Everyone knows that a queen ant is the head of her household – the mother of her ant colony. It’s well known that if you want to stop an ant infestation, you should go after the queen. Otherwise, you may kill a bunch of ants while the queen continues to reproducing.
But do you know anything else about queen ants? We’re breaking down interesting facts about the queen that might surprise you.
She’s Not in Charge
This ant is considered the queen because of her role – laying eggs for the whole colony. She’s everyone’s mother, but they don’t bow down to her wishes and she doesn’t tell everyone what to do.
Instead, the queen has an important role that she carries out while the other ants carry out their roles. Nonetheless, the rest of the colony does takes care of their mama. They clean her and bring food to her so she can keep her focus on pumping out babies.
Not Every Colony Has One Queen
Some ant colonies have one queen ant, but other species of ants have worker ants that can reproduce. In other cases, rather than having a centralized queen, a colony can have multiple queens, creating unbelievable expansion in a short amount of time.
She Lives Long and Reproduces Often
You might think – or hope – that an ant could live for a just a few days, weeks, or even months. But queen ants can have a surprising lifespan. In fact, in the perspective of her descendants, a queen ant essentially lives forever.
We don’t know exactly how long they live, but a scientist studied one with a lifespan close to 30 years! Many live for at least 10 years. Over her incredible lifespan, a queen can lay billions of eggs.
Queens Can Have a Mutiny Against Them
While it may seem like an ant colony will do anything for their royalty, they can still have the desire to overthrow a queen. This is especially the case if a colony has multiple queens, resulting in ants from one queen attacking another. Workers come together to form an attack, which involves biting and spraying her with acid, sometimes for days.
Queens are smart enough to plan for a potential attack. When they live with other queens, they lay a reduced number of eggs. Workers are smart as well, as they smell chemical odors from the most fertile queens and kill off the less fertile ones. This sounds like a tricky system of checks and balances with just as much drama as the history of humanity’s royalty!
You may have noticed lines of worker ants walking through your home, which probably means a queen ant is lurking somewhere. At Clark’s Pest Control, we know how to find the queen and stop the colony. Contact us to discover our strategy, or ask for a free estimate on our ant control services.