The white things ants carry can be anything ranging from food, eggs, or larvae. If you find the ant colony in a state of alarm then chances are high that the white things are their eggs and larvae which they are transferring to someplace safe.
Apart from the queen, the eggs, larvae, and pupae are the second most precious items of the colony. Hence whenever the ants feel that the security of their nests is compromised, they try their best to keep their next generation safe.
What is the White Stuff that Ants Carry?
Ants carry a lot of white things depending on the circumstances. If you see a group of ant or a singular ant carrying white stuff towards their colony at a slow pace then chances are high that it’s a food item, maybe rice grain or a piece of biscuit.
However if by any chance the ant nest is being threatened, you will see all of the ants in the colony being hyper excited and carrying white small items out of the colony to a distant place.
This white stuff can be their eggs and larvae or pupae.
Just like some other insects, ants go through a series of developmental stages until they metamorphosis into adult ants.
There are three particular phases of development, any ant has to go through before it can get ready to serve the colony.
- The egg stage
- the larvae stage
- the pupae stage
The time it takes for an egg to develop into an adult varies from species to species. It can take anywhere between a few weeks to a few months.
How Can you Identify the Eggs?
The eggs are extremely tiny whitish-looking items that are sticky in nature. This stickiness further helps the worker ants in quickly removing multiple eggs by sticking them with one another, especially during a crisis moment where the urgent movement of the eggs is necessary.
1. Identifying Larvae
The eggs slowly modify into a segmented structure which is pale whitish in color, slightly more on the transparent side. They are a little bit larger in size than the eggs. The worker ants feed the larvae which consist of an enormous appetite. Just like the eggs, they are also easy to move as they have small hairs on them which allows them to easily stick to a certain place.
2. Identifying Pupae
Some ant species when in the pupae stage form cocoons. However, most others don’t. Right at the beginning of the pupae stage, the larvae produce a black dot at the lower end of the segmented structure which can be visible when looked closely. This is how they get rid of various kinds of wastes and poison they have accumulated in the larval stage.
Why are Ants Moving Eggs and Larvae?
Whenever there is any kind of unwanted stimuli near their home base, the ants will try their best to ensure the safety of their next generation.
This means if by any means the current colony gets wiped out partially, the transmission of the larvae and the eggs into a place of safety will ensure that their colony will again regain its strength shortly.
The pupae and larvae are the evolved version of the eggs. The ants evolve from eggs into larvae, then again into pupae, and finally into adult ants.
1. Where are they Taking the Eggs and Larvae?
If you see a trail of ants carrying eggs and larvae then chances are high that their last nest was compromised. Hence the ants are taking the eggs and the larvae to a new nest they have located which currently is safe from predator activity and natural disturbances.
This may be due to unwanted predators, such as anteaters, who feed on ants and ant eggs.
2. Do Ants lay Eggs in the House?
The majority of the ants lay eggs underground however there are a few ant species that are regarded as opportunistic nesters.
As long as they find a place that is located is at a secluded corner that is not far away from food sources and has sufficient moisture available, they will build a nest there. Incidentally, such secluded corners can be oftentimes found in abundance in many households.
So yes ants can definitely lay eggs in the house.
Read Also: How do Ants Find Food?
How to Get Rid of Ant Eggs and Larvae from the House
The best possible way to get rid of ant colonies as a whole along with their queen and eggs is by using ant baits. These are basically ant food filled with a little bit of pesticide.
So when the ants carry these into their colonies, the members of the whole colony, including the queen and the larvae feeds upon them.
Within a few weeks, the whole colony will die. It is important to get rid of the queen because it is the only member in the ant colony that can lay eggs. This method is a slow but quite reliable way of eliminating the whole ant colony. You may need to do this a few times a year after a gap of every few months.
This method is better than spraying pesticides all around the house because it addresses the main issue. If you destroy an ant nest or kill a few of them it won’t matter much. Also spraying pesticides all around the house is not a healthy thing to do especially when the rewards are not that great.
The white things that ants carry can be both food and eggs. However, if you see them carrying those white items in larger numbers and they are in a state of emergency then surely the white things can be an egg or pupae or larvae.
If you look closely at those things you can differentiate an egg out from larvae. Eggs are extremely tiny and are bright white. Whereas larvae are pale white, slightly transparent, a little bit larger, and are segmented.
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