The queen ant is located in the heart of the ant colony. Whether you are working with a colony that has a single queen or a couple, without this particular kind of ant, then there would not be a solution to perpetuate the species. Queens are usually protected and well cared for to guarantee the future of this nest, so it’s useful to learn the way you’re able to identify her.
What is a Queen Ant?
A queen ant is liable for putting eggs in her colony. Many ant species have nests with one queen, though some might have several queens. Worker ants discover and furnish food to the colony and queen. Soldier ants protect the colony and queen. Drones are male snakes that associate with winged females, which might afterward become queens themselves. Knowing these functions can allow you to handle ant management in your house and property.
What Does a Queen Ant Look Like?
Queen ant identification can allow you to realize the hierarchy of your nest. If you are considering studying ants outdoors or within an ant farm, this info can allow you to place the queen so that you can watch the interesting activity that occurs around her. If you are attempting to eliminate ants in your house, learning how to recognize a queen ant can allow you to pinpoint the most significant ant to eliminate.
The appearance of the queen ant varies by species. The midsection, or thorax, of a queen ant is particularly large. She may or may not have wings when you see her, but most queens fly at some point in their lives and have greater musculature in the midsection to support this. The thorax makes up about half of the queen ant’s size.
A queen ant’s trunk is usually as wide as the head. A smaller head indicates a worker ant rather than a queen. The queen ant’s abdomen is usually quite large as well since her primary responsibility is laying eggs.
How Big is a Queen Ant?
The queen ant is almost always bigger than the other ants in the nest. However, her exact size depends on her species. The queen leaf-cutter ant is significantly larger than the workers in her nest, while carpenter ants and fire ants have larger workers, so there’s less to differentiate between the queen and the workers. Ultimately, if an ant looks bigger than those around her, there is a good chance she is the queen.
Do Queen Ants Have Wings?
Queen ants typically have wings at some point in their lives. After mating and establishing a nest, the queen ant may lose her wings, so a lack of wings doesn’t mean that an ant cannot be the queen. After losing her wings, the queen typically has scars or small protrusions from her back where the wings were. If you examine her closely enough, you may see these.
Male ants also have wings during mating season. However, male ants are generally more slender and have a wasp-like appearance, while the queen is larger and sturdier.
How to Find a Queen Ant
The physical appearance of an ant isn’t always as telling as its behavior. Queen ants are treated very differently from the others in the nest. She gets a great deal of attention from worker ants. They feed her, clean her, and retrieve her eggs. If you see a larger ant with several smaller ants climbing on or around her, she’s likely a queen.
The queen is usually found in the center of the ants’ nest. She’s well protected by the soldier ants and typically difficult to get to. A queen ant isn’t found at the top of the nest and rarely moves around. Queens prefer dark, moist areas, so you might have to dig into an existing nest to find her. This type of disruption will often cause the ants to scatter and choose a new home, which will make them more difficult to get rid of if you’re trying to exterminate an infestation in your home.
Does the Queen Ant Ever Leave the Nest?
Queen ants rarely leave the nest unless they’re looking to relocate the colony. If the current nest is under threat, the queen may exit in an attempt to establish a new home. You may also see new queen ants outside the nest on their mating flights. Though some ant species live in nests with a single queen, that queen will still produce other potential queens to further the species.
These new queens leave the nest with winged males on nuptial flights. After mating, the queens move on to establish new nests or return to their nest to expand it if they belong to a species that allows multiple queens. If you see flying ants around your home, this is a sign that they’re mating and expanding their reach. You should generally speak with a pest control professional in this situation to find the best way to address the problem.
How to Get Rid of a Queen Ant
If you’re trying to eliminate an ant infestation in your home, you must get rid of the queen ant. Killing worker ants won’t take care of the problem, because the queen can continuously replace them. Queens are very long-lived, often surviving for decades. The best way to kill a queen ant is to get poison into the nest. Ant-baits that pass for food are often fed to the queen. This kills her and the other ants who eat the bait, effectively eliminating your problem.
While it’s fascinating to identity a queen ant, this isn’t necessary to get rid of a nest. Simply approaching your ant infestation with the right ant traps and bait will help you reach the queen, even if you never see her. Speak to a pest control professional to learn more.