Carpenter Ant Extermination

About Carpenter Ants

We have all seen the amazing traits that ants, in general, possess. With incredible strength a single ant can lift more than 100 times its body weight. In addition the ant’s body can support up to 5,000 times its weight. Ants have the ability to communicate via chemical pheromones. The ability to communicate gives the ant community phenomenal organizational abilities which allow them to work together. In a very short time a colony of ants can build or rebuild an ant mound. Ants actually conduct war against other ant colonies in the same way. The ant is a truly incredible insect.

Breeding of Ants

A colony of ants can number in the millions or even hundreds of millions. On the Ishikari coast of Hokkaido, Japan a colony of ants was estimated at an incredible 306 million worker ants and one million queens all in 45 nests which were interconnected via underground passages over an area of 670 acres. As a rule most ant colonies have only one queen, but there are exceptions.

Lifecycle of an Ant

From a tiny egg an ant is born. The queen that laid the egg will have spent her entire life – typically 3 to 6 years – producing as many as 1,700 eggs each day. In a nursery the eggs are deposited with care by sterile female worker ants. The eggs then hatch into larvae which eventually spin a cocoon and become pupae. Once they emerge from their silken maturation chambers ants are fully grown and ready for life in the colony. The time from egg to adult ant depends on the species, but typically takes 25 to 38 days.

Flying Ants Mate

The mating ritual begins in the spring, usually about one year after a new nest has been established. Winged fertile females, and their smaller male counterparts, emerge from the nest and take flight. Some ant species breed as they fly while others mate on the ground. Mating swarms contain thousands of potential queens, but few survive long enough to establish a thriving colony. Males die shortly after breeding, as is often the case in the insect world. Unlike mammals which require sperm for each offspring produced a queen ant requires sperm only once. During her first, and only, mating flight she stockpiles the sperm collected in a sac called the spermathecal storing all she’ll ever need for a lifetime of egg production.

Budding Ants

If the nest has more than one fertile queen budding or dividing may occur when it is time to grow the species. In these cases, workers and a queen move to a suitable location, carrying some of the original colony’s pupae with them. Budding can also occur if a nest is disturbed. The colony may divide into two or more nest and may also continue to support the original nest.

How Ants Organize

Ants communicate via chemical trails and pheromones. Information can be communicated by laying chemical trails or touching antennae with other ants. In an extremely short period of time the entire nest can unify.