As part of our daily lives we tend to see ants wherever we go. There are over 10,000 different species across the world, all of which have similarities, but also unique capabilities. Some unnerving home owners may possibly even mistake ants for termites but ants are quite particular when looking closely. The ant has a thin waist between the abdomen and thorax, which termites do not. In addition, the ant has an elbowed antennae and the termite has beaded antennae. Home owners must also remember that termites are not the only wood destroying insect to worry about. The carpenter ant has an amazing ability to damage or destroy wood structures very similar to termites.
Did you know ants are as old as dinosaurs?
A study from Harvard and Florida State University in 2006, based on 19 of 20 known sub families, suggests that ants came about in the mid-Cretaceous period. This period was about 110-130 million years ago, so one can only imagine how many worldly changes this insect has been able to get through and adapt.
Linepithema humile known as the Argentine ant has been able to conquer six continents. This includes right here in North America and can be found in East Texas. You can determine whether it is an Argentine ant by shape and size, but more precisely the smell. Argentine ants in large groups or if individually squished can smell of a strange musk that is quite unforgettable.
Another ant you will find here in East Texas as well as every continent, except Antarctica, is the fire ant. The fire ant was introduced into the Unites States in 1929 from an infested cargo ship from South America docked in Mobile, Alabama. Now there is a wide spread fire ant problems across the southern portion of the United States. The reason South America does not have near the issue we have in the United States is because in the United States we lack the natural predatory balance to control the population. Fire ants are typically controlled by viruses, phorid flies, eucharitied wasps, and various parasites in their natural environment.
Fire ants, a.k.a. the Red and Black Imported Fire Ants, are extremely aggressive and will swarm anything that causes unrest to their nest. An estimated 20 million people a year will be stung by fire ants in the United States alone, not to mention other animals, insects, and plants that are destroyed by fire ant swarming. It is suggested that there is over $1.2 billion per year in fire ant damage in Texas alone, so if you think you have a fire ant problem, give us a call, and we will be happy to extinguish the problem!