Good things about ants, why you should be kind to them

These little creatures weren’t just made to raid our pantries and irritate us. Even though they are a nuisance there are good things about ants that make them beneficial to the environment. If they aren’t beneficial to your environment here are some ways to get rid of pests in summer

Ants are almost everywhere on earth. You will find them on almost every continent. The only continent where you won’t find them is on Antarctica. Their large numbers are only comparable to those of humans. With all these ants surely they should be good for something? And they are, they play a very beneficial role in the environment.

Good things about ants:

Ants are a group of organisms that are very beneficial to the environment but are usually overlooked and not taken seriously. These little insects are actually helping us in more ways than we think. This is how:

Aerate the soil:

This is how ants are beneficial to your garden at home. The ants naturally create tunnels in the soil. This allows water and oxygen to reach plant roots, without ants this would not happen.

Waste collection:

If you’ve ever wondered where fallen skin, hair, dead nails or hairs go when they fall just know that ants have probably taken them away. They scavenge and look for a material with carbohydrates or protein in it and take it away. This amasses to thousands of tonnes of material over time.

Get rid of caterpillars:

They might not seem like they can do much because of their size but in groups, they are a force to be reckoned with read more here. Ants are very beneficial as they can kill off caterpillars in your garden. If the ants are doing their job caterpillars won’t eat your fruits and vegetables. There are a number of other pests that you should keep out of your garden.

An important part of the food chain:

Ants are a part of the food chain, they are close to the bottom and thus are food for other bigger animals such as birds, insects, anteaters and spiders.

Egg population control:

These tiny creatures will eat a number of eggs of other bigger insects. This is beneficial in keeping the population under control. They eat eggs belonging to bed bugs, cockroaches and flies.

Herding caterpillars:

The ants that do this are a particular type of ant called herd ants, and they do just that. These tiny creatures are responsible for herding caterpillars, they will herd the caterpillars in the night time into bushes and allow the caterpillars to feed on plants. When they are done, in the morning, the ants will herd the caterpillars back so that the caterpillars can rest. Ants are strong in numbs and will attack anyone or anything that attack the caterpillars

Population control:

Ants might be one of the last organisms you would think of when it comes to regulating another animal species population, but they do. Red ants are able to completely wipe out populations of locusts, rat and, grasshoppers.

Food for humans:

There are certain tribes in Madhya and similar areas that eat red ants as a delicacy.

Seed dispersal:

In eastern locations ants are known to help in the dispersal of seeds. These seeds include violets, bleeding hearts and lilies. This is beneficial to the environment as this allows for the furthering of these flower populations.

Clean up:

Ants will feed on the dead and decaying bodies of other insects and animals. In this way, they help get rid of these organisms, this keeps areas clean and tidy. They also do this with vegetation.

Natural insecticide:

When herbivores look for food they will look to plants to meet their needs. Ants will deter herbivores from eating certain plants. The tiny insects will be attracted to the nectar of the plant and will stay on this plant feeding for a while. Other insects are deterred from feeding on the plant because of the tiny creatures

Helpful to each other:

They are helpful to each other because collectively they are stronger. One single ant can’t do much but the together they are a force to be reckoned with.

Can ants harm you?

Fire ants can bite you. This is a very painful experience and this bite can even cause an allergic reaction. The bite of a fire ant is extremely painful.

In gardens, if ant colonies are too close to plant root systems this can be cause for alarm.

They can create patches in your lawns, this happens as their nests cover the grass. This covering of grass prevents the grass from growing properly.

They can do some serious damage to your house. This damage can happen when it rains or in summer.

What do ants do all day?

Ants have different tasks deepening on what they are. The 3 types of ants in colonies are the queen, the males and the worker ants and they all do different things during the day

The queens: The queen is the ant that ensures that the colony continues. her primary job is to lay eggs to continue the colony. She is waited on hand and foot and that allows her to take all her time to lay eggs. She can lay up to 1000 eggs a day.

Males: The male ant’s job is to help with reproduction. In fact, after reproduction, these ants die off very quickly. The male ants only live for around a week. Their job on a daily basis is to reproduce with the queen ant

Worker ants: The worker ants are the ants that you see on a regular basis going about their business. When they are inside the nest they keep the nest warm, maintain the structure of the nest, fight off predators from entering the nest, look after the young and tend to the queen. 

The worker ants are the ants that go outside looking for food. This can be in the form of looking for fruit and seeds or hunting other insects and animals. They also look for materials to help them improve the nest. All the ants work together, performing their individual tasks helps them maintain a strong colony.

Are ants smart?

Yes, ants are smart. They know how to communicate, know how to work together and know how to use their varied skills to ensure that the colony is as successful as it can be.

They communicate using pheromones by “smelling”, they also communicate through body language, sound and touch. The pheromones can lead ants to food, water, shelter and even communicate to other ants that an ant is dead. 

They are intelligent enough to communicate information between each other and use that information among themselves to adjust to changing situations as a collective. When they’re faced with a problem they collectively try to fix it with every ant doing their best to fix the problem.

Because they cooperate and work together well they can achieve tasks that would be too big for a single ant. They are even smart enough to maintain the health and immunity of the colony by disposing of dead ants in a timely manner.

Should I kill ants in my garden?

You probably should not kill off ants in your garden. Ants can actually be very helpful to your garden. As ants move through the soil they create tunnels. These tuners are helpful because they help to aerate the soil.

Another reason why you may want to avoid killing off any ants is that they can be helpful in killing caterpillars. Caterpillars can damage your garden by eating at the leaves of your plants. Ants will help you get rid of this problem.

Unfortunately, ants can do some damage to your garden as well. If the ant colony is too close to your plant root systems then they can damage the roots and cause your plants to die and can even result in bald patches in your lawn.

If you have fire ants in your garden then you should definitely kill them off. Not only can fire ants be dangerous but they can also damage your garden. These ants eat at your plant buds, killing them before they get anywhere, they also feed on your nutritional seeds.

Their tunnels can go right through your plant’s root systems and kill the pants off this way. In addition, if these types of ants bite you then you can suffer a very painful bite. In some cases of ant bites the people bitten can develop a serious allergic reaction so the best thing to do with these types of ants is to kill them off.

How do I get rid of ants in my garden naturally?

If you have animals or pets on your property then getting rid of ants naturally will be a better option for you. Here are some things you can do that will help you get rid of ants naturally:

Boric acid: Using boric acid to kill off ants is a great way to get rid of these tiny critters. Mix in some boric acid and sugar to attract the ants to the boric acid and leave it near ant nests. Once they eat it the ants will begin to die off.

Corn starch: This is another effective way to get rid of your ant problem in a natural way. Mix in some powdered sugar with some corn-starch and leave it near ant mounds. Ants will eat this mix but cannot digest the cornstatch and this will kill them off.

White vinegar: White vinegar will kill ants on contact, not only is vinegar good at getting rid of ant trails but it’s great at killing off ants as well. Pour white vinegar directly into ant mount to kill ants off.

Diatomaceous earth: This is usually used and consumed by people and is perfectly safe for us to eat but not for ants. Mix this powder with some powdered sugar and leave it near ant mounds, let the ants eat it up. The earth has sharp edges that will cut the ants from the inside as it passes through them.

Plants: Plants that repel ants are a great way to keep ants away from your garden naturally. Add plants that contain essential oils to your garden and watch as ants become repelled by the plants.

How do you kill a fire ant colony?

These ants are very aggressive and dangerous so killing them off is necessary for your own safety. If your property has a red ant infestation it is imperative that you get rid of them either by doing it yourself or by contacting pest control. Here are ways you can kill off a fire ant colony:

Fire ant bait: Using baits to kill off any infestation is a great way to get rid of them because you don’t have to come into close contact with the ants. Ant baits are insect food that is laced with poison. When the ants take it back to the colony and eat it they are killed by the baits. Simply apply the bait close to the mounts on a sunny day and allow the ants to forage for the bait.

Insecticide: Using liquid insecticide is also a great way to get rid of your ant problem. Insecticides are poisons used to kill off insects and they are very strong. These products will kill off the colony. Simply drench the ant wound in the insecticide and let the colony die out.

Pest control: If you would rather allow pest control to help you get rid of your fire ant problem then you should go ahead and do that. Getting rid of insects can be tricky because you may not know if some insects are hiding away. Pest control professionals are trained people who can identify and get rid of pests even in the knocks and crannies of your home.

I hope you found this article on good things about ants useful. If you did then please share it.

Good things about ants, why you should be kind to them
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