What came first: the ant or ant eggs?
Ant eggs are an integral component of a flourishing ant community. Without continuous egg production, an ant colony couldn’t sustain itself without new workers. Eliminating ant eggs may help decrease a colony’s life cycle, but is it possible to target ants before they transform into larvae?
In our article, we’ll explain everything you should know about an ant’s life cycle from egg to adult and demonstrate the best way to keep them away!
An Ant’s Life Cycle: Transforming from Ant Eggs to Adult Workers
Every ant has to start somewhere! An ant’s life cycle begins inside an egg casing. Queen ants regularly lay dozens to hundreds of ant eggs daily, quickly populating their growing colonies.
Most ant eggs are a milky white color, typically no larger than half a millimeter. Worker ants dedicate their time to protecting the tiny eggs from intruders or other predators.
Depending on the species, ant eggs can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to hatch. Most ants develop into female worker ants that protect the colony and forage for food, but some eventually evolve into winged reproductives that will create new nests.
After hatching, larvae exit ant eggs and begin consuming foraged food. According to the University of California’s Integrated Pest Management Program, a newly mated queen tends to the developing larvae until they grow capable of caring for her and other larvae.
Larvae feast on captured and foraged goods found by worker ants to support their maturing forms. Born without appendages or eyes, larvae depend on other worker ants to aid them in feeding.
Emerging as Pupae and Adults
As they continue to grow, the larvae will eventually transform into their pupae form. The ants will cease eating and instead remain immobile until fully matured. Some species may craft protective cocoons while others lay bare.
An ant’s maturation cycle may look differently depending on the type of ant. Some could spend a few days in this stage, while others will take many weeks to grow.
Pupae typically resemble their adult forms, albeit in a much lighter color. When not covered by a cocoon, ant pupae resemble “clear” adult ants that gradually darken in color.
Most developing adult ants transform into workers that care for the colony, while others emerge as reproductive types. All workers are female ants, but reproductive colony members may be male or female.
All reproductive members exit the colony during the late summer to mate. Meeting in the sky to breed, these winged ants flit around your backyard to find a mate and a new colony location.
Queens ants that breed and successfully find a suitable nesting location will create the next generation of ants, caring for her young until they mature enough to look after her needs. After her initial brood becomes adults, her primary purpose will be laying ant eggs.
Removing Ants from Your Property
Ants are unwelcome guests in your backyard and home. These pests can create unsightly dirt mounds in grassy areas and invade your kitchen for a sweet snack.
When you have ants, you’ll want them quickly gone. Outdoor ant infestations are hard to combat, but these pesky insects are almost impossible to curtail on your own after they sneak indoors!
Will Eliminating Ant Eggs Remove the Colony?
Removing eggs is one way to target many insect populations. Larvicides are a popular pest control strategy for mosquitoes and caterpillars.
However, targeting ant eggs in your pest control method isn’t a viable option. Ant eggs are buried deep within the colony near the queen. To reach these hidden stores, you must dig around in the ant-infested mounds and risk receiving several ant bites!
Ant eggs are a vital element of a colony’s life cycle, but destroying the eggs will not seriously impact the nest. If the queen survives, she can quickly repopulate the colony’s missing members.
Workers generally have a short life, but most queen ants can live for years under the right conditions. For nests with only one queen, eliminating the sole reproductive member will cause the colony to collapse after the workers all die.
Effective pest control methods should focus on eliminating every ant in the colony, from the queen to the tiny ant eggs!
Getting Rid of Pesky Ants
When faced with an ant invasion, focus on the entire colony. There are many helpful baits, traps, and other pest control solutions available to stop these pests in their tracks.
Borax is a common ingredient in many DIY ant pest control methods. Because borax is harmful to ants, it can quickly stop any foraging ants from scouring for a quick bite. You can even eliminate other ants in the colony as they return with the toxin.
Combine borax with sugar, water, and honey to convince the ants to feast on your mixture. Sugary items are energy sources for many small insects like ants, so they’ll flock toward any sweet treat.
Check out this video for an in-depth look into everything you’ll need to create the best borax-based ant control mixture!
If you’re looking for a quick way to get rid of ants, try using boiling water! Pouring hot, boiling water onto any ant mound will instantly eliminate most of the pests at once.
While highly effective, remember to be extremely careful when handling hot liquids because any spills may cause painful burns. If any colony members stick around after the scalding flood or the queen survives, you could continue to struggle with your ant problem.
Boiling water will also kill nearby grass and create unsightly brown spots on your lawn. Only attempt this method if you know the risks and feel comfortable!
Pest Control Agency
When annoying pests become a concern, contact proof. pest control for help! Our residential ant pest control treatments can quickly eliminate growing ant colonies inside or outside your home!
Whether carpenter ants or odorous house ants have crept inside or pavement ants are causing issues in your yard, we can lend a hand. Contact us today for any of your pest control needs!