How Ant Colonies Are Started

Ant colonies are complex social structures that help propagate the species. They all start with a single member – the queen. The queen is originally the member of the reproductive caste of a mature colony, and it will have wings at this time. A winged queen is also known as a swarmer, and it will fly out of the colony, along with hundreds or thousands of other swarmers to reproduce.

After mating, the male will die, and the female will lose its wings. On its own, the queen will start digging out the nest and lay a few eggs. It will have to tend to these eggs, feed the larvae and build tunnels, but once the larvae reach maturity, the queen will no longer have to worry about any other tasks in the colony outside of reproduction.

From here, the ant colony will continue to grow, and it will face very few threats outside of extreme weather events. The next major goal for the colony now is ensure that it manages to reproduce. The procedure for this will depend on the species of the ants. Some ant species have a single queen per colony, and this queen will lay eggs that will hatch reproductives and the cycle described so far will repeat itself.

Other species however can have multiple queens, and they will spread either with the use of reproductives or through the transplantation of one of the queens. For example, pharaoh ants, which are a pest species in the US that can spread diseases, will have potentially hundreds of queens per colony, so there is no shortage when it comes to creating satellite colonies.

How to stop the spread of ants

There is not much that you can do to prevent ant colonies from reproducing, outside of destroying them. With that being said, if you see winged ants flying around, especially in the home, you likely have an infestation. At this point, your best approach is to call over a pest control pro to remove the colony. You have to be especially careful if you notice ants that are red, yellow or big, because these are the appearances of the dangerous ant species out there. If you have any questions about how ants are removed, or if you notice ants in the home and you suspect that you have an infestation, contact us today.

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