How Long do Ants Live?
When dealing with an infestation, you might wonder just how long the pests can survive inside their nests or in your home. Carpenter, odorous, citronella, and pavement ants are common in the Mid-Atlantic states, and the average ant lifespan varies according to its role in the colony.
While some types of ants have multiple queens, most colonies only have one that lays hundreds of eggs annually. Protected and cared for by workers, these females rarely leave the nest. As a result, the lifespan of a queen ant can last anywhere from 2 to 20 years, depending on the species.
The insects you see in cupboards or on kitchen countertops are sterile female ants known as workers. In addition to looking after the colony’s offspring, they also forage for food and bring it back to the nest. Although they can live for up to five years, worker ant lifespans are often cut short due to their exposure to predators, traps, and pesticides.
Well-established nests produce fertile male and female winged ants in late spring or early summer. These swarmers take flight to mate with other reproductives from nearby colonies. The males die immediately after breeding. Once fertilized, young queens lose their wings and start new nests by burrowing in wood or soil to lay their first batch of eggs.
These tiny pests contaminate food kept in pantries and storage areas. In restaurants and hotel dining rooms, crumbs and spills attract ants. Their presence often affects customers’ experiences as well as their reviews.
Carpenter ants can also damage wood beams and walls if infestations go undetected. If you have an ant problem in your home or business, contact Western Pest Services to speak with a professional.