With warm weather pretty much all year round in Dubai, it’s no surprise that we might find ourselves with unwanted guests in our homes. Ants, being one such guest, can frequently be found foraging for food and moisture in our kitchens and bathrooms. Most homeowners aren’t as wary of ants as they should be. ServiceMarket brings you some interesting facts about ants, some of which will make you think twice about tolerating their presence at home.
Ants survived when dinosaurs didn’t
Ants have been on this planet far longer than humans have. In fact, they survived the extinction that killed the dinosaurs. While humans have been around for a mere 200,000 years, ants have been around since the past 130 million years.
Ants use pheromones when foraging
Ever wondered at how quickly a swarm of ants found spilled food in your home? This is because when a single ant forages for food and finds it, it leaves a trail of pheromones that guides other ants to where it has been. These ants reinforce the trail with their own pheromones and soon you have tons of ants at the site, taking the food away.
Ants are quite the globe trotters
Ants can be found everywhere on Earth, except Antarctica and a couple of islands. In many countries, they aren’t even the native species, but have hitchhiked their way there.
Ants can carry disease causing pathogens
While ants are considered beneficial organisms to the environment, some species are known to carry bacteria and fungi that can cause serious diseases. Pharaoh ants, for example, are known to transmit Salmonella, Staphylococcus, Clostridium and Streptococcus. They are considered a serious pest in hospitals. Pharaoh ants are one of the most commonly found species of ants in the UAE.
Ants can create superbrains
A single ant has 250,000 brain cells. That might not make them very smart, but ants tend to work in groups and use their intellect as a whole. This collective intelligence allows ants to do remarkable things. A colony of 40,000 ants is collectively as intelligent as a human being.
Ants number more than humans on Earth
This is, in fact, an understatement. Current estimates put the number of ants on the planet at 10 quadrillion. That’s 10,000,000,000,000,000. This means that for every human on the planet, there are one million ants.
Ants have long lifespans
A garden ant, another species commonly found in the UAE, has a lifespan of 15 years. That is longer than the average lifespan of most dogs. The longest an ant has been reported to live was 30 years.
Ants can have a mean bite or sting
There are over 12,000 species of ants worldwide and almost all of them bite or sting. Anyone in contact with ants is therefore at risk of a bite or sting, especially if they are in an area where ants build their nests. However, some ant bites or stings lead to allergic reactions. The most painful sting is reportedly that of a bullet ant. According to some victims, the pain feels equal to getting shot, hence the name.
Besides being a nuisance, you now know that ants can cause diseases and allergic reactions. If you need to book a pest control company in Dubai, get free quotes on ServiceMarket.