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What Happens to Ants When the Queen Dies

Posted on October 5th, 2018 by Knockout Pest

Queen Ant

Within every ant colony are thousands, or even millions, of ants.

One of these ants is in charge of the entire colony and is responsible for its survival — this is the queen.

But what happens to rest of the colony if the queen ant dies?

Why is the Queen So Important?

Every colony of ants has a queen. Their role is to do one thing and one thing only — reproduce.
Throughout her lifetime, the queen can lay millions of eggs which will hatch into other worker and soldier ants.

In some cases, certain ant species and colonies can contain multiple queens. These colonies will be extremely large in size with millions upon millions of ants comprising the colony.

The reason the queen is so important to a colony is that no other ant in the colony is capable of reproducing. So if the queen (or all of the queens) dies, the colony can no longer grow.

What Happens When the Queen Dies?

Once the queen dies, the colony will still act as it did — in search of food and building their underground nest. However, this means that the colony’s days are limited due to the fact that new ants cannot replace ones that die off.

It may take week, months, or years for a colony to fully die off, but it will happen at one point in time.

How Do Queens Usually Die?

Queens of the colony stay in the nest where they are safe, but there are a few ways in which they can be killed.

  • By the Colony – Colonies that have multiple queens may not last, as the worker ants could aim to kill all other queens besides one. In this attempt, it’s possible they accidentally kill ALL of the queens, which will leave their colony to eventually die off completely.
  • By Humans – The queen can also be killed by humans looking to remove underground nests from their property. This can be done by pouring boiling (or soapy) water into the nest. Pest management professionals have the best methods of removing ant colonies and infestations from your home and property.

When you have an ant problem in your home or on your property that you would like remedied, know that our pros here at Knockout are ready for your call!

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