Friday, August 22, 2008

Ants - General

Do you know what type of ant this is? This is the Argentine Ant and if you spray it or the colony you have just doubled the number of colonies you had before. Ants are among the most successful of insects, and many pest control companies the most important household pest in terms of business opportunity as well as challenge.

Like termites, they are social insects and live in colonies. However, ants evolved this social behavior separately. Many species prefers to nest in the ground; others prefer to next in wood such as dead logs, fence posts, hollow trees or wood within a structure. When ants next in wood, their damage will usually be much less than that caused by termites. Because ants will only hollow out a nest gallery. Unlike termites, ants do not eat wood and cannot digest cellulose. Adult male and female ants of many species are winged, as are adult termites. The front pair of wings are always longer and wider than the hind pair. Termites wings are of equal size and shape.

Ants have a complete metamorphosis comprised of four states; egg, larva, pupa and adult. Some ant species feed on a wide variety of food items while others typically feed on a rather narrow range of foods. Food preferences may also change significantly during the course of the season, especially for outdoor species or depending on the specific needs of the colony. Proper procedures for ant control in and around homes or other buildings depend greatly on the species of ant involved, the extent and nature of the infestation, and location of the nest or nests used by the infesting species. Proper identification of the ant species in each situation must be the first step prior to treatment. Improper identification and treatment used could make the problem worse. As the days and months go by I will write a small article about the most common pest ants in the United States. If you are not sure about an ant send me an email I will try to help you identify that nasty pest.

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