Ants are social insects, like bees and termites, who live in very organized colonies. Each ant is born into its role for life. When they aren’t causing problems for us, their work ethic is pretty impressive.

The number of ants in a colony is in the thousands, so it’s important for them to be organized and intentional. Ant colonies come in literally all shapes and sizes. Smaller colonies live in natural crevices or openings while larger colonies create vast nests and forage for supplies and food. There are also supercolonies around the world that can contain more than 300 million individual ants. These supercolonies have been identified in Japan, Australia, the United States and southern Europe.

Ants work together to gather food and care for the young, and their behavior is surprisingly coordinated and methodical for such seemingly simple insects. There are only three types of ants that make up the ant colony system and they divide the jobs (rather disproportionately!) among each group:

Another unofficial “job” in the ant hierarchy is reserved for the older workers. Called “living silos,” they serve as testers for food toxicity. They regurgitate and distribute food to the rest of the colony, resulting in a diluted food chain that protects the queen and reproductives from poison. This adaptation makes removing infestations with poison baits sometimes challenging.

As in any work setting, some ants may actually work harder than others. Even busy bees aren’t always …well … busy.

Ants, bees and termites can all cause problems when there are too many doing their jobs in the wrong places – like at your home! Get with a professional pest control company for a free inspection and estimate.