After completion of the study of Ants, the trainee should be able to:
Identify key features in the life cycle, habitat and appearance of the
common species of ants.
Given a problem situation for each species of ant, select appropriate control and
management procedures including both chemical and non-chemical.
Before they pupate, the larvae of some ants (carpenter
Ants are-the dominant group of social insects.
ants and others) spin a silk cocoon -- a white or tan
Except for the polar regions, they flourish on all land
papery capsule. When the pupae have made all the
areas of the earth, from rain forests to deserts. All pest
internal changes for adult functioning, they molt into
control technicians become involved with ant problems
the adult stage. Adults take on one of three roles or
at some point in their career -- most commonly
castes of the community: workers (all females), female
because ants are found foraging or nesting inside
reproductives, or male reproductives.
structures -- or because swarming ant reproductives
Males live short lives, they mate and
are confused with swarming termites.
Ant queens are females. They mate and
raise the first brood by themselves.
Afterwards, they produce eggs for the
subsequent broods that go on to make
the colony. They may live many years.
Workers, also females, tend the eggs,
larvae, and pupae. They forage outside
for food and enlarge and defend the
Other specialized groups may arise from
the worker caste in certain species,
soldiers, for example.
INTRODUCTION TO ANTS
Ants eat a wide variety of food, including other
The Ant Colony
insects, seeds, nectar, meats, greases, sugars and
The winged female reproductive mates with a
honeydew. [Honeydew is a liquid produced by plant-
male reproductive either during the swarming flight or
sucking insects, such as aphids or plant lice, mealy
on the ground. The male dies shortly afterwards. The
bugs (groups of small insects with a white powder
female then digs or adapts a cavity, usually in the soil,
clinging to them), scale insects, and planthoppers.]
and walls herself in. At this time, if her wings are not
These insects feed in groups on plant stems and leaves.
already broken off, she tears them off. She then
Many species of ants protect these aggregations from
produces eggs. When the tiny, white, legless grubs
other insects. Ants are a part of this pattern; they also
(larvae) hatch, they are fed with salivary secretions
take drops of honeydew continuously produced by the
from the female's stored fat cells and the breakdown
small sap-sucking individuals.]
of her now useless wing muscles.
Some ant species appear to just wander randomly,
After several molts, the larvae change into soft,
others trail each other precisely from colony to food
source and back. Ants communicate with each other
white, pupae that look like motionless, white adults.
Module One, Chapter 3, Pg 1