by Rincon-Vitova Insectary
There are more than 12,400 species of ants throughout the world. In California, there are about 270 species, but fewer than a dozen are important pests. Ants interfere with biological control. Honeydew-secreting pests, like aphids, supply sweet food to the ants. In turn, ants protect the pests from beneficial insects that try to eat them. Controlling ants is important when attempting to control these honeydew producing pests. Baiting is a low risk approach that interrupts ants’ interference. Once they have found an adequate food source, they create a pheromone trail, a chemically marked highway, to and from the ant nest. More bait stations are not necessarily the answer, but strategic placement is important.
Ants are close relatives of bees and wasps.
Common wingless adult forms, known as workers.
Winged forms, which leave the nest in large numbers in warm weather to mate and establish new colonies, are often mistaken for winged termites.Continue reading