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Individual Ants Are Dumb, Ant Colonies Are Ingenious | Ant Control

Filed under: Ant Control,New Jersey Ant Control — Tags: , — New Jersey Pest Control @ 2:30 pm October 17, 2017

As far as insects are concerned ants are clearly intelligent. Ants are capable of building complicated nests, and they can navigate their way through long stretches of terrain while still being able to find the quickest route back to their nests. Ants are known for being some of the most clever architects, engineers and warriors of all insect species. So there is no doubting that ants are intelligent, right? Well, actually no, ants are complete idiots, but only as individuals. Ant colonies can be considered as one single thinking mind, but an individual ant does not possess much intelligence at all. According to Deborah M. Gordon, a biologist at Stanford University, ants cannot accomplish many tasks as individuals because they are too inept. Without the colony, an individual ant has no idea what to do with itself. But if that is true, then how is it that over twelve thousand species of ants have thrived on earth for one hundred and forty million years? There is no doubt about the fact that ants have enjoyed success on earth for a long while, and they have learned to collectively form strict caste systems. Researchers refer to this sort of collective intelligence as “swarm intelligence”.Ants Don’t Waste Any Time | New Jersey Ant Exterminator

Researchers are not exactly sure how swarm intelligence came into existence. After all, sometimes individual ants must disagree on what should be done. However, ants all make split second decisions that are critical to a colonies survival all of the time. In the ant world, there is no need for arguments or politics. Ants are self organizing insects, as they do not have a boss or a general of any kind. Of course all ant colonies have a queen, but the queen is only tasked with laying eggs, the queen does not take time to issue orders to the entire colony. Some researchers have theories concerning how ants communicate important information.

One theory is that ants communicate by sniffing out information from other ants within their colony. All ants can use touch and smell in order to sense which other ants are fellow colony members and which are strangers. For example, when ants forage for food, they will wait until ant patrollers arrive at the nest early in the morning. Once the patrollers arrive, they will rub their antennas against the antennas of the foragers. This antenna contact transmits smells that alert the foragers to leave in order to locate food. However, the foragers must make contact several times with separate patrol ants, and within a particular amount of time before the foragers leave. As you can tell, ant communication is complicated, but the evolutionary success of ants is certainly due to their ability to communicate by sensing the information conveyed in each others odors.

Do you believe that ants could use any other forms of sensory information in order to communicate?

Common Ant Invaders

Filed under: New Jersey Ant Control — Tags: — New Jersey Pest Control @ 11:16 am June 16, 2017

Some of the most common home invaders include:Ant Control

  • Odorous House Ants: These ants get their name from the unpleasant odor they give off when crushed, often described as smelling like a rotten coconut. They typically nest in wall voids and crevices and prefer sweet foods.
  • Pharaoh Ants: Pharaoh ants prefer sweets, but also consume grease and even shoe polish. They live in extremely large colonies and keep warm near artificial heating sources like baseboard heaters and ovens.
  • Carpenter Ants: This species hollows out nests in both dry and moist wood, though they prefer the latter. They can be particularly hard to remove since their nests can be more difficult to locate.
  • Fire Ants: Fire ants can cause severe allergic reactions in addition to structural damage caused by chewing through the insulation around electrical wiring.

 

Ants Don’t Waste Any Time | New Jersey Ant Exterminator

Filed under: Ant Control,New Jersey Ant Control — Tags: — New Jersey Pest Control @ 3:44 pm May 30, 2017

Ants Don’t Waste Any Time | New Jersey Ant Exterminator Ants Don’t Waste Any Time | New Jersey Ant Exterminator

Ants are everywhere, but when they are not crawling on us they don’t seem so deserving of hate. There are many articles in existence describing various insects, but ants seem to be covered more often than other insects. This could be because ants are actually pretty fascinating creatures with advanced abilities. For example, ants are able to calculate the shortest distance back to their colony while out foraging. Many of you probably heard about this particular study since it was published in a popular science magazine, and the topic has also appeared often enough on the Internet. But just because a distance is the shortest, does not mean it is the fastest. How can ants tell which route will be faster?

Ants are small creatures, so if the surface that they walk on changes, it can have a big impact on their ability to travel on that surface. Researchers recently conducted a study that had ants walking on surfaces that were composed of different materials. Using fire ants, researchers recorded the amount of time that it took for several ants to crawl on different surfaces. It was found that ants will always travel in the direction that takes the least amount of time, no matter what the ants are crawling on.

 

The ants in the study travelled in a way that was similar to how light travels according to Fermat’s Principle of Least Time. Fermat’s principle of least-time states that light will always travel on the path that allows it to travel the fastest. The researchers had the ants travel on smooth polyester, rough polyester and polyethylene glass. The ants could achieve the fastest speeds on surfaces that were smooth. So just as light can refract better on a smooth surface as opposed to a rough one, ants can instinctively crawl in the direction that is the fastest, even though the ant cannot see anything ahead of it.

Which insects do you think are the most intelligent of all insects?

Some Ants Are Chronically Lazy | New Jersey Ant Control

Filed under: Ant Control,New Jersey Ant Control — New Jersey Pest Control @ 4:07 pm January 26, 2017

Your perception of ants probably involves notions of cooperation, mutual advantage, incessant work and sacrifice. However, not all ants take their duties seriously. Just like humans, some ants can be total sloths. Maybe every animal species has their slackers, who knows? What I do know is that a majority of the work duties that exist within an ant colony are carried out by a minority of determined and enterprising ants, while lazier ants sit around watching.New Jersey Ant control

Anna Dornhaus, associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Arizona has been an ant expert for most of her life. Dornhaus claims that while a minority of ants work diligently to serve the queen, most ants stand on the sidelines motionless. However, these ants may not be lazy at all, it may just look that way to humans.

Dornhaus believes that it is possible for the motionless ants to serve a purpose to the group solely by successfully staying still. Perhaps some ants would slow down the process of tackling a particular challenge, so they would be better off not participating, but they could participate in other activities where they are not slowing down the process. This way of thinking about the eusocial behavior of ants is certainly new, and there is still much to be explored on the topic.

Have you ever witnessed several motionless ants sitting by while other ants from its colony are actively working together?