Bug Identifier: Know Your Ants
Ant identification can be tricky: after all, there are around 12,000 species of these insects in the world, and many of them are hard to distinguish from one another thanks to their similar size, shape, and color.
To keep it simple, keep in mind that all ants share a few qualities that help us categorize them:
- Two bent antennae
- Brown black, red, or yellow in color
- Between 1/20 of an inch and ½ of an inch long.
- Body separated by a small pinched area between the thorax and abdomen
Let’s take a closer look at exactly which ants are typically found in North Carolina.
Ant Identification in North Carolina
What Is the Most Painful Ant Bite?
There are a few ants that can deliver a surprisingly powerful bite for their size. The most painful by many accounts? The bullet ant bite. These ants are found in the Amazon rainforest, in the area spanning Nicaragua all the way to Paraguay. They are the largest ant species at around an inch in length.
Their bite has been described as one of the most painful of any insect bite, releasing a neurotoxic peptide called poneratoxin into their victim that leads to a neurotoxic peptide that causes severe muscle contractions, a burning sensation, and great pain that can last as long as 24 hours.
While the initial bite is extremely painful and redness, irritation and swelling are common, be on the lookout for signs of allergic reaction – bull ant bites have killed people in the past due to the potency of their venom
Not in NC
How Much Can an Ant Lift?
The amount of weight an ant can lift varies based on the species, but ranges from anywhere between 10 and 50 times their body weight. If that doesn’t sound impressive enough, think about it this way: If a human being weighing around 150 pounds could lift even twenty times their own weight, they would be able to lift a Toyota Corolla.
About How Many Venomous Ants Are There in North Carolina? In the World?
In North Carolina, the only venomous species of ant we have to worry about are the fire ant and carpenter ant. In most cases, these stings and bites will burn and blister, but the pain will subside fairly quickly. Very rare cases of a fire ant triggering life-threatening reactions have occurred, though.
When it comes to exactly how many ants in the world are venomous, the answer is a little complex. While around 71% of ants are stinging and biting species, they don’t all inject venom with their bite.
The most dangerous of these in the world is the bulldog ant of Australia. This aggressive species bites and stings, emitting a venom that is strong enough to kill in about 15 minutes.
How Fast Do Ants Procreate On Average?
Even in a colony of hundreds of thousands of ants, only the queens of the colony can lay eggs. When first mated, a queen lays around a dozen eggs at a time. As the colony grows along with their food sources, that can increase to as many as 800 eggs a day.
How Long Does It Take To Get Rid of an Ant Infestation on Average?
If you’ve noticed an ant infestation in your home, you’ll want to start treatment ASAP. Because ants are so small and quick to procreate, they can be especially difficult to get rid of. With the right tools and approach, an ant infestation can usually be solved in about a week or two.
What to Do if You Have an Ant Infestation
At best, an ant infestation is annoying. At worst, it’s a danger to your home and your health. If you have an ant problem, it’s best to use a combination of addressing both the inside of your home and the perimeter. You can try liquid bait traps, a pesticide (though these can pose risks to people and pets when not used carefully), or natural remedies like peppermint and clove oil.
To save time and money, it is usually best to contact a professional pest-removal service like A-1 Pest Control for large infestations.
Prevention is key to keeping the ants away once the problem is resolved. To reduce the chance of another ant infestation, try:
- Repairing any and all foundation cracks and leaks
- Sealing gaps in doors and windows
- Removing hiding places like leaf piles and firewood
- Eliminating standing water
About A-1 Pest Control
Ant infestations can be overwhelming. Though these insects are small and typically harmless to our physical safety, they can get into food, cause damage to your home’s structure, and ruin your day. If you need help with ant prevention or extermination in North Carolina, the experts at A-1 Pest Control can help.
Contact us today to learn more about our pest control plans to tackle ants—and many other creatures and critters that are best left outside!
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