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Understanding Ant Colonies and How They Spread

Midwestern Termite and Pest Control, with service areas in the greater St. Louis, Missouri and Franklin County, Illinois areas, knows that in our areas, ants are a big problem. While these small pests might seem like little more than an annoyance, they can really hamper your ability to enjoy your home both inside and out.

To understand why ants are one of the hardest pests to remove from your property, you have to understand how an ant colony works. Unlike other pests, ants are highly social creatures and work together-even from colony to colony.

That’s not to say that they aren’t territorial, because some ants have been documented to fight for space. The issue is their small size makes numerous ‘beds’ feasible for coexisting on one area of land, or home.

The Social Structure of Ants

Ants showcase a highly evolved social hierarchy. The queen of the colony stays hidden deep in the bed, and has specially designated ants that behave at protectors and nursery workers to her eggs. The ants that you see foraging through your home are specifically bred to fulfill the purpose of feeding the colony.

This is important because the queen, and other ants, lay worker ant eggs by the hundreds. This means that if you limit your pest control treatment to only the visible ants, you’ll never solve the problem of your infestation.

Instead, the small amount of ants lost to the colony will simply be replaced. To fully eliminate the ants, the queen to the established colony must be removed.

As the Colony Grows, so Does Your Ant Problem

The problem grows more complex when you realize that the queen ant lays numerous eggs that are designated to be queen. While one of these eggs may mature and take the place of the current queen, the others mature and leave the nest.

Once they leave, they establish colonies of their own and the cycle is repeated. It’s in this way that you can find yourself dealing with not just one ant bed on your property, but several. Inside each bed, more eggs that carry the potential to start their own colony are being laid.

As you can see, ants can spread quickly once established. With the added consideration that outdoors, ants like to conceal themselves in landscaping and hidden areas, it’s possible that the ants within the bed have already produced offspring that have established another home in the area.

For this reason, it’s important that you seek professional treatment as soon as you notice active ants on your property.

If you see any signs of ants, please contact Midwestern. We’ll treat not only the active bed, but the surrounding areas to help ensure that your ant problem is removed entirely, and lessen the event of a recurrence after treatment.

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