A rare insect exhibit is slated to open soon in China’s Sichaun province in Beijing. Included in the exhibit is an ant fossil believed to be 165 million years old!
The exhibition, organized by the Insect Museum of West China, is a month long show that will include other rare insect fossils as well. Aside from the ancient ant exhibit the exhibition will include dragonflies, beetles and bees; many of which date back to the Jurassic period.
Museum curator Zhoa Li stated that “The reason for scarcity of insect fossil is that their exoskeleton do not preserve very well,”. This might explain why some of the fossilized insects look completely different to their modern descendants while some still look the same.
The 165 year old ant fossil is among the most impressive of all the insects on exhibit. The museum is so proud of the ant because it is believed to be around 45 million years older than a comparable ant fossil found by American archaeologists in the Amazon. Those are some old ants!
In all The Insect Museum of West China is home to over 4,000,000 insect samples collected from over 40 countries! That sure is a lot of insects to share a roof with! If you have insects under your roof but are not as gracious a host as the museum call a Cincinnati pest control extermination expert to make them history!
Maybe you have noticed your Ohio neighbors bringing in their potted plants from the porch every September, or maybe your even among the houseplant enthusiasts that run like clockwork. It is a familiar ritual in Ohio, every spring the houseplants go outside to decorate the porch and flourish from the extra sunshine and humidity and then once September hits the plants get moved back inside for the winter.
One thing that is not always familiar and certainly not welcome are the pests that hitch a ride with the ever moving household potted plants. Most commonly plants taken from the outside of the house will contain leaf dwelling bugs like aphids, spider mites, scale and mealybugs. However other pests that are more of a nuisance to humans than they are to plants also can hitch a ride. For example many varying kinds of spiders can make homes in potted plants as well as types of mosquitoes.
Moreover some pests might have made a home for themselves in the soil of a potted plant during the spring so it is important to be aware of what lies beneath the soil once seasons change. For example ants will often times burrow under the soil of a potted plant and as many Ohio natives know ants are quite the bothersome nuisance pest.
To avoid nuisance pests in your home always be aware of the plants that you are bringing in and out of the house and if your pest problem is more than you can handle call an Ohio pest control expert.
Some of the most common type of ants found in Kentucky is the Carpenter ant. The Carpenter ant can grow to be up to 3/4 inch long. Often times these ants will make up their nests in dead wood which can be made up of trees that have fallen, buried stumps or even parts of abandoned Kentucky buildings. Carpenter ants forage for a variety of foods which include, insects, nectar, pollen, seeds, and fruit. Despite making a home in wood the Carpenter ant rarely cause serious damage to structures like their relative pest the termite.
Ants are most often considered to be nuisance pest and for good reason, such as invading homes with large colonies, however ants can also be beneficial to humans in our gardens and crops. Nevertheless invading ants are one of the biggest urban pest issues in the United States and for residents of Northern Kentucky we are more than familiar with the invading Carpenter ant.
Another issue people commonly have with ants is the fact that some ant species will sting and some individuals are allergic to certain ants. However despite the many problems man does have with ants they are very interesting creatures and many scientists dedicate their professional lives to understanding them.
It is also important to note that ants travel in colonies so if you do find your self with an ant problem at your home it could be not just one but thousands! If you suspect any nuisance ants at you home we recommend contacting you local Kentucky ant control expert.
For humans self medicating is a common practice we carry out when we are sick to make us feel better. However in the wild science has found little evidence of self medicating until recently.
According to research carried out by scientists at the University of Helsinki in Finland, the black ant (scientific name Formica Fusca) seeks different food after it has been exposed to fungal pathogens. Specifically the ants ingest hydrogen peroxide that they forage for in surrounding damaged plants as well as in other insects and cadavers.
In an official statement from the research team, professor of biological and environmental sciences, Dalial Fretak, said the following; “When ants are feeding on the diet containing extra free radicals, they are able to survive infections significantly better. Moreover, the ants also choose the diet including extra free radicals after they are exposed to fungus, but not if they are not,”. Furthermore the study found that any healthy ant showing no infectious symptoms experience the same side effect of taking a drug when feeding on hydrogen peroxide. However once infected the free-radical-feeding ants showed about a 20% higher survival rate against lethal fungal disease.
Another researcher Nick Bos had the following to add; “It is an amazing discovery that ants have an idea of their health status and seem to adjust the dosage of medicine to that,”. Certainly the discovery is amazing as the study was also just recently recognized and published in the international journal, Evolution.
Sounds like the ants are getting smarter, good thing us humans are pretty sharp ourselves. If you want to do the smart thing and control the ants and pests at your home contact your local pest control expert.
The Secret Life of Acrobatic Ants
Ants have long been known to share an important trait with humans: adaptation. New research on a variety of ants called “trap jaw” shows the remarkable ability to have adapted a predatory weapon (the “trap jaw”) as an escape tool as well.
Because of the way their jaws snap shut with great speed (for killing) these ants are able to also use this tremendous force to fly through the air. The mechanism works like this: when an ant snaps its jaw closed against another surface (for instance, the ground), the resulting impact sends it airborne.
While entomologists have long known about this ant super-power, recent researchers in Florida discovered that the flying ability isn’t just for fun.
These ants use their specialized, built-in jaw power as a means to fly, and have adapted to use flying as a means of escape.
Controlled experiments conducted by Frederick J. Larabee, a University of Illinois grad student, showed that the flying ability helps these ants evade the traps of an ant nemesis, the ant lions. Working under adviser Andrew V. Suarez, Mr. Larabee reported in the journal PLOS One. In his lab investigations, he noted that about half the time the trap-jaw ants were threated they scurried up walls, but in fifteen percent of cases they employed their flying super powers to escape the clutches of the lion ants.
So Long Sugar Ants
“Sugar Ants” can be used to describe any number of ants, but most particularly, Argentine ants or rover ants. Sugar Ants get their name because, you guessed it, they are fond of sweets. So much so that in their natural habitat they often herd honey dew producing bugs such as aphids.
In our homes, we see trails of tiny ants on our kitchen counters or floors, chances are, they are Sugar Ants. What can you do about them? Your best bet is to call in a professional to terminate the ants. Then, as said in an article on Sunherald.com, “get rid of what’s attracting them. What may seem to be a few loose granules of spilled sugar to you is a feast to foraging ants, especially ones as tiny as rover ants. The same can be said of crumbs from baked sweets—anything made with sugar.”
To sum it up, keep your sweets to yourself to keep Sugar Ants away!