Behind the Superorganism: Why Ant Colonies Get So Big

Ants on a blade of grass

An ant colony is a well-oiled machine. Assigned jobs and a family-like structure help these insects stay more productive than most humans. These creatures form complex societies that also work with other organisms to protect and help each other thrive. At Bug Out, we provide ant control to Florida and southeast Georgia residents and businesses, and we have to admit we’re fascinated by the secret life of ants.

Ant Supercolonies Around the World

Ant colonies can become huge. In fact, discoveries of supercolonies in recent years have stunned scientists with their sheer numbers. An imported colony of Argentine ants covers an astonishing 3,700 miles of European soil. Argentine ant varieties also occupy large areas of land in California and Japan. Although the ant is prolific in general, it isn’t just its impressive reproductive powers that make their numbers so huge around the world. Humans have unknowingly spread these ant populations far from their native lands, but they seem to have an instinct to avoid aggression against their own species.

Synergy with Nature

An ant colony will often even work with a tree it calls home. Like us, these insects do have their own “personalities,” though. The way they treat that tree depends on their level of aggression. More aggressive ant populations actually protect their tree homes from attack, keeping the tree healthier. A well-protected tree provides more nourishment, which gives its ant occupants the energy to defend it. It’s easy to see how this cycle benefits both parties.

Roles Within the Ant Colony

Ant colonies also survive and thrive because of their individual roles within the group. The queen reproduces, and younger colony members take care of the queen and her offspring. Workers may look for food or defend the colony, depending on their preferences and current needs. These colony members send messages to others via pheromones, which are picked up by their antennae.

With their efficient method of communication, well-defined job duties, reproductive capabilities, and strong natural instincts, ants are born leaders. While their skills and abilities may serve them well in nature, these bugs don’t stand a chance against effective ant control treatments. If your Florida home or business has been invaded by these intelligent yet pesky creatures, contact Bug Out today.