You can see ants under rocks and stones; they find their food sources nearby to thrive and hide from changing climate.
Do Ants Live Under Rocks? Ants can live under rocks because they seek a warm environment to raise larvae, flat rocks have thermoregulatory properties, and larvae grow faster under rocks due to warmth. They live there to protect themselves from predators, save food from natural disasters, and make shelters and colonies in rock cracks to hide because they prefer to live in dark places.
They make colonies in dark, warm, and moist places and prefer to lay eggs in suitable environments. Ants protect their food and colonies by working together under different conditions.
Why do ants live under rocks?
They live under landscaping rocks in the garden, and a severe infestation can affect the plant’s growth.
They are also found in the mountain rocks, on the road sideways, and under the rock stones in the garage for decoration due to the following reasons.
Seek a warm environment to raise larvae
They are cold-blooded insects that can regulate the body temperature according to the outside environment, depending on the species.
The queen ants can lay approximately 700-800 eggs daily and seek a warm environment to reproduce and raise the larvae.
They start coming from their colonies and living places as the temperature rises in the summer, and they become more active.
Their body temperature falls in winter, and they become sluggish, which causes them to stay underground or in warm places. They can lay eggs in warm atmospheres and search for insulated places to survive.
Flat rocks have thermoregulatory properties
Rocks have thermoregulatory properties, meaning they can maintain the internal core temperature. In addition, the flat stones have a large surface area exposed to sunlight, which causes them to retain the temperature under the rock.
They use solar energy from the stones and keep their larvae warm and secure. The temperature keeps the atmosphere warm and suitable for larvae to become adults and holds the duty of worker for the colony.
They also provide a suitable temperature for them in winter to keep their body temperature warm on a perfect sunny day. However, the rock placed in shady areas cannot serve well for these insects and larvae to survive in winter.
Ants larvae grow faster under rocks
According to research, ants larvae grow faster in this place because of the warm and dark environment, unlike larvae growing on bare soil or ground.
Larvae can grow into adult workers after 4-5 weeks in a suitable and warm environment. They can enter your house if you place the landscape rocks in your garage or at the entrance.
I have landscape stones in my garden for decoration, and I observed an ant colony and larvae in this place when I turned a big rock to clean that area.
The infestation became severe after a few days, as the larvae turned into adults within days when I returned from vacation after two weeks.
Use rocks as protection from predators
They use this place as protection from predators, as they can hide in this place if they sense any danger.
Natural predators, such as lizards, spiders, anteaters, and flies, can destroy the colonies if they notice the larvae and hatch in this place because they are easy targets.
Moreover, humans can step on ants when workers leave their colonies for food. Therefore, they live under the rocks because they find hiding and saving their larvae from predators is a better option.
Save food from natural disaster
The worker ants get the food from different sources to the colonies for larvae and other teammates.
They can store their food at this pace to save it from natural disasters such as rain, snowfall, and other climate changes.
Ants prefer to seek a dry place in the rain because the rainwater can cause immature larvae to drown in the rainwater. Therefore, they can reproduce ad live there to survive rainwater and snowfall.
The rainwater can cause the food to flow with it and destroy their hard work, which causes them to live under the stones to store their food in this place to use later.
Make shelter and colonies in rock cracks to hide
They can make colonies under the rocks, as they lay eggs in warm places and make shelter in these places. They increase their reproduction if the environment is suitable and they find a food source near their shelter.
The cracks inside the stones are the best places for them to find warmth, and they will switch their colony to another suitable place if they notice any danger.
Ants can hide their larvae in these cracks and swarm to deal with the danger and save the victim ant.
Prefer to live in dark areas
Ants prefer to live in dark areas and try to hide in dark places to keep themselves away from predators, humans, and other dangers.
The carpenter ants get their food and migrate at night, as they have excellent night vision and can see their target food source easily.
Some pests become active in light, as it depends on the specie because there are thousands of ant species, and each has different nature to respond in light and dark environments.
What types of ants can live under rocks?
You can find different types of ants living under the rocks, and some of those species are listed below.
Little black ants
They can live and make colonies of large populations under the rocks. They have one or two queens in each colony, which produces thousands of larvae per day, and increase their population within days.
They are usually present in summer, such as from June to August, and you can find them in a dark and shady place under the stones.
I noticed these little black insects in my garden landscape stones; there are black, dark brown, and jet-black color species in this place. They have small sizes, such as 1.5mm, and eat insects, plant secretions, and vegetables.
They also live under the rock and prefer to live in the nest of other ants; therefore, they are known as thief ants.
They steal the food of other pests, and the color and size of the specie vary, such as they have yellow, brown, and bronze color.
They love warm and dark places and are found indoors and outdoors where the weather and living conditions are suitable. You can find them in the soil, woods, under floors, and baseboards.
Crazy ants love to live in both dry and damp atmospheres. They often build their colonies or nest outdoors and travel to other places in search of food.
They can be found in mountain rocks and landscaping stones in your house, as this place is dry in summer and damp in winter but cannot survive the extreme cold weather. You can see them in rotten wood, soil, under the building, and in small cavities.
Argentine ants can build their nest and colonies in wall cracks, under the rocks, and among leaf litter. In addition, they can cooperate with each other and make large or super colonies.
They are one of the most problematic species in the house because they can infect the place severely. They are small brown-looking specie and are aggressive but not poisonous.
They are red color small insects that can sting on human bodies and cause skin irritation. They are present under rocks, grounds, lawns, and along roadsides.
Fire ants eat plant seeds, oily foods, and insects and build tunnels in the wood, soil, and cracked rocks to thrive in changing climates.
How to get rid of ants under rocks?
You can get rid of ants living under rocks in your garden and garage.
You can sprinkle natural insecticides, such as Diatomaceous Earth, Neem oil, and chile pepper spray, to get rid of these insects from this place.
Peppermint is another natural insecticide that kills ants and other insects without damaging this place. They are safe to use because it is not toxic.
There is another way to get rid of them in this place, such as putting a fabric liner on the soil base to prevent them from coming from the soil and making colonies under the landscaping rocks in the garden.
You can also plant fragrant herbs that repel these insects, as these herbs have a sharp smell. The ants do not like fragrant herbs that smell like lavender, mint, rosemary, tansy, and catnip. Growing these herbs near this area can keep the insects at bay.
People often use oil and dishwashing liquid to get rid of ants under the rocks in their garden, such as pouring a mixture of tea tree oil and dishwashing liquid in the infested place to kill them and their colonies.