We find ants in almost all the corners of the world. There are various fun facts about ants. For example, there are almost 12,000 species of ants across the world. They are the longest-living insects in the world. The ants can live up to 30 years. It is the strongest creature concerning its size. Its reason is that it can carry almost 50 times more weight than its body weight. The ants are social insects because they live in colonies. You may be amazed to know that ants don’t have ears. Some ants don’t have even eyes. Now, a question may come to your mind how do ants find food and what do ants eat? Here, we will explore this question and get the required answer.
What Do Ants Eat?
Ants eat almost anything and everything. Based on their eating habits, ants are opportunistic. It means that they can eat anything helpful for them to remain alive. That’s why we see that ants carry all kinds of food back to their colony. As a human being, we can also eat anything but we give preference to some specific foods. Similarly, ants can also eat anything but they give preference to some specific foods.
1. Ants Eat Sweets and Sugar
Ants show attraction to sugary and sweet things. It shows that sugar and sweets are important to ants. They are essential components for ants to remain active in the colony. That’s why ants always look for nectar and other things that contain sugar content. After finding the sweet products, they store them in their abdomen. When they get enough storage in their abdomen, they walk back to their nests. In the nest, they directly transfer these food drops from their mouths to the mouths of the other members of the nest.
Carpenter ants are a specific species of ants. They can destroy furniture and other wooden materials in the homes. Therefore, you should try to adopt some essential techniques to avoid carpenter ants in your home. For this reason, you will have to adopt good cleaning habits.
2. Ants Eat Protein and Fats
Ants require protein and fats to grow. They are also important for the ants to save their colonies from dying out. No doubt, meat and eggs are high-protein foods. When ants go for the hunting of food, they show attraction to these high-protein foods. The ants also show attraction to grease and lard. They are usually found in our kitchens. That’s why we usually observe the attack of ants in our kitchens.
The above discussion shows that ants eat protein and fats. You may find the problem of creeping ants in your home. If you want to get rid of this problem, you will have to clean up the mess after eating or preparing food. When we leave food unattended or we don’t keep it in the proper storage places, we may allow the ants to attack this food. The ants will swarm around the food. They will also break it up and try to bring it back to the colony. Ants also like sweet fruits like mangoes and oranges. If you will keep them in the open areas in your home, you may also observe the attack of ants on them.
3. Ants Eat Living and Dead Insects
In the previous section, we discussed that ants like high-protein and fat foods. Here, we should know that insects are high in protein and fat. Therefore, when ants find dead insects, they will never miss this opportunity of getting protein and fat. In most cases, ants don’t confront bigger insects. They wait for the death of these insects before taking their bodies to the colonies. Anyhow, there are some specific species of ants like fire ants that show aggressive behavior. They attack the bigger insects in groups. After attacking the bigger insects, they swarm them.
When fire ants enter your home, they can create some problems for you. Its reason is that they have excruciatingly painful stings. This sting can last a burning and long sensation on your skin. This sting will be irritating to you. Usually, they build their nests in the grassy areas in your home. If you will properly clean the grassy lawns and outdoor gardens in your home, you can avoid the growth of their colonies.
4. Ants Eat Fungus
Along with eating sugar and meat, ants also eat fungus. Fungus is the main source of nutrition for the leafcutter ant species. Different species of fungi like mushrooms are found in humid places. In these places, the leafcutter ant species eat fungus for their growth.
5. Ants Eat Plants and Seeds
Some ant species are vegetarians. Plants can easily attract these species of ants. These ant species show attraction to the seeds and leaves of these plants. The seeds are a great source of energy for the ants. They can easily store them in the colonies. On the other hand, they can also use leaves as a source of food. They cut them into small pieces and carry them away to the colonies.
6. Ants Eat Salt
The results of the research show that ants can also show attraction to salt. According to the results of this study, it is an important source of food for those ant species that live far from the sea or ocean. Its reason is that they have less access to salt than those ant species that live close to the sea or ocean.
7. Other Ants
Yes, ants are cannibalistic. They can eat other ants within or outside of their colonies. The queen ants can eat larvae. They eat larvae only when they know that they have enough workers to support the colony. Some ant species can also steal larvae and ant eggs from other colonies. After stealing them, they can use them for food. The fire ant species mostly involve in these kinds of activities. They find other ant species and attack them.
Just like me, you may also think that ants are afraid of water. The scientists explain that it is a misconception. Its reason is that ants require water for their survival. They can use different methods to bring water to their colonies. Most of the ant species drink water from small droplets and puddles. Anyhow, some ant species fulfill their need of water from flowers and plant saps.
This fact shows that ants don’t enter your home just for eating food. They can also enter your home for drinking water too. If you will make your home leakage free, it can also help you to keep ants away from your home. It will also help you to keep some other insects like cockroaches to stay away from your home.
How Do Ants Find Food?
Ants have highly organized societies in the form of colonies. These colonies have an organized system of finding food. These tiny insects have enough abilities to effectively find, store and distribute food. If there are food crumbs or a spill of sweet food on the floor of your home, they can immediately summon ants into your home. Anyhow, how ants find food is still a mystery for us. To get the answer to this question, we should know that ants live in a caste system. Here, each caste has to do something different for the preservation of their colonies.
The worker ants are responsible for bringing food into the colony. When worker ants leave the colony to forage for food, they can walk for a distance in finding the food. During the journey, they leave a chemical. This chemical helps them to find a way back to the home. After finding a food source, they leave more chemicals. These chemicals act as a signal for other members of the colony to locate the food source. As a result, other worker ants come here and help each other in carrying the food back to the colony.
Tips to Get Rid of Ants
You may find ants in your home. The main reason behind finding ants in your home is that they look for food in your home. If you will not allow the ants to get access to food, you can easily get rid of ants from your home. Here, we will discuss some important tips to get rid of ants in your home.
♦ There may be spilled sweet drinks and food crumbs in your home. If you will find these things in your home, you should properly clean your home. Its reason is that these things are the main attraction for ants in your home.
♦ There are specific areas in your home where you may usually enjoy food. If you will regularly mop and sweep these areas, you can also stay away from ants.
♦ Sometimes, you may leave the food open in the kitchen. This thing can also attract ants in your kitchen. If you will store your food in airtight containers, you can avoid ants in your kitchen.
♦ We use pet bowls to feed the pets. We can also stay away from the ants by properly cleaning up these pet bowls.
♦ There may be some cracks and crevices in your home. By using these cracks and crevices, the ants will enter your home. If you will seal these cracks and crevices, you can also avoid the ants to enter your homes.
This is all about what do ants eat. If you have any questions or suggestions, leave a comment below the post.