The hurricane traveling through Texas has left devastating catastrophe in its wake. Everyone has seen the problems that arise, witnessed unsung heroes saving the lives people and animals and everyone pitching in to do what they can to help those impacted by the flooding. People, down to the insects are doing all they can to survive. Ants in particular, are have the knack for survival. Being on the earth billions of years, they have adapted well to surviving natural disasters. Being able to pilfer food, build massive nests, and live socially is not the only thing they are capable of and we at Source Pest Control would like to take the opportunity to discuss what the ants are doing to survive the terrible hurricanes and floods.
Fire Ant Bites & Stings
Fire ants are one of the most common types of ants found throughout the country. With their notorious aggressive behavior whenever they feel they or their nest is threatened, their multiple painful stings make these ants one species to avoid. Fire ants are omnivorous, eating anything from proteins to sweets which include dead insects, grains, fruits and veggies and anything else they can manage. Eating crumbs left behind on countertops and floors, these ants eat food that is convenient.
Fire Ant Mounds & Nests
Unless they are desperate for food or climate changes are significantly altered, generally, fire ants will keep to the outdoors. When you have fire ants on your grounds, you will often spot dirt mounds scattered along the yard that lead to their massive colony and nesting sites. Thriving and reproducing quickly when they find ideal locations to construct their nests, fire ants can easily reach members of 250,000 workers in their colony.
Floating Fire Ants in Floods
In the recent flooding over in Houston, Texas the first responders are actually dealing with islands of fire ants among the mayhem. Within the tragedy, volunteers, news teams, and evacuees have noticed that the fire ants have formed a protective island and it merely floats by in the high waters. The fascinating survival instincts are incredible. Debris and alligators are not the only thing in the water people have to concern themselves as the wade through the flooding and to safety. Taking advantage of the new habitat the floods produce, the fire ant islands have the ability to float for days or as long as it takes to find a tree or dry land. As the waters rise, the ants will form clusters in less than two minutes before the colony is submerged by using their strong jaws to interlock with one another as well as the sticky pads under their legs that they will bond together. Depending on the colony size, the ant islands consists of anywhere from thousands to even millions of ants and to preserve their beloved queen and precious new babies, they are immediately pushed to the top center for safe keeping. As these clusters wait out the flooding the ants on the bottom will make their way to the top as the continuous rotation progresses, none of the ants stay submerged long enough to drown.
Fire Ant Control
As fascinating as this is, spraying the ants with detergents can ward off the swarms but avoiding these little rafts is optimal for just like any living thing trying to survive a flood, they will grab onto anything they can. California can experience flooding and if you discover these ant islands, try to avoid them as you pass through to prevent multiple stings they may inflict. Contact Source Pest Control for all your ant and pest control needs.