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.
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
Carpenter ants gain access to a house through tiny cracks or small openings such as those created by plumbing or wiring. They are frequently found inside walls, in ceilings, under outdoor siding, in the wood near foundations. They dwell near downspouts or roof gutters, in floors and insulation. Nests inside a home are usually satellite nests, with the larger parent nest located outside where there is abundant moisture.Full Answer >
According to Pest World, tapinoma sessile, or the odorous house ant, gets its name from the strong, almost rotten coconut odor that is emitted when the ant is crushed. Pest world states that they range in size from about 1/16 of an inch to 1/8 of an inch long. School of Ants describes the worker ants as 2.4 to 3.35 millimeters in size.Full Answer >
Sugar ants do bite, but the bite is not painful. If a sugar ant locates a source of sugar, a home can quickly become infected by thousands of ants.Full Answer >
Although there are about 12,000 different ant species, the most common black ant is the carpenter ant, and it eats a variety of foods, including insects and plants. It is not uncommon for ants to eat household scraps, particularly sweet foods.Full Answer >