Saving Your Valentine Cookies

February is here and spring is rapidly approaching. This is a significant time of year for an ant colony. Now is the time that their winter store of food is beginning to run low…

Did you notice the ant scouts on your kitchen counter early this morning? They were right there peeking at you from behind the toaster. With their antennae waving, they are picking up the scent of your freshly baked Valentine’s Day cookies. They are about to make their move; they quietly and quickly grab the tiniest of a sample and return to the nest to spread the good news of their find. Their intent is not to just take one cookie…they want them all; they love your cookies!They are sneaky, they are persistent, and they are highly motivated. In what seems the blink of an eye, thousands of ants are now on the move…

Instinct tells them their survival of their colony is dependent upon their rebuilding their diminishing supply of their winter reserve of food. If they are not successful, the colonies yet to hatch workers will arrive small and underdeveloped due to lack of nutrition. The lack of an adequate food supply will put the colony at great risk.

When spring begins and flowers start to bloom, theysecrete nectar that is highly attractive to ants. This attraction outdoors and may soon bring these pests close enough to a home to discover your indoor plants. From there they have access to your freshly baked cookies and all your pantry items.

To deal with ants effectively it is helpful to understand the four stages of their life cycle. The first of the four stages are the “Egg“. Fertilized eggs will develop into female ants, which comprise the colonies work force. Unfertilized eggs develop into males…once the male mates it dies within a week or two.

Once the egg hatches, the second stage of development starts which is the “Larva” stage. In this stage, the ants appear worm like without eyes or legs. They are completely dependent upon the adult workers to feed and care for them. As they grow rapidly, they will molt (grow by shedding outer skeletal shell) several times.

This rapid growth leads to the “Pupa” stage. Ants in this stage appear more adult like, however their antenna and wings are not fully developed at this point. They remain folded against their bodies. Some ants in this stage protect themselves by spinning a cocoon around them. While other species remain uncovered and depend upon the adults for protection. The pupal stage is one where the ants prepare themselves into becoming adults.

The final stage of development is the “Adult”. When the ant emerges from the pupal stage it is a fully-grown and mature adult. They are now ready to perform their jobs as workers.

Ants in general, once they hatch, they will live from several weeks to several months depending upon the species, and the environment in which they live. However, the queen ant has a much longer life span.Some queens can live for decades.

So, there you have it, the metamorphosis (a complete change in body form) of an ant; which consists of four stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult.

While ants are generally active all year, they survive the winter by going into a state of semi-dormancy or inactivity known as diapause. However, as spring approaches their activity level increases dramatically. February is a month where you may begin to see them inside your home where they become a real nuisance because of their persistence. Not to worry, Merle at Merle’s Pest Control has the perfect solution. She has the right materials, equipment, and technology. Using her advanced knowledge and skill, she quickly and effectively solves your toughest pest problem. She does so while protecting you, your family and pets; and our environment as well. This is a winning combination.

Be assured she will once again protect you from losing yourValentine’s Day cookies. She not only provides a practical and safe solution that works, she will give you peace of mind as well because you know the problem is being taken care of efficiently and safely. Merle is always available to answer your questions and address all your concerns. No hype here just honest and direct answers. Please give Merle a call today at541.915.7581for positive results you will see tomorrow.