Ants: The Hardworking Insects

Ants live in societies of large numbers under the ground, in wall cracks or tree blog holes. They are known for their long life span since the life span of a worker ant is up to 7 years and that of the queen ant is up to 15 years.

Ants have a complete transformation process (egg, larva, nymph, and perfect insect) and there are more than 10000 ant species around the world. One more feature of ants is their organized society. Every special type of ant executes a certain task in order for the members of society to cooperate effectively and manage to survive.

In Cyprus the most well known types of ant are:

  • Odorous house ant (Lasius Niger) also known as the Black ant which has a size of 3-5mm
  • Thief ant (Solenopsis Molesta) which has a size between 1-1,5mm and a yellow-brown color
  • Pharaoh ant (Monomorium Pharaonis) which has a size 1,5-2mm and a yellow-brown color

Their main features are:

  • Their three apparent divisions which make up their body. (head, chest, and stomach)
  • Their knee shaped antennas (bent)
  • They have chewy types
  • The reproductive ants of the societies have four transparent wings, the front being longer than the back ones.

Reproduction happens during the summer months when the reproductive ants of the society come out of their nests in large numbers. After their reproductive procedure male ants die and the female queens lose their wings. Later on, female queens choose their nests in order to form their new societies.

When ants search for food they create paths with a pheromone which helps the other ants too in order to follow them every time they recruit in order to reach their food area.

Ants mainly feed on protein foods but actually they especially prefer substances containing sugar. They pollute the food and they cause many problems in buildings and gardens. Finally, some ants bite causing health disorders.

Protection measures that can be taken are the following:

  • Food storage in airtight containers
  • Mending and sealing any kind of wall cracks in buildings that may become possible ant nests
  • Overall and thorough cleaning in all areas, removal, and proper garbage storage
  • Removal or spraying of plants or trees that attract ants

Total elimination of ants must be performed in the following ways:

  • Detection of their nests and local use of contact biocide directly inside the nests
  • Usage of ready to use baits which are transferred through ants themselves inside nests causing the extinction of the entire society
  • Use of residual insecticide around the nests and outside around the building
  • In areas where we can’t use liquid insecticide, we use powder insecticide for example on electrical cable spots in order to avoid short circuits
  • Review of the places where the treatment took place in about 2-4 weeks time
Published: 01.10.2019