Ok so in this training we’re discussing tramp ants and what is so important about tramp ants. The fact that these guys are the seven most common invaders of homes in the U.S. and they have six characteristics that are primary to understanding why they’re so difficult to control and why it is that most people fail at it.
Why are they called Tramp ants.
So let’s take a look at this. Why are they called Tramp ants? Well, tramp ants are ants that are going on ships, cargos, and trucks and they move into continents by basically hitchhiking. Because they invade properties and they invade structures so easily they easily hitchhike onboard anything they can find and then they come into our country and they’re known as an exotic invasive. Now what happens is that most people don’t understand insect biology. They don’t understand that these insects all have different behaviors but they got six common characteristics and we’re going to start looking at each and the most common ones that we find in homes so that you can understand if you have one of these ants you’re better
7 Tramp Ant Species
The first one is the Argentine ant now this and is one of the most difficult I mean these are the seven most difficult and to controlling the world.
They tend to like more of a Mediterranean climate. So you’re going to find these in an abundance in places like California.
So that’s going to be a big issue of you’re in California and you’re dealing with these ants. You’ve got to be prepared that your traditional quarterly service might not be adequate to control these types of species.
Now we’ve got big head ant now over here if you look on the side you see there’s a big headed and most people don’t see this one.
They think they got like fire ants or something that they’re going to get bitten, minor worker are the abundant
Now the crazy
All right. So we’ve got the ghost ant now and this is a little tiny sucker that’s probably the smallest of them all. Now as a characteristic most tramp ants are small and tiny and most people have a hard time seeing them they’re not like carpenter ants that are huge or sometimes some large fire ants.
These are very tiny as a matter of fact this why its called a ghost ant because it looks like it’s a little body is floating all over the place and you never see their legs. People will think they got spiders I mean
There is no over wintering of pests in the Caribbean and here in South Florida.
Now here you have the odorous house and now this odor House sand is the you see it with wings. Now most of these ants do produce wings but they do not have nuptial flights. They actually mate in the nest. They’re not like termites that do these flights once a year depending on which termite you having your area you’re gonna have different termite swarms and they’re mating. That’s what they’re reproducing at that time of year.
A pharaoh ant which is a nightmare of an ant for most people they get a pharaoh ant and it’s a nightmare. This
The White footed ant and the White footed ant is right now a nightmare because here’s why it’s called the White footed ant. If you look under a microscope right there you can see that little leg and there is the White foot and this ant is one of those ants that makes Super Colonies hundreds of thousands of ants in a colony and they will make a nest outside they will make a nest inside they tend to make it up in the attic. So if you get it you pretty much have to bait them out of the attic to try to find and where their act is you’re not going to be able to treat an entire attic crawl in there and find it in a corner of inadequacies not accessible and you don’t need to treat the whole attic to solve this problem. But that is a common ant here in South Florida and it is a nightmare.
The 6 Traits Of Tramp Ants
So let’s talk about the six traits here the six traits their unicolonial their polygynous polydomous, omnivorous they multiply by budding and they fragment. And that why there is a nightmare.
What is unicolonial
So let’s talk about one at a time. Well, unicolonial means that they will live among multiple nests. They live in proximity to each other. And these nests there think of it as this is the best I can do to illustrate. It’s a hub network like a computer hub network but it kind of explains that you got.
You have one and this is what is known as a bud nest over here and another Bud Nest and another Bud Nest and another Bud nest. Nests that have been fragmented and abandoned. So they share everything OK. They will share the eggs. They will share the queens they will share the workers. They will share the food. They will share the larvae. They will you share everything and this is why they’re so successful at breeding and reproducing and being so difficult to control.
Let me give you an example of polygyny.
They will have multiple queens in the nest. It’ll give you an example in one square yard of lawn. You can have some of these ants as many as 55 five queens per square yard and in one nest it could be a 10 to 1 ratio where you have 10 workers to one queen so multiple queens means mass reproduction. Some of these guys are reproducing up to one hundred and fifty eggs a day. When sugar supply is high and protein is high. These guys can reproduce anywhere they want to in mass quantities.
Let’s Discus Polydomy
Unicolonial ants they will make the multiple queens they also will make these nests within proximity to each other. So they’re making this and this allows them to easily go back and forth really quickly within a matter of hours. They can relocate an entire nest within one to two hours. So the idea is
So all of a sudden they decide they don’t need one of those nest they’ll just move everything else so that the proximity is why it’s so difficult especially with ghost ants. We see this constantly with ghost hand and we’ve traced ghost and as many as 30 feet from the original nest, I mean I traced it once from a bar that went around the corner down a hallway and then it went up the door. The sliding door and the nest
So that gives you an example that how far I had another situation with ghost and that it was from the kitchen down the hall to a bedroom closet and the nest was actually in a bedroom closet. And we had to trace it and treated in there because that’s where it was.
So give you an idea of how these guys work.
Now omnivorous ants
I get a lot of calls and people tell me Hey I got sugar ants you know if I leave anything
So here’s another thing. You’ve got houses with crawl spaces right and you’ve got a crawl space and underneath that crawl space is open and you’ve got rats going under there you’ve got cats raccoons. Guess what. Those animals carry fleas on them.
Well let’s talk about Budding
Budding, most pest control people get this confused budding and fragmentation are two different things a budding is a reproductive process they use.
Well you know they can mate without going in out of the nest and without flying they can mate right in the nest which gives them a higher chance of being reproductive. You know if you fly away from your nest and you end up on a windshield of a car. Well you know there goes your reproductive life.
But if you’re in the nest you can be safe in there. But budding is when a queen gets out of the nest takes about a bunch of workers with her and goes and creates a bud think of it as a flower. You have all the petals around the flower but they still belong to that flower but they’re independent petals. And that’s how these nest work. And then so that’s what happens with budding.
Now what is fragmentation
Wall fragmentation is different fragmentation usually happens because of disturbance you disturb the nest somehow. Here’s a couple of ways you disturb the nest. Number one is you make the mistake of going out to your local hardware store your big box store. Home improvement store and you will buy an over-the-counter spray. Typically in an aerosol because it’s easy to use and you will spray it. What happens is you don’t know that those over-the-counter sprays and a lot of people doing professional pest control are also using products that are repellent like pyrethroids and pyrethroids by nature are repellent. And if you apply it near a nest you could repel them and cause it to fragment and go to another nest.
What happens is they don’t just move to one nest they will take their eggs. They will take the workers to Queens and split them up and divide them almost like sometimes equally you know 60 to 40 ratio kind of deal. You know it’s very easy, you show up to somebodies’ door you say hey we just got kicked out of our place. Can we move in and they’re like No not really but well we got food. Well all right. Come in,
You’ve got resources and they share they’re not antagonistic towards each other like a lot of other species. Now they are antagonistic towards other and species and other insects. You slam the door you moved out all your dishes or something because you know started cleaning you caused them to move. How far can they move? They can relocate a nest you know 40 feet away completely in 24 hours completely moved and you will see a trail, and usually, they are creating a pheromone trail writer finding food transporting food or they’re moving that nest across. And that’s why you see the trails.
So in conclusion this is why these ants are so difficult to control
And why so many people and homeowners have trouble controlling them. Why PMP as professionals
People fail all the time because
You’re going to have to switch to a protein bait. So there are sometimes no bait available for certain types species of ants and then you have to use a
So this is why if you have ever purchased a quarterly service and they’re not getting control is because you’re going to need a more frequent service, products outside will last no more than twenty
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