Anyone who has spent significant time in the southwestern United States has come into contact or been warned about and made efforts on how to get rid of fire ants.
These little creatures bite and leave an itchy and uncomfortable mark where the bite occurred. These ants are widespread and native to the United States. They occupy much of the southern United States from Florida, up to the Carolinas, and then all the way west to California.
The life cycle of the fire ant is similar to most other ants. The life cycle of these insects follows the pattern of egg, larva, pupae, and finally the adult ant.
While individual ant life cycle is an interesting point, there is a broader issue of the life cycle of the colony. Ants operate as a collective and therefore the life cycle of their colony is an interesting study.
There are multiple types of ants within a colony that all serve different functions. The most notable of the types of ants in a colony is the queen.
The queen is the largest ant in the colony and their primary function is breeding. The queen can produce up to 3,500 eggs in a day and survive around 6 or 7 years. This means that a single queen fire ant can produce over 8 million eggs in her lifetime.
Queen ants are able to produce so many offspring that they may fill a nest. Queens have been observed leaving the nest with a set of workers in order to form new colonies. The queen’s natural instinct is to expand and this helps to facilitate that instinct.
These new colonies are usually very close to the first one and can lead to quite the issue if these colonies are around a person’s yard.
Drones have only one single purpose: to mate with the queen. The lifespan of male ants is normally around 4 or 5 days. Similar to the queen ants, male ants have wings — only that these wings are permanent.
The third type of ant in a colony is the worker ant. These ants are sterile females and have a myriad of functions within the colony. The workers serve as the defense against predators and build the nests.
Most of the ants’ people meet are worker ants that are out in search of food or supplies used for maintaining the nests. The workers are able to build very intricate nests that have many different areas for adult ants and nursery-type areas for ants that are not adults yet. The average lifespan of the worker ants is around five weeks.
While fire ants are a serious pest issue in the south, they can easily be dealt with. Due to their prevalence, many pest control companies are experts at seeking out the issues with fire ants and dealing with them accordingly.
Additionally, fire ants are not deadly unless the human has an allergy present, although the stings are very uncomfortable. If you feel as though you have a serious issue with fire ants, contact your local pest control company immediately.