DISTRIBUTION Some experts estimate there exist 10,000 or more ant species worldwide.
DESCRIPTION All ants are members of the scientific order of insects called HYMENOPTERA. The primary characteristics of the reproductive adult hymenoptera include: four membranous or transparent wings, the front two wings larger than the hind two; chewing mouth parts; complete metamorphosis; and the front region of the abdomen is often constricted, forming the body region called the petiole.
HABITS All ants are social insects which live in colonies with one to several queens, immatures, many sterile workers and occasionally males. The ants within a colony are not all the same. Individuals are specialized to perform various tasks and no ant does everything alone. These specialized groups are called castes. This inborn sense of duty has created a situation whereby all castes must live together cooperatively in order to survive (WORKER - LARVE - QUEENS AND MALES).
POTENTIAL HAZARDS Most ants entering structures are considered a nuisance. They contaminate food and sometimes damage fabrics. Some ants will also bite and sting, causing health concerns. Relatively few species enter homes or buildings and still fewer nest indoors and become problems.
PREVENTION A few non-chemical methods of control may be suggested such as :
  • Sanitation to remove food favored by ants.
  • Changing landscaping or crops to discourage ant or ant/honeydew -
  • Producing insect relationships.
  • Reducing moisture sources including condensation and leaks.
  • Removal of plants that attract ants.
  • CONTROL Pesticides can eliminate ants in many different ways including:
  • Baits can be designed to be carried back to the nests and eliminate the queens and the nest workers.
  • Drenches of residual insecticides can be used on ant nest in the ground.
  • Residual insecticides have been placed in wide strips around all nest exits to kill foraging workers.
  • Residual insecticides can be very effective as a barrier treatment around the exterior of structures.