Ants can evoke a lot of feelings and reactions, but hunger is not really one of them. However, they are quite the delicacy for many species out there because they are rich in protein, minerals and vitamins. In fact, in some parts of the world, people eat ants as well. Their small size also makes them an excellent target for a large variety of predators from insects to various animals and birds. Even though you will not really be able to get rid of an ant infestation by adding their natural predators to your home, you can deter future infestations if these predators are buzzing around in your yard.
The various species that feed on ants
Ants are eaten by many species out there, but perhaps the most famous is the anteater. This animal is perfectly evolved to feed on these insects, with sharp claws that allows it to tear into ant colonies and a long snout with a long, very fast tongue that flicks over 160 times a minute to slurp up as many ants as possible.
Bears will also eat ants. They prefer the brood, and they will be on the lookout for ant colonies starting in late spring all through the summer. Cubs in particular enjoy ants, and they will avoid colonies that are buried, instead opting to eat the ants that are nesting inside logs or beneath rocks. Some ants have strong defense mechanisms against a lot of predators, but big animals, and those specialized in eating ants can easily shake off these defenses.
When it comes to insects, you have many species that will hunt ants, but some of the most famous ones include spiders, antlion larvae and phorid flies. Spiders will lay webs near ant trails in order to capture unsuspecting travellers. The antlion larvae will dig pits that are designed to trap ants inside them, and the phorid flies will lay their larvae on an ant, which will hatch and consume it.
However, we’re barely scratching the surface here. Ants have to survive birds, fungal infections, humans and even other ants who want to eat them. On top of that, if we find ants in our homes, we will do everything we can to get rid of them. When it comes to certain ant species, this is an easy task. For others however, you will need the help of a professional to deal with them effectively. Contact us today if you need ant control services.