If you’ve watched a child build, you’ll see someone who is focused on what they’re doing, who might have a plan, but most certainly loves to build. Fire ants are the same way. And if you’ve seen the place where an ant has built, you’ll see the work that goes into their creation.
An article put out by Discovery News says the red fire ant may be nature’s top excavator. Daniel Goldman, physics professor at Georgia Tech says they love to dig and they will dig in anything. If they encounter a large particle, they carefully pick it up in their jaw to remove it. Another method of digging is by raking and scraping the dirt into a pellet and use their mandibles and antennae to shape the pellet. When Goldman and his team studied these insects in lab experiments, they found several structures that resembled something like Jenga blocks, each layer supporting the one below. When the team probed it, it collapsed, just like the children’s game.
Since arriving in South America in the 1930’s, the spread of fire ants into the United States is astonishing, particularly in the southwest, where they occupy an estimated 300 million acres of territory. Their colonies are considered a “super-organism,” a group of individuals that acts as a single creature. Although fire ants have not arrived in our part of New Jersey yet, they are now found in southern New Jersey and moving northwards.
If you have a problem with ants, call your NJ Pest Control specialists to take care of them!