A Closer Look at Ancient, Amazing Ants

 In Blog

Most Illinois residents see ants so frequently that we rarely give them any thought unless they become a nuisance and force us to call for pest control. But, if you take a closer look at the history and social structure of the ant, you may be surprised at their complexity.

Ant Facts and History

More than 12,000 ant species exist around the world, and they’ve been around for more than 92 million years. To put their history into perspective, consider that dinosaurs became extinct only 65 million years ago. Experts believe that the ant was the first insect to develop a complex social structure. The little guys were delegating tasks and building cities long before humankind ever considered the idea. For unknown reasons, the ant population experienced enormous growth about 50 million years ago, and today, is the most populous living creature in the world.

An ant colony is based on a caste system. Each member is one of three types: a female worker, a male reproducer or the queen. In their organized system, the queen is responsible for laying all of the eggs to keep the colony alive. Workers supply food and care for the young, and a male ant’s only purpose is to mate with the queen. Communication is an essential part of the ant’s success. It’s accomplished through the use of pheromones and chemicals that are left along scent trails – that’s why if you see one ant, there’s likely more.

Four Most Common Ant Species

Knowing how to recognize a type of ant is important for pest control experts, entomologists and the curious ant aficionado. Here are the top four ant species that you’re most likely to encounter in Illinois.

  • The pavement ant is dark brown in color and about a sixth of an inch long. It is often seen indoors after heavy rain.
  • The odorous house ant is a brownish-black species that reaches an eighth of an inch in length. When crushed, it releases an unpleasant odor that resembles rotten coconut or blue cheese.
  • The honey ant looks like other small, dark species. It tends to nest in flooring, walls and concrete slabs.
  • The carpenter ant is dull black or dark reddish-brown and about three-quarters of an inch long. It commonly nests in wood and can be very destructive.

Let Anderson Pest Solutions Solve Your Ant Problem

Although they’re a fascinating species, you probably don’t want ants crawling all over your home. When you need effective pest control in Illinois, our experts at Anderson Pest Solutions are ready to help. We’ll identify the problem, eradicate the infestation and help prevent a recurrence. Contact us today to set up your home inspection.