Impressive Ant Facts Columbia MD Residents May Find Interesting
What comes to your mind when you think of ants? Do you think of them invading your kitchen or ruining your picnic? Or do you think of how smart and impressive these little creatures are? You’d be correct on both fronts, but the latter may not be as obvious to most of us.
You probably already know that ants are super-hardworking and especially gifted at teamwork. But there are many more impressive facts about them. For instance, do you know our Howard County ecosystems are much healthier simply because of the ants that live in them?
Around the world, ants play a role in keeping their local ecosystems healthy. For example, ants play a huge role in tropical rainforests by redistributing nutrients, according to a 2017 article published in the Journal of Animal Ecology. The authors estimated that more than half of the nutrient redistribution in the tropical rainforest of the Maliau Basin Conservation Area in Malaysia was performed by ants. Read more at Live Science…
Do you wish you could just wave a wand and get rid of all the ants in your yard? Well, you might want to rethink that. As ants dig their tunnels in the ground, they help to turn and aerate the soil. This also allows water, minerals, and oxygen to reach the roots of your garden plants.
As humans, there’s also a lot we can learn from ants. In contrast to us and other animals, ants tend to be much less aggressive to each other. This is believed to have contributed a great deal to their survival.
One of the most important aspects of ant identity is the ability to distinguish nestmates from non-nestmates that typically act as bad actors. To do this, they rely on chemical markers made up of specific odorants on their bodies, which Zwiebel refers to as a “coat of many odors,” to emit complex odor blends that act as a sort of personal identifier for other ants.
In this study, the researchers discovered that ants have to smell and correctly decode these specific compounds on intruder ants from other colonies in order to “unlock” their aggressive behavior and defend their nest. This implies that ants default to acceptance and select aggression only if they are specifically triggered. Read more at Science Daily…
The knee-jerk reaction that we humans default to when ‘threatened’ by seeming foes has led to many harmful events, many of them unnecessary. The contrasting characteristic in ants could explain why ants are the most dominant insects on earth, with over 12,000 species and about 10,000 species that are yet to be discovered.
Most normal people, even the most intelligent of us, find it difficult to retrace our steps when in a new environment. It may take a few trips before we become familiar with a new route (thank you GPS). Now imagine having to retrace your steps while having to walk backward.
Scientists used to think the insects needed to see something from the front to recognize a familiar location. Now, a research team has shown that the ants use a number of methods to find their way, and that they can recognize familiar scenery even when they’re walking backward—a high level of visual sophistication for such a tiny animal. Read more at Science Mag…
With almost 360-degree vision, ants take in a lot more information as they walk away from their nests. They use this information to find their way back, even when walking backward as they drag their food behind them.
Ants are certainly interesting creatures. But you should never have to tolerate an ant invasion in your home. Boundaries are important, and we at Backyard Bug Patrol are happy to help you establish them. Call us today to find out more about our safe, organic, and effective ant control barrier program.