Army Ants







  • Appearance: Army ants look like other ant species. Their bodies consist of a head, abdomen, and thorax. Nodes, also known as joints connect the thorax and the abdomen. Their abdomens are egg shaped and their stinger is located in their body segment. An interesting fact about army ants is that their mouths have two jaws or mandibles, like scissors. The adult army ant only ingest liquids, they cannot eat solid items. Their heads have eyes, mouths, and antennae. Antennae are used to smell, touch and communicate with one another.
  • Behavior, Diet and Habits: Worldwide there are over 200 species of army ants. They are commonly found in Central raare attackers, eat freely, they migrate to food sources and maintain a complex social hierarchy. Their Colonies are like other species of ants. They have a queen, workers and soldiers. They do have single ant colonies, they contain up to 24 million individual ants. Army ants make temporary nests while traveling from one location to the next; this makes them known as nomadic. The nests are made up of the army ants themselves. They make walls by fastening their claws and mandibles to each other. They march at night and rest in the daylight while in the nomadic stage, which lasts up to several days. Workers, they are the female army ants that are infertile and cannot establish their own colonies. They are considered workers by bringing food, bringing prey to their nests, and the smaller workers tend to the queens eggs. The soldier ants defend the army nest, thus the soldier name. Tropical areas along with volcanic islands, mountain heights, vast deserts, swamp areas, tropical forests and rainforests are where army ants typically thrive.  Although they like humid climates army ants can and will be found in agricultural areas. Army ants are known to diminish food sources of other animals such as birds, beetles, and reptiles. They have been known when in large groups to kill pigs, chickens, goats, snakes, lizards, and other animals.
  • Reproduction: Reproduction is the queen’s main job. They are large and wingless and never leave the colony. Queen ants mate with multiple male ants and will produce up to 4 million eggs per month! The army ant queen will survive up to 20 years. Male drones die soon after mating with the queen, workers survive only one year. Queens control the stages of the army ants. When enough food has been collected they start the stationary phase, and create temporary nests. During the stationary stage which lasts up to one month the fertilized queen can lay up to 30,000 eggs each day. As the population of the colony gets larger, army ants enter the migratory stage.
  • Sign of Infestation: Army ants are very recognizable by the huge numbers of foraging, and trailing by the worker ants. They best above ground and their nests are made up of themselves. Sometimes if there is a food supply they will get inside your home.
  • More Information: If army ants have invaded your home or property do not hesitate to call you pest control provider. They can give you tips and advice in preventing them from returning. Some of them are: Cleanliness: remove potential food sources. Exclusion: seal and screen areas and places where ants can get in and establish a new colony. Mulch: Keep mulch away from the foundation; don’t let landscaping plants contact the side of your home.
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