomplish many things, for example finding an ideal location.
Luckily, when it comes to gathering ‘food,’ they also act as a collective (except, in this case, it’s treatment that we applied to one of our customers).
Fact: Ants Communicate Through Chemicals
Ants not only have the crazy Matrix hive mind but also they communicate using chemicals—to be more specific, pheromones. They use these pheromones to tell their ant buddies that food has been discovered, or there is danger approaching. These chemicals basically contain specific messages such as “Soup’s on!” (i.e. “I found dinner”) or “Intruder alert!”. This is how ants are so good at working as both individuals, transferring the chemicals between antennae, while also working together.
Fact: Ants Carry 10 Times their Weight
Ants are the strong men of the insect kingdom for good reason. With this ability to carry weight greater than their own size, it’s no wonder we’ve seen them cause so much damage to our driveways. As you can see in the video, they can and will push tons of sand up and out from under the brick and mortar this driveway is made of.
Add the fact about their collective mind, i.e. working as a team to push the sand up and out rather than as individuals, and you’ve got a major ant problem on your hands. They can completely ruin the even levelling of a driveway if the ant infestation is not taken care of quickly!
Fact: Some Ants Have Wings for a Reason
Did you know there are two kinds of winged ants? In fact, the females are the larger winged ants you may see flying around; if they are smaller, they are male winged ants. They have wings because for the sake of keeping their colony thriving, they are reproductive ants only (the ones on the ground we most attribute ants to are in fact female workers). Flying around in the open is, in fact, part of their mating ritual. Here we were thinking skydiving was exciting enough!
Fact: Ants Numbers Are Greater than Our Own
There are 7 billion human beings on this planet to date. However, quadruple that number and you will know the current population of ants on Earth: 10 quadrillion, which looks like this. 10,000,000,000,000,000. Bad news for everyone who thinks ants are taking over the world…
Fact: There are Many Different Types of Ants in BC’s Mainland
We all know about the big boys: carpenter ants, fire ants, black ants, and so on. But did you know that in BC there are Pharaoh ants, thatching ants, and moisture (cornfield) ants too? All of these ants have been found nesting in our driveways and homes (if the videos weren’t obvious enough! They were taken directly by your local Pest Boss).
Naturally, if ants have decided to make their home in your driveway or house, they can turn into a giant ant problem instead of a fun ant fact of life. If that’s the case, call your Pest Boss. We’ll get those varmints!
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