The other day I was in my back yard and I saw an area next to my walkway where the ground was really dark. I went closer to see what it was. It ended up being a swarm of ants! Now, I would of remembered seeing this many ants just yesterday while doing yard work had they been there. How can this many ants just appear? As I looked closer I noticed that some were locked head to head. What were they doing? As I watched for a few minutes I realized that they were fighting! But why were they fighting? They looked to be the same species and I found it so strange that I just had to do some research and thought I’d share with you.
It turns out that this happens sometimes in nature. One reason could be that a colony is expanding into an area where another colony already lives or a colony is traveling and runs into another colony. Each and every colony has a different scent. Even two different colonies of the same species will have different scents. Their scents are always changing together as one. So, if you were to take a few ants away from the colony for a few months and then bring them back together, they’d end up having different scents and would not be recognized as part of the colony. The reason for this scent is so that they can identify who belongs in the colony. At each entrance to the nest, there are a few ants that are checking the scent of each passing ant making sure they belong. So, when there is a colony that meets up with another colony for some reason, they have different scents and that results in an “Ant War.” If a single ant were to meet another ant from a different colony, they would most likely not engage in a fight but it’s a different story when it’s a whole colony.
I know what you’re thinking: This is a great time to do your own pest control! Believe me, I was tempted. But, it would only make a difference for a couple weeks. When you kill a large number of ants suddenly (like if I were to use some store bought kill spray on them all) the queens would notice the drop in numbers and go into overtime producing eggs like crazy! Then in a couple weeks, when all of those eggs hatch, you’ll be right back where you started. That’s why it is important to remember that the chemicals we use for our ant treatment is more of a “silent killer.” When the liquid chemical dries, the ants walk over the area treated and it gets on them. One of the ways that ants communicate is through touch. So, when they touch each other that chemical transfers to other ants in hopes that it reaches the queen. Each ant that gets the chemical on them ends up slowly dying. Think of it like a deadly cold that gets passed around. So make sure you let the professionals handle your pest control problems. We have competitive pricing, including our no-contract quarterly maintenance plan!