Ants

Carpenter ant

image44

 Carpenter ants are large ants indigenous to many forested parts of the world. They build nests inside wood consisting of galleries chewed out with their mandibles, preferably in dead, damp wood. They do not consume the wood, however, unlike termites. Sometimes, carpenter ants hollow out sections of trees. 


 These ants are foragers that typically eat parts of other dead insects or substances derived from other insects. Common foods for them include insect parts, "honeydew" produced by aphids, or extra floral nectar from plants. They are also known for eating other sugary liquids such as honey, syrup, or juices. 

Pavement ant

image45

  

Its common name comes from the fact that colonies in North America usually make their homes under pavement. It is distinguished by one pair of spines on the back, two nodes on the narrow waist, and grooves on the head and thorax.


During the late spring and early summer, colonies attempt to conquer new areas and often attack nearby enemy colonies. This results in huge sidewalk battles, sometimes leaving thousands of ants dead. Because of their aggressive nature, they often invade and colonize seemingly impenetrable areas outside their native range.


In summer, the ants dig out the sand between the pavements to vent their nests.They will eat almost anything, including other insects, seeds, honeydew, honey, bread, meats, nuts, ice cream and cheese.


Acrobat ant

image46

Acrobat ants are characterized by a distinctive heart-shaped abdomen. Members of this genus are also known as cocktail ants because of their habit of raising their abdomens when alarmed. Acrobat ants acquire food largely through predication of other insects, like wasps. They use venom to stun their prey and a complex trail-laying process to lead comrades to food sources. Like many social insects, they reproduce in nuptial flights and the queen stores sperm as she starts a new nest.


Acrobat ants can be found either outdoors or indoors with great frequency in each case. Outdoors, acrobat ants are usually arboreal, but they often live in many common areas in the wild. These areas are typically moist and are often dark. They can often be found in trees, collections of wood (like firewood), and under rocks. 


Acrobat ants lay scent trails for many different reasons: communication, recruitment of workers, etc. The scents originate in the tibial gland and are secreted from the abdomen of the ants. The abdomen never actually touches the surface of what the ant is leaving the scent on.


Odorous house ant

image47

  

These ants can be found in a huge diversity of habitats, including within houses. They forage mainly for honeydew, which is produced by aphids and scale insects that are guarded and tended by the ants, as well as floral nectar and other sugary foods. They are common household pests and are attracted to sources of water and sweets.


This species of ant demonstrates a dominance hierarchy system, consisting of a queen and subordinate workers. The larger colonies themselves vary in size from a few hundred to tens of thousands of individuals. 


Foragers collect food that is around the nesting area and bring it back to the colony to share with the other ants meaning that one colony has multiple nests because of this the odorous house ant is very good at foraging for food


The common names "odorous house ant" and "coconut ant" come from the odor the ants produce when crushed, which is very similar to the pungent odor of a coconut, blue cheese, or turpentine.

Pharaoh ant

image48

They are light yellow to reddish brown in color with a darker abdomen. Pharaoh ant workers have a non-functional stinger used to generate pheromones.


Pharaoh ant colonies appear to prefer familiar nests to novel nests while budding. This suggests the ability for colonies to remember certain qualities of their living space. However, if the novel (unfamiliar) nest is of superior quality, the colony may initially move toward the familiar, but will eventually select the unfamiliar. The colony assumes the familiar nest is preferable, unless they sense better qualities in the novel nest. This decision-making process seeks to minimize the time the colony is without a nest while optimizing the nest the colony finally chooses


Pharaoh ants have a sophisticated strategy for food preference. They implement two related behaviors. The first is known as satiation. The workers will at first show a strong preference for a particular food type. However, if this food is offered alone, with no other options, for several weeks, workers will afterward show a distinct preference for a different type of food. In this way, the ants become satiated on a certain food group and will change their decision. The second behavior is called alternation. If given the continuous choice between food groups, pharaoh ants will tend to alternate between carbohydrate-rich foods and protein-rich foods. These satiation and alternation behaviors are evolutionary adaptive. The decision to vary the type of food consumed ensures that the colony maintains a balanced diet.

Citronella ant

image49

  

The citronella ants get their name from the lemon verbena or citronella odor they emit when threatened. It is most noticeable when the ants are crushed. They are subterranean insects that feed on the honeydew (excretions) of aphids and mealybugs feeding on the roots of shrubs.


Both the larger and the smaller yellow ant are found throughout much of the continental United States. They are very common in the eastern United States and are frequently confused with termites when they swarm into the living areas of homes. In both species, the swarmer’s (winged ants) may vary in color from the more common light yellow to a dark reddish-yellow or light brown. The workers are typically yellow with less color variation than the swarmer’s.


The swarmer’s are approximately twice the size of the workers and have dark, smoke-colored wings. Like the workers, they can also vary in color from a light yellow to light reddish-brown.

Swarms may occur in and around homes any time of the year. The most common swarming occurs in mid- to late summer, but swarmer’s have been collected from homes during late autumn and early spring. These early and late season swarms are possibly an abnormality created by the warmer soils under and adjacent to heated structures.

We hope you enjoy our site and take a moment to drop us a line.