Delaware provides a perfect place for ants to live and multiply because its weather is fairly mild. Summers are slightly humid or warm to provoke these insects to engage in nuptial flight.
Types of ants in Delaware include red imported fire ants, odorous house ants, pharaoh ants, thief ants, sugar ants, velvet ants, acrobat ants, red pavement ants, dark guest ants, little black ants, bearded carpenter ants, and crazy ants.
Various factors determine ants’ preference for living in any habitat as they look for ideal temperatures, moist conditions, and food resources before creating a nest for the colony.
|Ants in Delaware
|Red imported fire ants
|2 to 3 mg
|5 to 6 weeks
|Earwigs, beetles, antlions
|Odorous house ants
|0.3 to 0.7 mg
|2 to 5 months
|3 to 5 months
|Other insects, bigger ants
|0.5 to 1 mg
|2 to 10 months
|Horned lizard, spider, big-headed ants
|3 to 4 mg
|5 to 7 years
|Spiders, snakes, flies
|2 to 5 mg
|8 to 10 months
|Lizards, birds, toads
|1.5 to 3 mg
|4 to 6 months
|Hummingbirds, antbirds, lizards
|Red pavement ants
|1.5 to 2 mg
|3 to 5 years
|Wasp, black ant, snakes
|Dark guest ants
|1 to 2 mg
|2.5 to 3 years
|Caterpillars, black widow spiders
|Little black ants
|2 to 4 mg
|1 to 2 years
|Caterpillars, starlings, snail
|Bearded carpenter ants
|4 to 6 mg
|8 to 12 weeks
|2.5 to 3 mg
|2 to 3 months
Red imported fire ants
They are lightweight insects with only 2 to 3 mg body weight, but they are strong enough to bring a larger organism down as their poison is deadly enough to kill an organism.
Their colonies consist of the minor, medium, and major workers with different body sizes and varying functions to ensure the colony’s survival.
In addition, they have a short lifespan as minor ones can live for 1 or 2 months, but the medium worker can live for 3 months at maximum.
The major worker ants can survive for 3 to 6 months as they are stronger and bigger to fight with their enemies and kill them by stinging.
However, the queens are supposed to live for 3 to 6 years because these reproductive females usually remain inside the nest. She is protected by soldiers and fed by the nursing ants.
Furthermore, the foraging members are at significant risk of attacks from predators like earwigs, beetles, and antlions that can make them die earlier.
Odorous house ants
They are pretty strong insects as they can thrive in various environmental conditions due to better resistance against changing weather and shifting of nests.
You can observe crucial changes in their behavior during cold weather as they shift colonies to safe places inside buildings when there is a risk of flooding due to rains.
Moreover, they have 0.3 to 0.7mg body weight and live for around 2 to 5 months. However, their colonies cannot survive for long because queens can sustain life for 6 to 8 months at maximum.
The males can live for almost 5 to 10 days and die after mating. Their colonies have the risk of predator attacks like birds and toads in addition to a shorter lifespan.
Furthermore, they prefer to hide inside the debris or trash bins and enjoy eating food leftovers or decaying food. They prefer sweet food for consumption but consider dead insects sometimes.
They are known as food contaminating agents that can get inside the food containers through small spaces if the lid is not closed tightly. They are smaller creatures having only 0.5mg weight.
These insects can live for only 3 to 5 months in contrast to queens, as these female reproductive members can live for 6 months to a year.
Moreover, reproductive males have wings on their bodies to support flight like a queen as they have to fly higher for mating, but workers lack such structures as they are sterile creatures.
Their colonies are not resistant to extremely low temperatures, and the queens die within a few days when the external temperature reaches between 30 and 35 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, the workers are less resistant than queens having less tolerance to cold weather and can avoid death until the temperatures reach 45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
They can be identified by their tan or yellowish bodies that weigh around 0.5 to 1 mg as a single entity. It takes almost 15 to 30 days for an egg to become larvae and enter the next stage.
In addition, these mature larvae enter a new stage, become pupae in 12 to 25 days, and transform into an adult after completing developmental stages in the life cycle.
It can survive for almost 2 to 6 months and die within half a year, but queens can live long, spend nearly a year with a colony, and produce hundreds of eggs daily.
Furthermore, they can die earlier due to spider or horned lizard attacks that are natural predators of these tiny creatures. A few ants, like big-headed ones, can also kill them to invade the territory.
The colonies of sugar ants contain different castes, including winged males and females playing a role in colony propagation or multiplication in addition to a large population of workers.
Workers take control of foraging activities and bring food inside the nest to feed the males and queens. Male members have the shortest lifespan in a colony and survive for only 15 to 20 days.
In addition, the workers usually live longer than drones and complete 6 to 7 years of their life cycle, while the queens can survive for almost 10 to 15 years.
Furthermore, these insects weigh around 3 to 4 mg and are packed with nutrition as they have muscular bodies. Accordingly, snakes, spiders, flies, etc., make them prey and use them as food.
They are known for their velvety appearance and brightly colored bodies, in addition to painful stings and bites that can cause severe pain in the affected area for many hours.
Their body weight is almost 2 to 5 mg as they are slightly larger in size. In addition, the foraging members live for 8 to 10 months, while the queens have a longer lifespan.
Moreover, pitch black collared ants are one of the most commonly found ants in Delaware, in addition to a few other ground-dwelling species that prefer to live under the ground.
Furthermore, these insects have the risk of attacks from predators like lizards, birds, toads, and some other larger insects, but they lick a large number of insects in a single bite.
The queens belonging to acrobat ants colonies have a much longer lifespan than other species, as they can produce eggs for almost 25 to 30 years.
A few environmental factors can make them die earlier because some Dracula ants can attack their nests, particularly queens, to regulate activities and get control of the nest workers.
Moreover, the workers usually die earlier because of the challenges in daily life and die of exhaustion within a few weeks or months after getting mature.
Accordingly, the average lifespan of workers is around 4 to 6 months, but it can vary according to the tasks, as foraging members die earlier than nursing ants.
Nursing members usually remain inside the nest like the queen and males, but they have to feed these royal members and brood by transferring the liquid food from the mouth into the stomach.
Red pavement ants
They have smaller sizes and lesser body weight, weighing around 1.5 to 2 mg. These ants can live for a long, which can be 3 years or 5 years, depending on diet and environmental conditions.
They risk attack from common indoor or outdoor pests like wasps and black ants that can capture crawling insects on the pavement and sting or engulf their smaller bodies.
In addition, the snakes in lawns or patios can also kill these insects by reaching the patio blocks, cement slabs, and areas close to the lawns or gardens.
Dark guest ants
Tetramorium atratulum is commonly present in Delaware, and the queen is known to be the parasitic ant because it does not build a colony and gets adopted by an orphan colony.
These reproductive females engage in a flight in the months of May to September and land on the ground to become a part of an orphan colony.
Their colonies are not dependent because it does not build their own fighting and working force and helps other colonies to survive. Queens of these insects can live for almost 2.5 to 3 years.
Little black ants
Little black ants are common in this area and they keep crawling in the house in search of food. It is difficult to restrict their entries, particularly when they are swarming in summer.
You can see winged females or drones in different areas of the house, like bathrooms, kitchens, patios, and outdoor spaces. Moreover, they are 2 to 4 mg by weight and live for 1 or 2 years at maximum.
Some larger insects, birds, and other organisms, like caterpillars, starlings, and snails, can feed on these tiny creatures for nutrition.
Furthermore, they build deep nests in the soil or ground to ensure the colony’s safety and expand to a larger surface area. A few crawlies inside house indicate the presence of a bigger nest outdoors.
Bearded carpenter ants
These carpenter ants weigh almost 4 to 6 mg and survive for 8 to 12 weeks at maximum but can leave their colonies for some other reasons like predator attacks.
It is scientifically known as Camponotus subbarbatus due to the presence of beard-like hair on their bodies and a striped gaster that is a distinctive feature of these insects.
They are also found in wooden structures like stumps or logs, but they are not so dangerous for the structural integrity of the wooden house. Their colony contains 15,000 to 28,000 members.
Furthermore, they risk attack from natural predators like bears and red-topped woodpeckers and die earlier before lifecycle completion if encountered by any of them.
Crazy ants are literally crazy pests that can get entered within outlets by as they get attracted to electrical charges. The body weight of these crazy creatures is 2.5 to 3 mg.
Moreover, the workers can live for 2 to 3 months, while the queens’ lifespan is longer and lasts for more than a year.
This difference in lifespan occurs due to varying functions as queens are less exposed to predators, physical stress, and harsh environment.
Additionally, there is a lesser risk of attack on workers of this species than those of other categories.
They do not have natural predators except toads due to their small size and less nutritive bodies, providing lesser nutrients to the predators after an effort to catch them.