Are ants attracted to artificial sweeteners?

The ant habitat. Everything about ants. Role in the working ant family and structural features

Ants - a family of insects from the superfamily of the ant hymenoptera. Are public insects3 forming castes: women, men and workers. Women and men are winged, workers are wingless. Antennas are articulated, 11-12 segmented in women and workers, 12-13 segmented in men, 4-, 6-, or 10-segmented in a number of species. The main segment of the antennae (scape) is usually much longer than any other. The back of the chest (epinotum) is the first part of the abdomen that merges with the back of the chest. In fact, the abdomen connects the epinotum with a stalk formed by the first or second segment. The ants of some subfamilies (Myrmycine, Ponerine, and others) have a developed sting. Reduced wings.

The fight is very difficult because they avoid areas with dead members of the conscience and thereby avoid further fighting. The fight against the pharaohs must be left to a competent specialist from the start. Opinions and opinions should not coincide with the opinions of the authors.

Why don't chemical synthetic ants fight?

Pesticides are biocidal products. Chemical biocides are generally considered to be hazardous because they are supposed to damage living things. The use of chemical pesticides can lead to health risks that can be particularly problematic for sensitive groups such as children, pregnant women or patients. Insect repellants often contain nerve pain, which can also damage the nervous systems of people and pets. As a rule, synthetic, i.e. synthetically produced active ingredients, are much more durable than natural substances.

They mainly feed on plant saps, aphids, and other sucking insects, while larvae mainly feed on insects. There are also species that feed on seeds (reaper ants) and cultivated mushrooms (leaf cutter ants).


Resistant insects can enter indoor air, contaminate food, or enter the environment with waste or abrasive water and pollute soil and water. Using natural methods usually requires more patience and can be more expensive. However, it is worth the effort as you will be safe and not have to worry about potential health risks or pollution.

Ask for products without chemicals. The trade already offers many safe products and will manage their range according to the requirements. Consists of competent, comprehensive sales recommendations. Do not get misleading or trivial advertising: For example, "natural" or "naturally" does not mean that the product contains natural ingredients, but that it is synthetic. Therefore, take a close and critical look at advertising and small print.

Distributed worldwide, with the exception of Antarctica and a few remote islands which make up 10-25% of the biomass of terrestrial animals. The success of ants in many habitats is based on their social organization and the ability to change the habitat and use different resources.

About 300 species live in Russia.

Use a number of independent health and environmental advice centers for personal injury and personal injury. Have you ever seen an anthill in a forest? They can be quite large and made up of many small parts from a shredded plant. Do you know that there can be more than 1 million Valdamisen in such a nest in the forest? And you can only see a small part of the entire nest. Most of them are underground.

Wood ants ok forest?

Valdays are very important to the forest. For example, they eat insects that damage trees. In addition, the ants themselves are an important food for many other forest dwellers: birds, shrews and hedgehogs, lizards, toads and many insects make hunting ants. Many flowers in the forest rely on the help of ants as ants spread the seeds of the plant.

Ants are the most advanced insect families in terms of ethology, ecology, and physiology. Their families are complex social groups with a division of labor and developed systems of communication and self-organization that enable individuals to coordinate their actions in carrying out tasks that are beyond the power of an individual. Some species of ants have developed “language” and can convey complex information. In addition, many species of ants have highly developed symbiotic relationships with other insects, fungi, bacteria, and plants.

Each animal has an assigned mission in an ant colony. There are ants that fix the nest all day and those that feed food for everyone. Others take care of the offspring while others protect the nest from their enemies. The head of the ants is the queen of the ants.

In the anthill it is pleasantly warm almost all year round. Therefore, ants are always active from March to October. In winter, however, all humans end up in cold stables. They stay tough until the next spring the sun sends its first rays into the forest. The more ants wake up, the warmer it gets in the nest. Soon everyone will be awake and the ant can begin.


One of the largest representatives of the family is Camponotus gigas with a size of about 20 mm for workers, 18.3 mm for men, 28.1 mm for soldiers and 31.3 mm for the uterus. Most of the large ants are also the giant Dinoponeros (Dinoponera gigantea) and Paraponera clavata, which reach a length of 25-30 mm. Males of the African genus Dorylus can reach a length of up to 3 cm, and the uterus (queens) in the sedentary phase at the time of maturation of the eggs has a greatly enlarged belly and a total length of up to 5 cm. The largest fossils of the genus Formicium in history. Their females reached a length of 7 cm and their wings had a wingspan of up to 15 cm.

Only at first glance do the anthills look like a mess. Ants organize their cities in urban areas: from planning to hygiene and communication to death. Some ants even breed animal lice and mushroom gardens. Each animal has its own function in a social ant colony, which is often recognized in the structure of the body.

The key to the success of such a gigantic structure is communication in the state of the ants. Without swapping jobs and exchanges, there is nothing here. To convey information about food, enemies or building materials, the little ones use perfumes. Sometimes they are also used to kill rivals in their own nest to secure their own bond with the queen.

The difficulty of classifying ants is associated with two phenomena - the presence of twin species and hybrids. There are some types that look almost indistinguishable. Therefore, the species that is described by the anatomical features of a small number of individuals is often divided into two or more independent species that are reproductively isolated from each other. You can distinguish them from one another by genetic or enzymatic properties. In contrast, two closely related species of ants, which are easily distinguishable from external signs, often cross over in places of common dwelling and give hybrid forms. With the fertility of such hybrids, it is concluded that the species are not independent, but are just different races of the same species, since the offspring do not interbreed different species are not productive.

When a spy discovers a delicious source of food, she sprays a precise scent en route and distributes the samples after she returns to the building. Other animals “smell hot”, follow the aroma and strengthen them accordingly. The more it smells, the more ants. The recipe for success, because many ants reach wherever combined forces are needed. The opposite is the case: if the path to the feed is blocked, insects leave less aromatic substances behind and the density decreases. In a more direct version of the broadcast, the following animals are simply pushed onto another, free path.

The morphology and anatomy of an ant

The structure of the working ant


  1. flagellum flagellum
  2. vine capus
  3. frontal lobes
  4. fossa antennalis
  5. platband
  6. mandibles
  7. neck shield
  8. the back of the head
  9. compound eye
  10. metanotum
  11. mesonotum
  12. mid-breast spiracle
  13. anepisternitis
  14. metanotum
  15. rear breasts
  16. propodeum
  17. propodealspirakel
  18. metapleural gland (18a - cusp, 18b. hole
  19. petiol
  20. postpetiol
  21. tergites of the abdomen
  22. abdominal sternitis
  23. thigh
  24. drumstick
  25. claw
  26. incentive
  27. foot
  28. cathepternitis
  29. pool
  30. pan
  31. ventral process
  32. the head
  33. mesosome
  34. petiol
  35. belly

Ants differ in their morphology from other insects by the presence of a cranked antenna, a metapleural gland and a sharp narrowing of the second segment of the abdomen into a leaf node. The head, mesosome, and abdomen are three different segments of the body. Petiol is a narrow waist between the mesosome (three breast segments plus the first abdominal segment that merges with them) and the abdomen (abdominal segments after the petiol). It can consist of one or two segments (only the second or second and third abdominal segments). The abdomen and petiol form a metasome.

When smells are lost due to fire or flooding, the animals become as blind as they are. But they have left new traces in the wind. In fact, insects can also find important information: ants use animated vibrations or touch for “small conversations”.

What weight does an ant lift?

The queen's job is to look after the offspring: she lays the eggs from which the larvae are made. There are ants with a queen, like the Red Forests. Your queen may be 25 years old, but her condition will not be older because eggs are not laid after the queen's death. States with multiple queens, called polygynous states, can have two to three thousand queens. These countries have longer lives. You are under 80 years old.

Like other insects, ants have an exoskeleton - an outer chitin membrane that provides support and protection for the body. The nervous system consists of the abdominal nerve chain, which extends the entire length of the body, and several interconnected nerve nodes. The most important part of the nervous system is the pharyngeal ganglion, where temporary connections are formed. Its volume is relatively large in workers, less in queens and least in men.

Relationship with other organisms

After mating, most queens throw their wings. They are usually taller than the workers and are visually different from them. Most laid eggs develop into sterile workers. They can be of different sizes and tasks, such as: B. Soldier ants that protect colonies with lively jaws. One of the most important tasks is to breed eggs and larvae. During the incubation phase, the workers have to re-insert the eggs they lay so that the offspring can reach a certain humidity and temperature.

Like most insects, ants have complex, faceted eyes made up of numerous tiny lenses. Ant eyes distinguish movement well, but they do not have a high resolution. In addition to the compound eye, there are three simple eyes on the top of the head that determine the illuminance and the plane of polarization of the light. Compared to vertebrates, most ants have mediocre eyesight and some subterranean species are completely blind.

When eggs have become larvae, only the food decides whether queens or workers develop. For ants with a queen, workers can also lay eggs. If the queen died, the worker could take office. Usually adult males with wings gather in a nest and, when the weather is good, leave it to lie like a flock. Then they go out to fulfill their real and only function: they ask the young kings.

Specialized life strategies

During this so-called wedding flight in spring, all male colonies from different nests swarm at the same time: samples from different nests can cross each other. The males die a few days after mating. Only the queen flies on to find a suitable nesting place.

The antennas on the head are sensory organs used to detect chemicals, air currents, and vibrations, and to receive and send signals through touch.

The ant head has strong mandibles that are used for carrying food, manipulating various objects, building a nest, and defending it. In some ants, these mandibles open by 270 ° and snap like traps, for example in genera such as Anochetus, Odontomachus, Myrmoteras, Strumigenys. Some species have a small process of the esophagus called the "public stomach" or goiter. It can store food that is then distributed between other ants and larvae.

Pieces of resin remove bacteria

Ants Little Red Forest Lady. Not only are ants' communication channels complex, but also their buildings. Pieces of resin are scattered on the hill. They contain active ingredients against fungi and bacteria and disinfect ants before they creep into the structure. Anthills consist of underground paths that provide short transport routes and a sophisticated ventilation system that regulates the carbon dioxide and oxygen levels in the building.

Ants can be trained

Grass wagons ventilate your buildings perfectly: chimneys, cooling towers, wind gutters and compost chambers ventilate and cool your nest. Brazilian scholars made visible the huge proportions that the cult of martyrs could make. They poured cement into grass and dug it up. The construction was 50 square meters and eight meters deep.

A hooked claw at the end of each foot helps the ant to climb vertical surfaces. Most queens and male ants have wings. The queens gnaw on the wings after the mating flight.

Internal organs, including the reproductive and excretory glands, are located in the ant's belly. Worker ants of many species have a modified ovipositor in the form of a sting at the end of the abdomen, which is used for food production, as well as to protect nests or attacks (e.g., Myrmycin, Myrmeciinae, Paraponerinae, Ponerin, etc.). In primitive forms of the myrmycin subfamily, the sting is reduced, and in evolutionarily advanced forms the sting is modified, and even in primitive genera of this group it is not possible to effectively paralyze the victim.

Cutting tools for blades: tireless teamwork

Tiny sheet metal milling cutters. To grow their own food, they carry a lot of weight. The form of the ants lives in close symbiosis with certain fungi, which they reproduce as food on the tribal soil from pieces of leaf. As the researchers found, ants should reduce the distance by three kilometers - a million times more than their own body - by one square meter of leaves.

Save energy when you work hard

To this end, ants try to save energy in a team. 90 percent of the leaf cuts are done in the ante test, the researchers observed the ants at a laboratory location and found that the animals carried smaller, pre-perforated pieces of leaf in their underground structure and crushed jaws that were still intact there.

Signal substances are excreted through special glands. Different types of ants can have up to ten. These glands differ in amount, shape, function and never appear in one species at the same time.

Metapleural glands secrete antibiotic substances (such as phenylacetic acid) and sometimes fear pheromones and repellants to protect themselves from enemies. However, they are absent from a number of species that lead a tree lifestyle. The gonads, which have changed their purpose in workers, are also used for defense and attack. Among them are a poisonous gland that produces acid excretion and Dufour's glands that produce alkaline excretion, a variety of hydrocarbons, ketones, alcohols, esters, and lactones. The basis of the poison of many non-stinging species is formic acid. Such ants spray a secret at a distance of several centimeters and at the same time emit “fear pheromones”. The most poisonous is the poison of some stinging species, which, like most animal poisons, has a complex composition. The main active ingredient of the poison of the fire ants is an alkaloid from the group of piperidines, solenopsin; The composition of the poison also includes several allergenic proteins. Most poisonous is the poison of some species of reaper ants of the genus Pogonomyrmex; P. badius LD50 venom in mice administered intraperitoneally is 0.42 μg / g.

Demanding, well-engineered technology

According to the researchers, the ants are very skilled: they use three legs as a three-point stand and work with a leaf part with three other legs. They bite, lick micro-creatures from him and cut him through. Scientists suggest that it is better to deal with fungal spores. Then they put pieces of leaves covered with ant secretion like a "mortar" in their spongy mushroom gardens, where the growing mushrooms are confused and cultivated.

Sophisticated messaging system

Life in the foliage is a very complex state and is divided into work. Therefore, these ants are also a very popular study object. Your countries have already been called the "ideal superorganism". Your underground buildings are gigantic. Würzburg researchers found that animals that live mainly in the tropics and subtropics of America have a sophisticated internal reporting system that allows new pastures to be removed quickly and efficiently before they are caught by other ant colonies.

The pygidial glands open behind the ducts on the top of the abdomen. In some species they produce fear and defense pheromones while others produce trace pheromones. The mammary glands are opened by ducts on the underside of the abdomen and secrete trace and invocation pheromones. The submaxillary glands are opened through channels on the inside of the spine.

Live together, die alone

Life in ants is sensibly organized - until death: Scientists from the University of Regensburg also found that sick ants die from a nest shortly before death and die alone. Their selfless behavior serves to preserve the species: they go so as not to bind other residents of the nest.

Invasion of the Argentine ants

Broadcast to hear Argentine ants

But the old balance of our ants is in jeopardy. A very aggressive intruder is spreading: an Argentine ant. In search of food and nests, she had no song. Argentine ants can easily adapt to almost any environment. Once they have settled somewhere, they will not be released. Several queens share apartments for each nest, from 15 to 20 pieces are in the colony. A few queens also mean more offspring and thus more power in the fight against other ants - and more noses foraging for food.

Entomologists used to believe that all ants could secrete toxic formic acid (which is where their name comes from), but now it is known that only members of the formicin subfamily can do so.

Family structure

The ant family is a perennial, well-organized community consisting of brood (eggs, larvae, pupae), adult sexes (women and men) and usually numerous workers (sterile women).

Ants form families ranging in size from several dozen individuals to highly organized colonies consisting of millions of individuals and occupying large areas. Large families are mostly made up of sterile, wingless women who form castes of workers, soldiers, or other specialized groups. Almost all families have husbands and one or more reproductive wives called queens or queens. Families are sometimes referred to as superorganisms because ants work as a unit.

In ant families there is a division of labor, communication between individuals and self-organization in solving complex problems. Such parallels with human society have long been the subject of research by scientists.

Ant uterus


The ant family has one (monogyne) woman of childbearing potential (or several women, depending on the type and size of the family - polygyny), who is known as a queen or uterus and who lays eggs. Women are similar to workers, but differ in the structure of their breasts and, as a rule, in larger sizes. They have wings that bite off after fertilization.

In most species, the queen and workers develop from fertilized eggs - they have two sets of chromosomes obtained from a sperm and an egg.

The females mate only once during the "breeding flight" while receiving a supply of male sperm that is gradually consumed throughout their lives. The life expectancy of a female ant is maximum for the insect world and can be up to 12-20 years, depending on the species. Fertilized females drop their wings and either start a new family or stay in their anthill. Sometimes young women are accepted into other, pre-existing families of their own species. In the first case, the female needs to choose a place for the nest, prepare the first chamber of the new anthill and, after a while, start laying eggs.

In some species, the females collect food and have to leave the nest. For others, they stay in the nest, support their own existence and train the first workers at the expense of fat reserves and wing muscles, who undergo histolysis. The queen feeds the larvae with special saliva secretions and / or special "feeding eggs". The amount of available forage is initially very limited, so a compromise is sought between the number and size of the first workers - they are all small or even stunted.

It may seem that the uterus is the center of the ant family, but in reality it is the working ants. The more women there are in the anthill, the more “disrespectful” the workers' attitude towards them. Working ants move the females from one part of the nest to another, move them to other nests and kill those whose fertility has become too low. Workers also control the reproduction of individuals in the family: they destroy the extra larvae or change the way they are fed to change the ratio of the number of castes in the family.

Men

Males are born from unfertilized eggs (with a few exceptions) and carry only one set of chromosomes (haploids), which they inherit from the mother's egg.

Usually males have wings. In addition to the winged, members of the Cardiocondyla genus also have wingless males that compete for young females in the mother's nest (with a fatal outcome).

The role of the males is limited to the fertilization of young winged females. The males usually appear in the anthill just before the mating season and die shortly after mating.

Worker ants

The vast majority of people in the ant family are workers with an underdeveloped reproductive system (for comparison: termite men can also be immature men) whose main task is to look after the family. They have no wings, there is a simplified structure of the chest, the eyes are smaller than those of the females or they are reduced in size, and some species are absent.

Polymorphism is characteristic of some species - a difference in size, susceptibility of sensory organs, and activity in ants of the same species, depending on the tasks they perform in the family.

Large worker ants often have a disproportionately large head and correspondingly strong mandibles. Such workers are called soldier ants because strong lower jaws make them very effective in combat, but they are still worker ants, and their "duties" are usually slightly different from the "duties" of other workers. Some species of ants do not have medium-sized workers, creating a sharp gap between small and large forms. For example, weaver ants have a clear bimodal size distribution. In some other species, the worker ants change over the course of their life.

In addition to polymorphism, working ants can be divided into the family by specialization. Some ants take care of the young (nannies), others - take part in nest building, become forage seekers, others - clean the premises, store liquid food (honey barrels) in the fourth warehouse, etc. Fixed differences in performance of different individuals in a certain functional area are called polyism.

For some species of ants, working people can lay eggs.

The working ant's power increases when you work in a group. For example, a worker of a hairy wood ant alone can develop an output of 24.2 erg / s, and in a pair, each worker develops an output of up to 31.6 erg / s. of the body volume.

Development and reproduction

Ants, as representatives of insects with complete transformation, go through several stages in their development: an egg, a larva, a pupa and an adult. The development cycle of ants, like all other Hymenoptera, includes complete transformation (holometabolism). A larva hatches from an egg - the only growth stage of an insect.

An ant's life begins with an egg. If the egg is fertilized, the female will grow out of it, and if not, the male will. As a rule, the eggs are not stored separately, but in small "bags". After the incubation period, the egg turns into an inactive worm-shaped larva that is fed and cared for by workers. The outer sheaths of the larva can only stretch to certain limits, and molting occurs during growth. Accordingly, it is common to differentiate between several age groups of the larva. There are four typical larval stages of ants that lead to pupation, although some species can have three or five larval stages. Larvae are fed with trophallaxis when the ant burps liquid food out of the crop - as in the exchange of food between adults who store food in the “public stomach”. Larvae can also consume solid foods such as feed eggs, prey, or seeds brought by workers. In some species, the larvae are brought directly to the place where the prey was caught. Before pupation, the larva no longer feeds and releases the intestinal contents. In some species (e.g. members of the subfamilies Formicin, Ponerina, Amblyoponinae), ant larvae cocoon before pupation. Pupa is free - imago attachments in it are free and not fused with the body. Depending on the food the larva receives, it can develop into a queen or a working individual. If the species has a worker division into castes, the diet also determines to which caste the future image of the ant will belong. Larvae and pupae need to have a certain constant temperature, so workers often move them from one chamber of the anthill to another, under more suitable conditions. At the end of the pupal stage, the working ants help the new individual to leave it, as the ant cannot open the cocoon on its own.

In the first days of life, new workers take care of the queen and the brood. Then they usually dig tunnels and do other work in the nest. The ant then becomes the protector of the nest and of the forage seeker. These changes are rather sudden and are examples of temporary castes. The explanation for this sequence is linked to a high mortality rate among forage seekers.

For most species of ants, only females (future queens) and males have the ability to mate. Contrary to popular belief, some ant families may have multiple queens (polygynous) while others may have no queen at all. Breeding workers are called gamergates, and families without a queen are called gamergates. The winged male ants emerge from the pupae together with the future queens and only feed and mate for their entire life. Most ants are monovoltaic, which means that only one generation develops in a year. At some point, depending on the species, the winged females and males leave the nest and go on mating flight. As a rule, men start earlier than women and excrete pheromones that force them to follow suit. Females of most species mate with only one male, but there are also species whose wives mate with ten or more males. After mating, the female looks for a suitable place to create a new anthill. After finding one, it gnaws its wings and digs up the first chamber of the future nest. Then she lays eggs and takes care of them. The queen stores the sperm obtained during the mating flight and uses it to fertilize her eggs. The first workers in the new family are weak and small compared to later workers. They multiply the nest, look for food and take care of the brood. This creates new families in most species, but there are species in which several queens form a colony at the same time. At a certain time, one of the queens with his entourage leaves the family and moves to a new place. This process is similar to swarming honey bees.

Ants have a wide range of breeding strategies. For example, females of some species can reproduce by asexual reproduction (parthenogenesis), in which females arise from unfertilized eggs, and in the species Mycocepurus smithii all individuals are female. Facultative or obligatory telitokia has been experimentally confirmed in different species: Pristomyrmex pungens, Messor capitatus (Myrmicinae), Cerapachys biroi (Cerapachyinae), Cataglyphis cursor (Formicinae), Platythyrea punctata (Ponerinae).

In the tropics, ants are active all year round and in colder regions they experience winter in a state of calm and inactivity. The forms of inactivity are varied, and in some species even the larvae go into diapause. However, in most species, adults overwinter in a state of reduced activity.

A unique variant of natural cloning exists in a small fire ant, whose males and females reproduce independently by cloning, which means that the gene pools of both sexes do not mix. In this species, working individuals develop from fertilized eggs and the uterus from unfertilized diploid eggs. In some eggs fertilized by men, all of the mother's chromosomes are destroyed, and men develop from such haploid eggs.

Ways to raise a family

Ants are reproduced and relocated once a year (twice a year for some species).

Self

During the mating season, the females and males leave their nests, gather at the exits, and then begin to climb to heights - grassy plants, trees, walls of buildings, etc., from where they take off. More agile males will often take off directly from the ground. Women and men from different nests mate in the air or on the ground. Soon after, the males die and the fertilized females look for a place for the future nest. After the female finds a suitable place, she builds a small, closed chamber in the ground and begins to lay eggs. Sometimes several women make such a camera together. The ants' eggs are very small, about 0.5 mm long, and are always glued into a common lump. A week later, the first larvae emerge from the eggs. Young larvae generally remain "clumps", larger larvae are placed in groups or separately on the chamber floor and sometimes (in the case of species of small ants) are hung from the chamber walls. After 2 weeks the larvae grow completely and pupation begins. At this point, they grow larger than working ants. Women don't eat anything until the first workers leave the dolls. In some primitive ants, the females emerge from the nest and hunt insects. However, in the vast majority of species, the female does not leave the nest until the end of its life and feed the larvae with secretions from salivary glands. At the same time, the female muscles disappear completely and the fat reserves that have accumulated in the parents' nest are used up. After the first workers have left the dolls, they go out of the chamber and start to eat. From this moment on, the female only lays eggs. All work in the nest is carried out by the workers.

Department

Obviously, due to the high mortality in the previous two types of family formation, ants have a new path - the division of the maternal community and the separation of their parts. There are various options for dividing the family: dividing the family into half-hesmosis or isolating a small layer of bud in which a daughter's nest is built some distance from the parent's nest, or layers in which part of the working family with one Brood and a young female migrates. As a result of budding, families of stray ants such as Eziton Burchelli multiply. The female Malay ants (Carebara), which reach a length of up to 2 cm and fly out of the nest, catch several working people with a length of 1 to 2 mm, who hold onto the limbs of the female with their jaws.

lifespan

Ant families can exist for a long time.The queen can live up to 20 years old, and working people between 1 and 3 years old. However, men only live a few weeks. Queen ants live 100 times longer than most insects of similar size. Under natural conditions, the anthill population is almost completely renewed over the course of the year.

ecology

communication

Chemical communication

The preservation of the entire complex structure of the ant colony, the bonds of all individuals and their ability to recognize the other members of the colony relies on trophallaxis (exchange of swallowed liquid food) and chemical communication.

Ants communicate using pheromones. These chemical signals are more pronounced in ants than in other hymenopterans. Like other insects, ants perceive odors with their long and thin antennae. Paired antennas provide information about the direction and intensity of the odor. Since ants live in contact with the earth, the surface of the soil is a good place to leave a trail of pheromone that can be felt by other ants. For species that produce food in the group, the forager marks his way back to the anthill, and other ants walk along this route, which also mark their way back to the nest with pheromones if food is found along the marked route. When the food source is exhausted, the ants no longer mark this path and the smell gradually disappears. This behavior of the ants helps to cope with environmental changes. For example, if the established path to the food is blocked by an obstacle, the collectors begin to look for a new path to the food. If the search was successful, the ant marks the shortest route to return to the nest on the way back. Other ants go such successful ways, strengthen the optimal way and gradually find the best way to eat.

Ants don't just use pheromones for laying routes. A wounded ant emits a pheromone of fear, calling ants from afar, forcing anyone nearby to attack the enemy. Some ants even use the "propaganda pheromone" to intimidate enemies and make them fight among themselves. Pheromones are produced by a variety of glands: dufour gland, poisonous gland, pygidial glands that open on the back of the top of the abdomen, sternum glands that open on the bottom of the abdomen near the anus, submaxillary glands that open on the inside of the sting open. Pheromones are also mixed in with food and transmitted through trophallaxis, disseminating information about the family. In this way, other ants can find out what the family needs (e.g. food or nest maintenance). In species families with queens, workers begin raising a new queen for the family if the ruling queen does not produce the required pheromones.

Not chemical communication

Physical communication signals can be used by ants in combination with pheromones. Ants can communicate with tactile stimuli (for example when asking for food) and sounds. In particular, some ants make rattling noises using segments of the abdomen or lower jaws. Tones are used to communicate between family members or with other species. According to some scientists, ants are practically deaf to sound waves in the air. other scholars dispute this view. Ants are very sensitive to vibrations from solids. For example, tapping with the stomach or lower jaw is characteristic of wood-boring ants. Ants of some subfamilies (Myrmicinae, Nothomyrmecinae, Ponerinae, Pseudomyrmecinae) sound with the stridulitrum (an organ on the stem between the postpetiol and the belly). Some species are already able to communicate acoustically in the pupal stage. For example, with M. scabrinodis, this enables the dolls to report their social status to the nanny workers.

Territorial behavior and colonial protection


Weaver ants jointly kill a red ant (two by the limbs pull a red ant while the middle one bites it)

Ants attack and defend themselves by biting. Many species use a prick to inject or spray chemicals such as formic acid. The species Paraponera clavata, which lives in Central and South America, is considered to be the most painful insect bite that is usually not fatal for humans. This sting has the highest rating according to Schmidt's Stinging Index. Stinging ants of the species Myrmecia pilosula can be fatal, so an antidote has been developed for them. Fire ants have a unique poison that contains piperidine alkaloid. Their bites are painful and can be dangerous to oversensitive people.

Ants of the genus Odontomachus have lower jaws, so-called muzzle, which close immediately and are the fastest muzzle in animals. One study found that their jaws click into place for an average of 130 microseconds at a speed of 126 to 230 km / h. This study also found that ants used their stings as a catapult to repel enemies. Before striking, the ant opens its mandibles wide and fixes them in this position with the help of the internal mechanism. Energy is stored in thick muscle groups and is greatly released when sensitive hair is stimulated inside the spike. In addition, these mandibles allow you to do slow and delicate work. Other genera also have jaw traps: Anochetus, Orectognathus and Strumigenys, as well as some species of the Dacetini tribe, which is explained by convergent evolution. The Malaysian ant species Camponotus cylindricus has hypertrophied submaxillary glands that they occupy almost the entire body of the ant. In the event of danger, by contracting the muscles, the worker tears the abdomen and sprays the secretion of the gland, which contains acetophenone and other chemicals that glue the enemy together. The suicide protection of workers is also characteristic of the Brazilian ant Forelius pusillus, which has a small group of ants outside every evening after they have closed and disguised the entrances. For example, among nomadic ants, large workers stand on the trails and expose the stinger from the trail to protect it.

Ants pour out a mound at the entrance to the nest, preventing water from entering when it rains

In addition to protecting against predators, ants protect their nest from pathogens. Some working ants make an effort to keep the nest clean. Their tasks also include removing dead people from the nest (necrophoresis). Oleic acid secreted by dead ants triggers the workers' necrophoresis behavior. In some species, such as the Argentine ant, necrophoresis behavior is triggered by the lack of the distinctive chemicals (dolichodial and iridomyrmecin) found in the cuticles of living individuals.

Architectural features can protect the nest from natural hazards such as flooding or overheating. Working ants of the species Cataulacus muticus, which live in tree hollows, begin to drink the water that has fallen into the nest during a flood and release it to the outside. Camponotus anderseni, which lives in the cavities of the mangrove wood, can switch to anaerobic respiration when submerged in water.

training

Many animals can be trained through imitation, but ants are perhaps the only group other than mammals that have interactive learning. The conscious forager of the species Temnothorax albipennis leads a companion to a recently discovered source of energy by walking in tandem. The "student" receives information from the "guide". In this case, the “leader” and the “student” are always in contact, following each other's progress: the “teacher” slows down when the “student” is behind, and accelerates when the student is too close. At the same time, the teacher alone would have reached the meal four times faster. After learning a lesson, “pupils” often become “teachers” themselves, so that information about the position of the food in the nest is distributed.

Experiments with Cerapachys biroi families have shown that ants can choose their role in the anthill based on their experience. An entire generation of identical workers was divided into two groups, the foraging results of which were fully controlled. Choppers from the first group were always rewarded with loot, while the search for food by workers from the second group was always unsuccessful. As a result, the workers in the first group intensified their attempts to forage for food, and the choppers in the second group looked for food less and less. A month later, the ants in the first group continued to work as choppers, while the ants in the second group changed their specialty to take care of the offspring.

Division of labor

As the ant community grows and its integrity grows, the division of functions deepens: the number of "professions" of working ants increases and the specialization of each one narrows. In the caste of working ants, polyethylene groups are distinguished - groups of people who are engaged in the performance of a certain area of ​​responsibility. Within the same polyethylene group there can be several functional groups of people who perform tasks that differ in their specific content, but are similar in the type of behavior of those performing them. The separation of functions or the polyism can be age-related or permanent.

Usually the youngest workers are nannies, that is, they take care of the brood and the female. After they ripen a little, they become builders and then chippers (food suppliers). The oldest ants, unable to obtain food, become food stewards, guards, or observers.

Permanent polyetism is understood to mean differences in the group of ants of the same age due to different sizes or structures (polymorphism). In some species (for example, leaf cutter ants) the number of polyethylene groups reaches a significant number, and the external difference between representatives of different “professions” can be very large. For example, red-breasted, wood-boring ant choppers are mostly small workers with a small head. At the same time, large, large-headed workers (soldiers) of the same age are involved in protecting the nests.

Nest building

Ants usually live in nests. Complex nests are built by most species of ants, but there are species that lead a nomadic lifestyle and do not build permanent nests. Ants can build underground nests or build on trees. Nests can be found on the ground, under stones or in logs, under logs, in hollow stems, or even in acorns. Materials used in construction include soil and plant material. Ants carefully choose them for their nest. Temnothorax albipennis avoids spots with dead ants as this can indicate the presence of disease or pests. At the first sign of a threat, they immediately refuse to build a nest. Leaf cutter ants build complex nests of large sizes under the ground, which are characterized by a special design that ensures constant and optimal ventilation, humidity, etc., and allows mushroom cultivation. In desert ants, nests can be underground to a depth of 4 m and indirectly even up to 10 m deep.

In tropical forests, many species of ants nest openly in tree tops. Some of them build spherical hanging nests out of cardboard, others out of leaves, and others out of spider webs. Some tree species, for example the Crematogaster impressa living in the African savannah, build cardboard nests around branches. Weaver ants workers build nests on trees, tie together living leaves, and fix them with silk, which is secreted by their larvae. They touch the head of the larvae and "sew" the edges of the leaves. Similar nest building methods exist for species from the Polirachis subfamily.

Some species, for example with primitive social organization, do not build species-specific nests and can settle in cavities under stones, drainage ditches, in treetops, directly under fallen trees and fallen leaves. Many species build nests in wood, such as smelling and red-breasted wood-boring ants.

The nomadic ants of South America (Ecitoninae) and the African dorylus do not build permanent nests, but rather choose a nomadic lifestyle and temporary bivouac nests that arise from interconnected working bodies.

nutrition

Most ants are universal predators, scavengers, and indirect foliage consumers. The nutrient base of almost all ants consists of two components: protein and carbohydrates. At the same time, carbohydrate is mainly consumed by adults, and protein by larvae.

Various invertebrates, mainly insects, are used as a source of protein. Ants hunt them down or collect corpses.

The main source of carbohydrate food is honeydew or pad for ants - the sweet excrement of aphids and other proboscis insects (meal bugs, scale insects, some cicadas).

In addition to rice and insects, ants can also feed on sap, nectar, mushrooms and seeds.

The collected food is brought to the nest and distributed there to all family members. According to long-term observations by the West German researcher G. Wellenstein, the diet of red forest ants (by weight) is:

  • pad - 62%
  • insects and other invertebrates - 33%
  • vegetable juice - 4.5%
  • mushrooms and carrion - 0.3%
  • seeds - 0.2%

A number of species, mainly primitive ants, specialize in food. For example, representatives of the Ponerina subfamily specialize in feeding a specific group of invertebrates. Also the genus Centromyrmex and representatives of at least nine genera of ants - termites. Tribe Cerapachyini - specializes in eating other ants. Australian bulldog ants even hunt bees and kill them with one sting.

A common source of sugar for ants is a pad secreted by various insects that suck plant juices, mainly members of the aphid (Aphididae), Coccidae (Coccidae), and whiteflies (Aleyrodidae) families. Three species from the genus of wood ants collect the gums secreted by plants. Myrmycins often feed on seeds. Many species that live in savannahs and deserts during the drought collect and store seeds. Reaper ants are highly specialized carp (seed-eaters) - for example, seeds make up 97% of Messor Pergandei's diet.

Mushroom growing

Few species have developed special ways to get food. Mushrooms are grown and feed on around 190 species of ants. More primitive species use bits of insect and feces as a substrate for mycelium, and the most developed genera Atta and Acromyrmex cut off parts of the leaves of living plants. If you remove this mass from the anthill, the fruiting bodies of the fungus will soon appear on it, but in the nests the ants will not allow it. Leaf cutter ants feed exclusively on fungal hyphae that only grow in their nest. They are constantly collecting leaves that they bring to the nest, chop them and place them in mushroom gardens. Specialization of workers depends on their size - large ants with strong jaws cut leaves; smaller ones - chew them, and very small ones care for mushrooms. Ants and their larvae feed on fungal hyphae. Symbiotic bacteria of the genus Streptomyces, which live on the surface of the ant's body, produce special substances that kill the "weed fungi" of the genus Escovopsis.

Orientation in space

Foraging ants leave the nest at a distance of 200 m and usually find their way back after the "smell" of the path. Some ants look for food at night. In the afternoon there is a risk that ants from hot and dry areas will die of dehydration. Therefore it is very important for them to find the shortest route to the nest. Cataglyphis fortis (English) uses visual landmarks in combination with other signals for navigation. If there are no visual landmarks, the nearby red Phaeton will start tracking the direction and counting the distance with an internal pedometer. The number of steps in each direction is counted. By integrating this information, ants find the shortest route to the nest. Some species of ants can use the earth's magnetic field for navigation. Ant complex eyes have special cells that sense the polarized light of the sun and determine the direction. These polarization detectors are sensitive to the ultraviolet part of the spectrum.

Move

Working individuals are wingless while females and males are winged, however females lose their wings after mating.In contrast to their ancestors, the wasps, ants mainly move by crawling. Some species can jump. For example, a Harpegnathos-Saltator jump is done by synchronizing the middle and hind legs. There are several types of plan ants, including Cephalotes atratus. This is in some ways a common characteristic of most tree ants. Such ants are able to control the direction of fall during flight.

Other species of ants can form bridges over water barriers, underground, or between plants. Some species also build floating rafts to survive the tide. Such rafts can play a role in the colonization of islands by ants. A species of Sokolov polyrachis found in Australian mangroves can swim and live in underwater nests. Since they have no gills, they breathe in the air pockets of an underwater nest.

Runner ants of the genus Cataglyphis live in the deserts of Asia and North Africa. You move only by running and keeping your stomach lifted vertically upwards. They are active during the hottest part of the day when the soil warms up to 50-70 ° C. The high speed of movement is explained by the fact that they circle a large area in a very short time and at the same time do not have to “cook” from the heat of the floor.

The most organized ants lay the so-called. “Roads” on the surface of the earth or underground tunnels that lead from nests into the surrounding area. These roads are formed at the place of frequently visited odor paths. Ants guard them, constantly updating and removing all obstacles from them.

Migrations

Migrations are characteristic only of stray ants of the subfamilies Ecitoninae and Dorylinae, which live mainly in the tropics of Africa and South America. The largest colonies with up to 22 million individuals are known from the African species Dorylus wilverthi. Hiking takes several days, parking - from a week to three months. In stray ants of the genus Eciton, the sedentary and nomadic phases alternate - each lasting 2-3 weeks. The change in these phases is determined by the cycle of reproduction. Instead of permanent nests, they form temporary bivouac nests made up of workers' bodies that are connected to one another.

Relationship with other organisms

Cooperation and competition

Not all ants have the same type of society. Australian bulldog ants are one of the largest and most primitive ants. Like almost all other ants, they are social insects, but their behavior in society is poorly developed compared to other species. Each ant hunts alone, using only its large eyes, rather than chemical sensations, to search for prey.

Some species (like a lawn ant) ​​attack and trap neighboring ant families. Others, less expansionist but just as aggressive, invade the nest to steal eggs and larvae, which they either eat or raise slaves from. The extremes of this specialization are Amazon ants, incapable of feeding themselves and which workers must catch to survive. The captured Temnothorax workers have developed a strategy to fight slave owners, they destroy all female dolls of their masters of the species Protomognathus americanus (English), but they keep the males alive (who are not involved in the theft of slaves).

Ants recognize family members by the smell that emanates from the hydrocarbon secretions on their exoskeleton. Eventually, when an ant is separated from the mother family, it loses the family's smell. Any ant that enters the nest and does not have a corresponding smell will be attacked.

Conflicts between males and females occur in some species of ants and are apparently linked to competition between offspring. In extreme forms, the conflict involves the production of clonal offspring. An extreme form of sex conflict is observed in small fire ants whose queens produce diploid daughters through same-sex reproduction, and males are clones of their fathers, as a diploid egg in haploid males loses its maternal contribution.

Myrmecophiles: symbiotes and companions

Ants have a symbiotic relationship with a number of species, including other ants, insects, plants, and fungi. Some species of arthropods spend part of their lives in ant nests, where they look for them, their larvae and eggs, for food that ants can conserve or hide from predators. These requests can be similar to ants. The nature of ant mimicry (myrmecomorphism) is different. In some cases it is an example of the Bates mimicry, in others it is the Vasmanova mimicry.


Aphids and other arthropod insects excrete a sweet liquid called paddy when they feed on sap. Sugar Padi is a high-calorie food that many species of ants collect mainly from highly developed subfamilies (Dolichoderine, Formicine, Myrmycine). In some cases, the aphid will launch a fall in response to an ant touching its antennae. Ants, in turn, protect the accumulation of aphids from predators and bring them to the best plants for feeding. When many families move to a new location, they take aphids with them for an uninterrupted source of sugar. Ants also collect sweet secretions from meal bugs. Different species trophobiotic relationships exist with some butterflies (Lycaenidae, Riodinidae, leaf worms) and bed bugs (local painters, true shield bugs, hemispheric shield bugs).

Other caterpillars evolved from myrmecophiles to myrmecophages: they secrete a pheromone, which causes ants to believe that the caterpillar is one of the ant larvae. Such caterpillars penetrate the anthills and feed on the ants' larvae.

Most myrmecophiles feed on various ant foam or rot nest building materials, but many are "parasites". Many of them developed special structures for coexistence with ants. Many of them have special glands on their bodies that secrete substances that ants lick off. In the case of paussides, for example, they are located on the antennae, with paussides on the sides of the body.

Myrmecophiles also include a few other bugs - for example, tanks, staphilins, and others. 19 genera of staphylins live together with stray ants, 17 genera - with fire ants and 15 genera - with representatives of the formicin subfamily. Staphilins beg for food from the host ants, touch the lower lip and defend themselves in the event of an attack and release repellants. Stafilins, who live with stray ants, mimic the shape and color of their bodies among ants (an example of Bates mimicry). Stafilins from the genus Dinarda in anthills feed on dead ants, debris, and ticks that live on living ants. Uropodid tick nymphs attach themselves to the workers' bodies and feed on the saliva that the ants give off when they lick each other.

In the nests of several genera of ants (Formica, Lazius, Myrmica) there is a small (3 mm) wingless ant cricket (Myrmecophilus acervorum), which constantly licks its hosts and feeds on the secretions of their cuticles.

An example of ant species beetles are some types of bronze, e.g. B. Potosia metallica, the larval stages of which occur in anthills of red and small wood ants, red breast ants and a few others.

Convergence (possibly one of the forms of mimicry) can be observed in the example of stick eggs with edible, eliosome-like appendages. Ants bring them to the nests where the stick insect larvae have hatched. Nomadic ants carry ticks of the genus Larvamima (Larvamimidae) with them because their body shape resembles the larvae of small ants.

Mushroom ants of the Attini tribe, including leaf cutter ants, breed some species of mushrooms from the genera of white mushrooms and white hand mushrooms of the mushroom family. In this symbiosis of ants and fungi, the survival of each species depends on the other. Ants Allomerus decemarticulatus developed a three-way symbiosis with the host plant Hirtella physophora (English) and a fungus that they use as a trap for insects.

Myrmelachista schumanni creates devil's gardens by killing the surrounding plants and making room for the Duroia hirsuta, in whose stems they live. This change in the forest gives ants more space for nests. Some trees have additional non-flowering nectaries that serve as food for ants, and they in turn protect plants from herbivorous insects.

Many tropical tree species have seeds that are distributed by ants. Myrmecochoria is widespread in Africa and Australia. The survival and spread of some plants in fire-endangering pasture ecosystems is particularly dependent on ants. Mirmekohoriya is also characteristic of many forest herbs of the temperate zone (hoof, oxalis, some violets, burns, etc.). Many seeds of myrmecochor have special external nutrient attachments, eliosomes, that ants feed on.

The method of attracting ants has reached a high level of perfection in a number of tropical tree species: They not only have sugary nectaries outside the flora, but also suitable places where ants can build nests and even provide ants with solid protein and fatty food. Many types of acacia (Acacia sphaerocephala, Acacia cornigera, Acacia collinsii) attract ants with the help of "food bodies" (belt bodies) located on the tips of the leaves. Ants of one of the pseudo-Mymex species settle in them, protecting their "nesting" tree from phytophagous insects.

Almost all forms of relationship with ants are observed in predatory plants of the genus Nepentes: neutral, predatory prey (ants as the most important prey) and reciprocity. Camponotus schmitzi ants not only live in the stalks of Nepenthes bicalcarata nepenthes, but can also steal insects from their jars.

Ants also attack mammals and clear a certain area around the tree from other plants and destroy the branches extending there. The ants of the Dolichoderin subfamily - species of the genus Azteca - inhabit the trees of the genus Cecropia and provide them with shelter and food. In these examples of the highest level of mutual relationships between ants and plants, the former provide shelter for the tree and, in turn, receive territory that meets the needs for habitat and food. A study using isotopic labels found that the plant also receives nitrogen from ants. Another example of this ectosymbiosis is the Macaranga tree, which is associated with sharp-bellied ants. The tropical plant Costus woodsonii isolates nectar from the bracts and, depending on the season, two species of ants live on the plant, Camponotus platanus and the small fire ant.

Nomadic ants who lead a nomadic lifestyle are known for their "raids". Groups of Eziton Burchelli ants like this one attract birds that follow ants, such as venomous or striped ants that use ants as insect beetles and other small arthropods.

Role in nature

Ants make up almost 2% of the total biodiversity of the animal world and up to 80% of the insect biomass (about 20% of the biomass of all animals). In temperate forests and tropical forests, ants provide movement and ventilation of the soil. Many terrestrial ant species are soil formers that loosen, mix and fertilize the soil. Their main activity is to mix the soil, change its mechanical and chemical composition. In rainforests, 99.9% of nutrients would remain in topsoil if they weren't transported inland, including ants. Ants and termites can increase productivity in regions with dry and hot climates where there are no earthworms. Under experimental conditions in Australia, they increase wheat yield by 36%.

Many ants are also important links in food chains, such as invertebrate predators. Ants that settle in wood or arrange their nests in old stumps are involved in the mechanical destruction of dead wood and accelerate its decomposition. Seed ants contribute directly to the relocation of many plant species. The seeds of some plants (the so-called Myrmecochore plants) are only colonized by ants (hooves, violets, forest stands, etc.). In the steppe and desert regions, the seeds of many plants are borne exclusively by ants. Ants are the only insects that distribute seeds in large quantities on every continent and in almost all ecosystems. In total, there are around 3,000 species of Myrmecochore plants (around 1% of the flora) worldwide and more than 275 such species in Europe.

Ants also serve as food for many animals.

Ants are one of the most powerful biological erosion agents and record holders for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Under the influence of ants, the process of converting minerals such as limestone, marble and chalk into calcium and magnesium carbonate (MgCO3 and CaCO3) is accelerated from 50 to 300. This erosion of minerals by ants could play an important role in cooling the Cenozoic era on Earth.

Ants and humans

Economic value

Ants perform many environmental functions that are beneficial to humans, including regulating the number of pests and soil aeration. Thanks to active predator hunting, ants actively kill many types of insect pests (including caterpillars and fallow caterpillars), giving preference to species that are found in large numbers. An exception is the feeding of oak silkworms, where ants can cause serious damage to this industry by eating silkworms. The use of weaver ants in citrus cultivation in southern China is considered to be one of the oldest uses. biological control with pests. In South Africa, ants are used to harvest rooibos, which are used to extract small seeds for making herbal tea. The plant scatters its seeds widely, making manual collection difficult. Black ants collect and store them and other seeds in their nest, from where humans can collect seeds. Up to 150-200 g of seeds can be collected from an anthill.

In some parts of the world (mainly Africa and South America), large ants, especially nomadic, are used to stitch wounds during surgical procedures. Ant jaws grip the wound edges and fix them in place. The body is then cut off and the head and jaw are retained, reducing the edges of the wound.

Pests

The ability of ants to use resources efficiently often leads to conflict with humans, as ants can damage crops (e.g. plant aphids) or invade human living spaces.

Ants are important in nature, but some species feed on plants, fruits, and berries, harm agriculture, and are considered pests. In tropical countries, leaf-cutting ants can damage plantations.

Ants can climb into living and utility rooms as well as into apartments where sweet and meat products are spoiled. They can also sometimes crawl into beehives and damage beekeeping. In orchards, they are often the companions of other pests - aphids, hobbyists, meal bugs, cicadas, which secrete large quantities of rice.

Due to the high adaptability of the ant families, it is nearly impossible to eliminate the entire population. In this regard, ant pest numbers need to be controlled, not all families destroyed, and most control attempts are temporary solutions.

The pests include ants, grass ants, yellow crazy ants, pharaonic ants, wood ants, especially Camponotus consobrinus (English), Argentine ants, Tapinoma sessile (English) and red fire ants. Ant populations are controlled by liquid or granular insecticide baits. The ants collect the bait as food and bring it to the nest, where the poison spreads to other family members through food exchange. Boric acid and borax are widely used as insecticides.

One of the types of ants that is a pest is a small, 3mm long, yellow pharaoh ant that became a citizen of the world and settled around the world while moving goods. In addition to meat and dairy products, he can eat bread, flour products, sugar, and damaging entomological collections. These ants can be the mechanical carriers of a number of infectious diseases.

Toxicity

Some ants in the subfamilies Myrmeciinae and Ponerinae have poison that is dangerous to humans. These include the species Paraponera clavata, the genus Dinoponera from South America and Myrmecia from Australia. The stings of the ant Myrmecia pilosula can be fatal.Red fire ant can cause a strong allergic reaction and anaphylactic shock in highly sensitive people.

Dealing with ants

Natural and safe pesticides

  1. Spray the problem areas with kieselguhr. Pour a thin layer of it in the places where you noticed an anthill, paying special attention to the ant entrances, food sources, and anthills.
    Use only diatomaceous earth food. Some types of diatomaceous earth are used to clean pools, but they usually contain chemicals that are toxic to pets and young children.
    Kieselguhr - This is a sedimentary rock composed mainly of fossilized shells of diatoms - unicellular marine organisms.
    The powder is abrasive and absorbent. After the ant walks through it, the powder will corrode the ant chitin coating. The ant will eventually die of dehydration.
  2. Make traps out of baking soda and powdered sugar. Mix equal proportions of baking powder and powdered sugar. Pour a small amount of the mixture on the places where you've seen the ants and suspect what they look like.
    Icing sugar will be the bait, as sugar attracts many species of ants.
    Baking soda also kills ants. The ants have a special acidic substance in their body that reacts with baking soda when the ants swallow it.
    While the mixture doesn't work right away, it can still be very useful. Ants bring food back to their nest and the ant uterus and other ants eat it. As a result, you can kill most of the ants.
  3. Try corn flour. Sprinkle small piles of cornmeal near ant mink, anthills, and frequently visited food sources.
    Before achieving the desired result, the ants need to swallow the flour. Ants usually eat it. If they suddenly refuse and it remains untouched for several days, add some powdered sugar to the cornmeal.
    Corn meal violates the digestive process of ants. After being swallowed, the ants do not die of hunger immediately, but after a few days. Also, more ants die when ants return cornmeal to their nests.
  4. Try semolina. Sprinkle it in small piles where the ants have popped up: near their burrows, in kitchen cabinets, or wherever you might notice them.
    When an ant swallows semolina, it begins to swell in it. In a few hours, any ant that tries a decoy will explode.
    Ordinary semolina is suitable, but if the ants ignore it, try pouring semolina with sugar or added fruit. Don't use an attractant with cinnamon as it will repel most species of ants.
  5. Try vinegar. Pour undiluted vinegar into the spray bottle and spray it with any ants unlucky enough to get in your field of vision.
    White or apple cider vinegar has fungicidal and insecticidal properties that are deadly to ants.
    You can also spray vinegar in places where ants often drop by, such as in a dining area. B. in food sources.
    When you know where the ant nest is, pour it and the vinegar around it. This kills ants faster and more efficiently.
  6. Try a mixture of sweeteners with apple juice. Mix 2-3 teaspoons of the artificial sweetener (dextrose, aspartame or maltodextrin) with 125-250 ml of apple juice. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and spray on any ants you see.
    Such a solution acts like a neurotoxin on ants.
    You can also spray this mixture on the spots where the ants come and forage.
  7. Mix the sugar and borax together. Mix the sugar and borax in equal proportions, then slowly add a small amount of water to the solution until you get a paste. Use this paste to spread strips of paper or cardboard and place them near ant mink, food sources, and other places that ants often visit.
    Borax or sodium borate is hydrochloric acid. The compound is often used as a detergent and sold in the laundry detergent department.
    Borax is toxic if swallowed. Keep the strips out of the reach of children and pets.
    Ants are attracted to the sugar in the paste and taken to the nest, where they are eaten by the uterus. In the end, borax poisons any ants that eat it.
  8. Try liquid soap. Mix one teaspoon (5 ml) of liquid soap and one teaspoon of vegetable oil in one quart of water. Pour the solution into the spray bottle. Shake the bottle well and sprinkle it with the ant solution.
    The ants begin to cling to the spray surfaces because of the oil it contains, and the soap causes the ants to dry out.
    You can also spray the solution where you saw the ants, but it will work until it dries.
  9. Use talcum powder. Take baby powder or body powders that contain talcum powder.
    Pour the powder on where the ants appeared, and especially where you supposedly noticed their nest.
    Ants cannot crawl over talcum powder and enter the house. Then you can easily destroy any ants that stayed behind the talk.

Chemical pesticides

  1. Place ant bait around the house. Buy bait and place it in any room where ants have been seen, especially where ants congregate most often. Switch baits until the ants are gone.
    The bait deprives the ant of the ability to produce offspring. Working ants lure the queen, and the poison does not allow her to lay eggs. The anthill is gradually dying out as no more offspring appear.
    The bait is most effective indoors. It can be left outside, but it must not be placed on a wet surface and must not be used at low temperatures.
  2. Try a grainy ant bait. Buy a grainy bait and pour it into cracks, crevices, and on surfaces that are often visited by ants. You can also use it outdoors by sprinkling it around anthills.
    The use of granular baits is not subject to temperature restrictions, so they can be used both indoors and outdoors.
    Working ants bring the bait to the anthill and poison any ants that eat it.
  3. Try an ant spray. Buy an ant pesticide spray. Spray it according to the directions on the spray can.
    It is very important that you correctly follow the directions on the label. Otherwise, the spray will not work and you could harm your health or the health of the family.
    Make sure you are using an ant repellant and not other insects. For example, an insecticide from bees will not help get rid of ants.
    Some sprays kill ants instantly. Others cover them with toxic chemicals, gradually killing them and giving the poison a chance to get into the nest.
  4. Call specialists at home if necessary. Many problems related to the appearance of ants can be resolved with home remedies. However, sometimes you need to turn to specialists for help.
    He can assess the situation and determine which chemicals are helping your trouble. Chemicals used by professionals are often more effective than those sold in regular stores.
    If you have young children or pets, notify the professional so they can take the necessary precautions before spraying the chemicals in your home.

Get rid of ants without using pesticides

  1. Pour boiling water over the ants or anthill. Boil water in a teapot or small saucepan and immediately pour anthills on it or pour directly on ants.
    Ants can swim, so it's warm or cold water won't do. Boiling water will boil ants, destroying them quickly and effectively.
  2. Adjust Velcro straps. Buy yellow Velcro traps and strategically place them in places where ants would normally gather. After a few days, the traps should be covered with ants attached to them.
    These traps are not poisonous, but do not place them where your pets can accidentally enter them. This is especially important if you have a rabbit, rat, ferret, or similar pet that is allowed to run around the house.
    You can also set a trap yourself by brushing a piece of heavy yellow paper with petroleum jelly or a paste made from corn syrup and water.

Ants live in a large family in an anthill, a common nest. These solitary insects do not exist in nature. In addition, each individual in the colony has their own specific task, but all activities are aimed at ensuring the life and prosperity of the entire anthill.

All residents can conditionally be divided into several types - soldiers, workers, men and women, the uterus. All insect interactions are carried out through food and signal channels.

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hierarchy

The anthill is usually led by the uterus is a large insect This is constantly laying eggs and providing the community with new residents. Worker ants solve the daily tasks of caring for eggs and pupae, foraging for food, and repairing an anthill. Soldiers guard the entrances to the house and cut off strangers. Both males and females are involved in the breeding process.

soldiers

Ant warrior are their own subspecies of simple workers, differs from the latter in slightly larger sizes. In addition, such an ant can stingers are further developed, The muscles take up most of the head. In some species of ants, due to the characteristic structure of the head, the soldiers have lost the opportunity to feed themselves. As a result, they have to be fed by the workers.

The main function of soldier antsin the parish is the protection of the territory and the anthill from the intrusion of enemies, the protection of choppers that I deliver. In addition, soldiers use their powerful jaws to help divide the booty into several parts if the workers cannot carry it on their own.

Role in the working ant family and structural features

Builder ants are the first species which appears in the uterus after the base of a new anthill. They are engaged in building the colony, preparing food, and caring for eggs and pupae. In a developed anthill, workers have a preponderant number among all individuals.

HELP! The distribution of occupations among workers depends on their general condition and their mental inclinations.

So appealing insects They become boy scouts and hunters, and slow and leisurely individuals graze on aphids and collect sweetish excrement. In addition, the job change takes place with increasing age.

Young people usually work in the nest - take care of the eggsBuild, by women, new passages and cameras.

In the event that a significant number of workers in an occupation are killed by, for example, birds or chemical treatment, their duties are redistributed among the remaining residents of the anthill.

How strong are the ants and how much weight do they lift?

The insect has enormous stamina - an ant can lift and weigh 50 times more than its own. In addition, if several people work together and combine their efforts, this indicator can increase many times. This is possible due to the fact that the ant has a high percentage of muscles per unit of body weight.

The strength of the ants enables them to successfully perform the tasks of foraging and harvesting. If the insect cannot awaken prey, it can entertain it for a long time.

HELP! Many ants that bond with their paws can form long-lasting bridges to cross streams or crevices. Such straps can support a weight of several kilograms.

Who is the chief king of the ant?

All life in the anthill is at rest to the queen uterus. She does not participate in the protection of the anthill or in the collection of food, but it is this person who is responsible for maintaining and increasing the number of colonies

The uterus is a former female that was fertilized by the male and was able to organize a new anthill. As the first population grows, they bite off their wings.

The uterus lives up to 20 years, Lay up to 500,000 eggs during this time. As long as this individual is alive, the colony has every chance of recovery, no matter what losses it suffers.