Ant colonies can be a significant disturbance to your home. Ants settle anywhere there’s food, water, and shelter. Kitchens, backyards, and even bathrooms are all likely spots for a colony. Each colony can be composed of thousands of ants, making them a formidable enemy to all but the most experienced pest control companies. A single female queen ant controls the colony, and she runs the show. So, what happens when you kill a queen ant? The pest control experts at Dr. Death Pest Control are here to tell you!
Identifying the Queen Ant
Ants all look the same to the human eye, so how do you know which ant is the queen? Simple: size. Queen ants are approximate twice the size of the average worker ant. Ants have three segments. The queen’s third segment is significantly larger than any male’s, as she needs to house all the eggs needed to continue the colony. It’s unlikely you’ll ever see a queen ant out and about at your next picnic. She stays inside the settlement at all times, protected by her workers.
How Ant Colonies Are Structured
To understand what happens when you kill a queen ant, you must understand just how important she is. Colonies usually have thousands of ants with just one queen at the helm. Some territories have multiple queens, but they don’t stay around for long, as the worker ants will kill off any queen clones until there’s just one remaining. All the other ants in the colony are worker ants, and they bring food and resources back for the settlement. Every worker ant is male; the only female is the queen. She’s responsible for giving birth to all the colony’s ants, so she’s always protected.
What Happens When You Kill a Queen Ant?
The queen is responsible for propagating the colony. What happens when she dies? The answer is obvious: the colony dies. Ants won’t flee to another territory if their queen passes away. Instead, they continue bringing resources back to the settlement until they die of old age or external causes. There won’t be a successor to the queen if one dies unless it was a rare situation of multiple queens. If that’s the situation, the worker ants will kill the extra queens until only one is left.
How Does the Queen Die?
Since the queen ant stays hidden inside the colony for her entire life, she can only really die from two causes: worker ants or humans. Worker ants will kill off multiple queens but sometimes go too far and accidentally kill all the queens. Other than that scenario, a human is likely responsible for a queen’s death. They can be rooted out using a hot or soapy water flush or by a professional pest control expert’s methods. For more common pest and other related pest tips, please contact Dr. Death Pest Control.