Ants secrete pheromones from glands on their bodies and use their antennae to detect the pheromone secretions of other ants. Pheromone signals can be used as identification, for marking food collection trails, for sending up alarms, and to warn and confuse enemy ants.Know More
Ants use pheromones in a variety of ways. A foraging ant that finds food leaves a pheromone trail when it returns to the colony. Other members of the colony follow the path, reinforcing the trail with their own pheromone secretions. When the food source is exhausted, the ants no longer follow the path and the pheromone trail slowly dissipates.
An exchange of pheromones allows an ant to determine what nest another ant is from, the social status of that particular ant within the nest and what job it performs.
Pheromones are also used to warn of potential danger. A crushed ant gives off a pheromone alarm that drives nearby ants into an attack frenzy and summons more ants from farther away. Some ants emit a false pheromone warning to confuse enemy ants and make them fight among themselves. Within a colony, foreign pheromones alert soldier ants to the presence of potential enemies and stimulate a defensive response.Learn more about Ants
Drones and immature queens of ants within the genus Solenopsis are red and have wings. These ants are more commonly known as fire ants. Fire ants are capable of injecting a painful toxin as a defense mechanism or as a means of subduing prey.Full Answer >
Ants do bite, and getting bit by fire ants can be particularly painful. Carpenter ants can also bite if they feel their nests are being attacked. They will bite out of self-defense, and these ants also spray formic acid into the bite to increase the pain and irritation.Full Answer >
Carpenter ants have a varied diet, feeding on sugar, meat and other insects. They also eat honeydew, a secretion from aphids. They are sometimes thought to eat wood, but this is untrue; instead, they chew and dig out galleries in moist or decaying wood.Full Answer >
There are many factors that differentiate carpenter ants from other species. Besides common black carpenter ants, some species are yellow or red. They are the most substantial species of ants that are commonly seen in households, measuring as long as 1/2 inch. The average size for a worker is 1/4 inch. The queen grows somewhat bigger, sometimes even two or three times as large.Full Answer >