Roles in an Ant Colony
Ant colonies are one of the greatest examples of teamwork in the insect world. These pests not only take on specific roles in the nest, but may even transform their bodies to change roles and meet the colony’s needs.
The four major ant colony castes are:
- Queens – These large females lay eggs to expand the colony’s size.
- Workers – Sterile workers serve the colony by gathering food, caring for young, and repairing the nest.
- Soldiers – This specialized group of workers attacks intruders and warns the ant colony about predators.
- Alates – These winged, mature ants emerge in swarms, mate, shed their wings, and begin new nests.
Where to Find an Ant Colony
Ants enter their underground burrows through anthills, small mounds of soil often found near trees, pavement, or home foundations. Entrances lead into a series of connected tunnels where the pests live and work. Some ant colonies can also live in rotting wood or in wet, covered areas such as under rocks or bricks.
Yards are ideal nesting locations for common ant colonies in New England like odorous house ant or carpenter ant species. These insects often enter nearby homes to feed on crumbs, garbage, and fruit.
Controlling Ant Colonies
It is not uncommon for an ant colony to contain thousands of these pests. In urban areas, some local species may even form supercolonies, multiple ant nests and queens that join together over several city blocks. This makes infestations extremely difficult for homeowners to control on their own.
In addition to living in large numbers, the pests are small and can find ways into walls and under doors through even the smallest cracks. Skilled Waltham Pest Services technicians can handle existing ant colonies and prevent future infestations.