They never go Away!: Lifespan of an Ant

Lifespan of an Ant

Ants have been around for billions of years – and will be around for billions more. They rely on colonies to survive and are complex creatures. They are also pesky and can infest yards, gardens and homes. An ant's lifespan has four life stages. The process of going through the four life stages takes up to 60 days. Depending on the species, an ant can live up to 15 to 20 years.

An Ant's Lifespan

All ants go through four stages of life: The egg stage, larvae stage, pupal stage, and finally, the adult stage.

Ants lay fertilized and unfertilized eggs. The fertilized eggs are females, while the unfertilized eggs are males. An army ant can lay up to 300,000 eggs in one day.

Once the eggs hatch, the ants enter the larvae stage, which lasts from seven to fourteen days. The larvae molt several times during this stage.

The pupae stage takes six to ten weeks. Some species spin cocoons, and other species are not covered.

The adult stage is the last stage. The queen lays thousands of eggs, many of which form worker ants. The best way to kill off a colony of ants is to kill the queen.

The Life Cycle of an Ant

The adult phase of the ants life cycle depends on the type of ant – queen, worker, or drone.

Queen Ants

All ant colonies have a queen. The queen ant is usually bigger than the rest of the ants in the colony. Newly hatched queens develop wings to fly out of the nest to mate. Only a queen ant can reproduce.

A queen ant lifespan can be up to 20 years, depending on the species.

Drone Ants

The drone ant lifespan is a few weeks. Drones are fertile males with wings. Once the drone mates, its life is finished.

Worker Ants

Workers are sterile female ants. When you see a colony, you see more worker ants than drones. Worker ants make tunnels, forage and store food, and take care of the larvae. Worker ants, including the larger soldier ants – also working ants – can live up to seven years.

Ant Lifespans

A queen ants lifespan could range from two to twenty years, depending on the species. 

The red ant lifespan ranges from 30 to 180 days for workers and up to six years for a queen.

The black ant lifespan is up to 15 years.

Lifespans vary depending on species and the role the ant plays in the colony. Drones do not have a long lifespan, while queens can live for years. This pest's lifespan also depends on several other factors, including human intervention and Mother Nature.

Contact McDuffie Pest Control

Ants get into any place they can find food. The best way to eliminate ants is to ensure that you keep all crumbs and food off the floor and counters. Even pick up your pets' food when they're done eating. If the infestation is too bad, you might need professional help to get rid of it. The key to getting rid of an infestation is to kill the queen.

If you have a problem with ants and cannot seem to get rid of them, whether inside or out, contact McDuffie Pest Control today.