Ants: A small life
Ants are everywhere on planet Earth. Ants have been living for more than 100 million years. Just about every house every tree every stone has ants! Well if you take a closer look at them you may find yourself with a different perspective about them. There are about 12,000 species of ants in the whole world .Most ants form colonies out of dozens and dozens. Every patch of land you step on they are there. A way to look at these insects could be thought of as a big community working together.
The bible even uses them as an example of cooperation through hard work. A common fact known about ants is the undeniable strength they have. “Usually it's said they can lift 10, 20, or even 50 times their own weight. It's mostly stated like this: an ant can lift over its head objects that weigh 20 times what an ant weighs. This is the equivalent of a 220 pounds (100 kilogram) man lifting over 4,400 pounds (2000 kilograms) over his head!” (funtriva.com).
One thing that some people do not know is that ants actually don't breathe like we do. They do not have lungs like us but they breathe through tiny holes in there body. Ants usually live inside the dirt. Some ant nest can reach as deep as 15 feet.
Most insects do not live together as colony like ants in fact ants actually have a job. Like bees' ants have a Queen, they don't have any sort of authority but they are the ones that are able to reproduce. Some Queen Ants can live for many years and have millions of babies! (pestworldforkids.org).There are three types of ants in each species, the queen, the sterile female workers, and males.
The male ants only serve one purpose, to mate with future queen ants and do not live very long. So an ant's job is to please the Queens. Eventually a queen will lay its eggs and those ants may later become queens. Ants usually have a lifetime of about 90 days while most insects live for a longer time. An ant's lifetime occurs inside the egg that is among the 100's of eggs a queen may lay. If the egg is properly cared for and fertilized the egg will be a female like the rest of the colony. Ants develop like a metamorphosis. It goes through the holometabolisom, which is a type of metamorphosis that includes 4 stages in the process of becoming an adult. (Wikipedia.com)The first stage called the larva stage larva is cared for by the workers by them bringing food.
When they have completed the metamorphosis they are assigned to their jobs. Many of the jobs are defending, foraging the nest and digging the nest deeper. If you watch ants for any length of time you will see that they really do communicate with each other and very effectively too. Ants communicate by touching each other with their antennae. Ants also use chemicals called pheromones to leave scent trails for other ants to follow. Its amazing how walking little pieces of life can be such a discovery.
Allot of the times , ants can become nuisances when they intrude inside buildings. Ants Known as pests are the pavement ant, pharaoh ant, yellow crazy ant, sugar ant, argentineant, odorous house ant, red imported fire ant and the European fire ant (Wikipedia.com). fortunately their are solutions for controlling the populations such as repellents. With some repellents you can spray it around the perimeter of your house.
Many companies all of the world have created different alternatives though. Ants do benefit us in many ways in a medical understanding. Ants perform many ecological roles that are beneficial to humans, including the suppression of pest populations and aeration of the soil. In some parts of the world (mainly Africa and South America), large ants, especially army ants are used as surgical sutures. The wound is pressed together and ants are applied along it. The ant seizes the edges of the wound in its mandibles and locks in place. The body is then cut off and the head and mandibles remain in place to close the wound.
Ants such as the pavement own their name because they make their nests in or under cracks inside pavement. They can be found in the eastern part of the U.S.. Their colonies can be averaged to about 3 or even 4 thousand members. Pavement ants ear practically everything that includes, grease, seeds, honeydew, honey, bread, meats, cheese and even nuts. They don't really have threats towards humans but they can contaminate the food we eat. There are ways of preventing them from bothering us.
One of the many multiple ways are eliminating standing water. “Pests, such as ants, mosquitoes and termites, are attracted to moisture”. “Keeping tree branches and other plants cut back from the house”. “Sometimes pests use these branches to get into your home.” “Make sure that there are no cracks or little openings around the bottom of your house.” Sometimes pests use these to get into your home. Make sure that firewood and building materials are not stored next to your home.” “Pests like to build nests in stacks of wood” (Pestworldforkids,org). Carpenter Ants are another species that originated here in the United States. They get their name from the nests the build in wood.
Its harmful though cause they cause a significant to the wood in your household. They do not carry types of harmful diseases but when they make their nests “Carpenter Ants dig smooth tunnels inside the wood” (Pestworldforkids.com). This can cause the wood inside your house to weaken. It can be very expensive to fix. To prevent this kind harmful activity in your house you can make sure that building materials and firewood are not stored in or next to your home because they will most likely build their nests their. Probably the worst kind of ants there are is the Odorous House Ants. Its name is give for the nasty “rotten coconut” smell it spreads. Strangely it gives it smell off when its crushed. These Ants can be such pests that they even come in colonies up to 100,000 members! They eat dead insects and fruit and anything that is around that they can eat.
They usually make their nests in soil under logs, stones and even in the cracks in walls. Like all ants though their are always ways of getting rid of them. Avoid using other individuals' combs, hats, towels, etc. Eliminate standing water. Pests, such as ants, mosquitoes and termites, are attracted to moisture. Make sure that there are no cracks or little openings around the bottom of your house. Sometimes pests use these to get into your home (pestworldforkids.org).
Now to save worst for last there is always one ant that everybody hates. This Ant is called the Red Imported Fire Ant. They are known for the painful stings they have when they bite any living thing. Fortunately they do not plant their nests inside house but they build mounds of soil in areas close to building foundations. The bite from the Fire Ant is painful and well often leave a welt or a blister. Probably the best way to get rid of these aggressive creatures and any ants Is to use Ant repellents.
As amazing as these creatures can be often we need to control these growing populations. Only our God in Heaven knows what we different species of ants and other insects we have yet to discover. I'm sure that as we take a closer look you realize how amazing anything so small can be so astonishing