Brampton Pest Removal: How Big is an Ant Colony?

Ant Colony

If you see ants around your home, you probably have many questions:

Along with these questions, you may wonder how big a problem you are dealing with. Are these ants just passing through, or do they have a nest in your home or on your property? If you do have an ant colony, how big could it be?

There are many different species of ants, and only about 25% of these are social, meaning that they live in colonies. The exact number of ants in a colony depends on the species, but generally speaking, a colony can have as few as 1,000 ants or as many as 100,000.

How Can You Tell How Big an Ant Colony Is?

If you can find the nest, that gives you a clue as to how big the ant colony is, relatively speaking. The larger the area the nest covers, the greater the number of ants that live there. If a nest covers a greater area than normal, this tells you that the colony is larger than what you typically see.

However, this method of assessing the size of a colony relatively only works if you can see the nest. If a colony of carpenter ants has a nest in your home, it is typically inside the wooden framework where it is difficult, if not impossible, to see.

What Different Types of Ants Live in a Colony?

An ant colony is basically a large family and, as with human families, different members have different roles to play. Based on the roles they play, there are more of certain types of ants in a colony than others.

There is typically only one queen ant in a colony. The queen’s primary responsibility is to lay eggs and populate the colony with the other types of ants. Whether the larvae will grow into female or male ants depends on whether the eggs have been fertilized or not. A queen ant mates with a male once before founding a new colony and can continue to produce fertilized eggs for many years thereafter. Fertilized eggs mature into female ants and unfertilized eggs mature into males.

Most of the members of an ant colony are workers. These are female ants that emerge from fertilized eggs. Only the queen ant lays eggs; the workers are sterile. Different worker ants perform different jobs in the colony. Some go out and search for food, some are responsible for building and maintaining the nest, while others look after the eggs and larvae. In certain ant species, some workers are larger and bulkier, with stronger mandibles, than the other workers. These ants are called soldier ants, and their job is to defend the colony from predators and other threats.

Male ants develop from unfertilized eggs. They have a very specific role to play, and they don’t emerge until there is a need for them. The job of a male ant is to mate with a female and found a new colony. However, male ants don’t mate with an established queen. Instead, they mate with a princess ant, a winged female who has the potential to be a queen if fertilized. The male ants, known as drones, also have wings and emerge at the same time that the princess ants do. Winged ants mate in midair during what is called a nuptial flight. However, the honeymoon doesn’t last long as male ants only live for about 14 days. After mating, princess ants lose their wings and find a place to build a nest so each can become the queen of a new colony.

Why Should You Hire Truly Nolen for Carpenter Ant Removal?

Carpenter ants can cause extensive property damage by making tunnels in wood for their nests. DIY removal methods are unlikely to be effective. Truly Nolen offers a customized treatment plan upon assessing the extent of the problem. Learn more about how we can help with pest control in Brampton.