Ants prefer eating other insects when they have to feed queens and larvae with a protein-rich food, and insect bodies can provide a large amount of protein compared to other food sources.
Do Ants Eat Fleas? Ants eat fleas to avoid competition, as they share the same habitat in the house and outdoor areas. Moreover, they are scavenging animals or omnivores that can eat adults and larvae of fleas as they are easier to catch. Furthermore, their bodies are a good source of protein for ants. Fire ants are known to attack fleas and reduce their population in homes.
Fleas are blood-sucking insects usually found in bedding, wooden furniture, and lawns, as they like to build their nests close to trees, like ants.
How do ants eat fleas?
It is a little bit challenging for ants to catch flying fleas in the air, but they can easily access larvae or immature ones in the nest.
Moreover, the larger ones can hop and move away quickly when they observe a larger insect or predator coming toward them.
Hopping behavior becomes defensive as it helps get out of predator access quickly. In addition, the mature ones can also bite as these are blood suckers naturally.
Accordingly, they can bite predators to get free of their grip. However, there is no risk of defensive attacks from tiny immature fleas as they are unaware of hopping behavior.
So, ants get control over their bodies by using their legs to restrict their movement. Then, it begins to sting on the body of the immature insects and push its stingers deep into their soft skin.
They will inject poisonous chemicals into their bodies that can cause painful sensations and make them feel helpless. Therefore, it becomes easy to eat their bodies after multiple stings.
Why do ants eat fleas?
Ants get attracted to a food source, like food leftovers in the kitchen or small insects or worms hidden inside the beds and backyards.
Most commonly, fleas like to live in warm and humid places, which can be the cracks on the floor, furniture, bedding, and carpet.
They prefer to hide inside the upholstery material of couches as they need a warm and cozy environment to breed like ants.
Moreover, you can also find them in outdoor areas like the backyard, where they live close to trees and shrubs, as they need shady places to survive.
Ants also prefer to live in warm, shady, and moist places where they can get nutrients and warmth to reproduce.
Both ants and fleas reproduce in the summer months resulting in a quick increase in population that leads to competition for survival as they share the same habitats.
So, both have different eating habits, but they share the same places, which gives rise to competition, and the fittest will survive.
They can consume various food, from fruits and vegetables to plant stems and leaves. In addition, they can also attack living or dead insects and animals that can be easily killed.
They are good scavengers and decomposers as they can feed on dead animals and organic matter. They can also eat dead fleas and even their larvae or eggs whenever they get a chance.
Moreover, you can also consider them opportunistic omnivores that will only attack small prey in living or dead conditions.
You can allow them to enter the house when there is an uncontrollable population of fleas, as they can capture these pests hidden inside the narrow spaces.
However, it is not considered an effective method to control the flea population as you are introducing a new pest to remove the older one.
It is not difficult for them to reach the hidden spaces once they have detected the presence of proteinaceous food material as their small body size facilitates them.
So, ants get on their prey and eat them as they are omnivores, scavengers, and decomposers that can efficiently deal with house pests.
Easy to catch
Ants choose their food depending on availability as they have multiple options to get nutrition. Smaller insects and worms become prey only when they are readily available.
Most commonly, these tiny insects and white worms are preferred food types when they are dead or present at a close distance.
Moreover, their bodies are 2 to 20 mm long, but fleas are only 3 to 5 mm long, meaning that the former insects can quickly attack and grab their smaller bodies.
In addition, they run slower than ants and can be easily caught by these voracious eaters. Therefore, it will take less time to break the body parts and turn them into dead carcasses.
Furthermore, ants can reach their prey sometimes when these detect their presence in the same house and help reduce their number by locating and targeting them.
So, easy and quick catching makes it a good option for the larger insects to consume fleas and fulfill their nutritional requirements.
Source of Protein
Insect bodies are usually rich in proteins as their bodies have a lesser percentage of fats, carbohydrates, and water. Therefore, it becomes a rich source of nutrition for other insects.
Moreover, ants require protein food when their colonies have newly produced larvae, as hatched eggs need protein for growth.
They obtain protein from the foods like peanuts and attack smaller insects as their bodies can provide sufficient amounts of protein to help fulfill their colony requirements.
Moreover, eating insect bodies can help maintain a balanced diet as they cannot rely entirely on fats and carbohydrates, and proteins are also essential for survival.
So, they will eat fleas as their bodies provide protein that can help them grow well and give energy to the queen as they need proteinaceous food during reproduction time.
What type of ants eat fleas?
Only one species of red ants or fire ants can kill fleas out of more than 13000 species of these insects. However, they have deadly stings that can kill any soft-bodied organism quickly.
Moreover, it leads to a burning sensation that immature fleas cannot tolerate. They can find their prey after continuous searching efforts, as they are hidden in narrow spaces.
This species of red ants are interested in eating their larvae compared to adults and eggs due to ease of catching and shows more enthusiasm towards eating larvae than adults.
However, the pupated and larvae wrapped in cocoons are only left by these deadly insects as they remain unnoticed.
Why do ants sleep with their eyes open?