Ants are social insects, which form three castes:
- queen (female)
- worker and soldier
Females and males are winged, but others are wingless. Ants live in colony in nests, called anthills, which could be made in the soil, wood or under stones. Some types of ants build anthills from small herbal particles.
Anatomy of ants is quite complicated. Adult insects are covered by peel, tight in some places and soft in others. Body of the ant has three major systems – mouthparts, legs and sting. The mouth parts are composed of tiny elements which move food particles. The second system consists of three pairs of legs, which support the middle part of the body. Leg consists of nine articulations and ends with two claws and sticky pad in the middle. Sting protrudes from the back of the abdomen. It produces acrid formic acid.
Ants are circulated all over the world, with the exception of Antarctica and some distant islands, forming 10-25% of the Earth’s biomass of terrestrial animals. The success of the ants in many habitats is conditioned by their social organization and the ability to change the habitat and use a variety of resources.
The advantages given by the ants co-operatives have led to the fact, that today they are the dominant largest group of arthropods. They live almost anywhere and are most common in tropical zones, but we have a plenty of them also in many areas with a temperate climate.
Harm to human
Ants perform many ecological functions, which are useful for people, including the regulation of the number of others insect pests and aeration of the soil. The value of ants in nature is great, but some species feed on plants, fruits and berries, harming agriculture and are considered as pests.
On the other hand, ants can cause discomfort, when they attack human homes or cause economic damage. Some species facilitate the dissemination of bacterial and viral diseases in humans. The ability of ants to effectively use the resources frequently leads to the conflict with people, because ants can damage the crop plants or invade human homes. The behavior of ants frequently provokes the harm to humans.
Ants can get into the residential and household premises, apartments, where spoil sweet and meat products. Also, they can sometimes creep into the hives. In such a way number of species can be considered as pests of agriculture and forestry, as well as household pests. One type of ants is a small, 3 mm in length, yellow in color – Pharaoh ant. This species lives around the world thanks to the shipping process. Except meat and dairy products it could eat bread, flour and sugar and also damage the entomological collection.
Causes, why appear the ants in the house
- increased moisture in the room and mouldering wood inside, for example the old sofa. Mouldering, rotten wood is a favorite place for nesting ant family;
- breeding of vegetable cultures or other plants indoors: in the pots, where they are growing, the ants can arrange a nest locations;
- overflowing with unwashed dishes in the kitchen sink, which attracts to itself the ants;
- inaccurately cleaned the crumbs from the dinner table.
Period of activity of the pests
If suddenly ants invaded your apartment, the more – volatile ants, it means, that now is second half of the summer. Most probably, that ants started the mating season. At this time, reproductive females and males grow their wings and take to the skies for the mating. As a rule, the males fly up earlier than the females and secrete pheromones, which cause females to follow them.
The males perish soon, but females with wings are actively looking for a new place for anthill, where is water, warmth and comfort. The house for this is just by the way. Having found such comfortable place, the female bite off its wings and digs the first chamber of the future nest, and then begins to lay eggs and care for them.
Life cycle of ants is rather complicated. Ants go through several stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult.
From egg hatch into larvae – the only growing stage of the insect. Life of ants begins with eggs. If the egg is fertilized, the female grows out of it, but if not – then the male. Usually the eggs are not stored individually, but in small groups. After incubation period from egg goes wormlike larva. After that, the larva transforms into a pupa, which will eventually become a full-fledged adult.
Most species of ants have the ability to mate (only females -the future queens and males). The most dangerous period of life cycle of ants for the human – is the mating season. At this point, ants are eager to find a new home for themselves, often intruding into people’s homes and bringing harm.
Methods of dealing with ants
First and foremost, you need to find out where there are ants in the house and find their nest. You should control them. But do not forget, that the nest could not be single. They must be destroyed with the help of special funds or popular insecticides, but not bad are various poisons and traps. If anthill with the queen and larvae are destroyed – the remaining individuals, in theory, should be removed from areas of your home or become extinct.
If ants in the house will be deprived of access to water and food become unavailable for them, the interest to your house will gradually vanish. Facilitate such a decision also elementary preventive measures, such as ground coat and cement every crack and crevice, not forgetting about ducts. In places, which can’t be patch up mechanically, will help the special means, such as a specialized adhesive tape or poisonous chalk. But in the case where you have tried everything, but nothing happened, you need to make professional disinfestation.
In order to avoid the appearance of the ants in your house, you need to follow the some rules:
- to hold stock in warehouses orderly manner;
- to minimize the amount of perishable stocks;
- to clean regularly storage facilities;
- to keep temperature and air humidity in the storage at a minimal;
- to make weekly careful checking;
- always to pack in tightly sealed containers opened products;
- daily eliminate waste (not to leave them opened);
- to reinforce water pipelines and sewer shafts;
- to eliminate construction defects.
If you follow these rules, the ants will never disturb you.