August 16, 2022

Do Ants Lay Eggs Every Day? An Infestation Timeline

Ants are common problems for many homeowners in Washington state. From your kitchen to your backyard, ants can populate any area on your property!

However, how do ants invade your home so quickly? Do ants lay eggs constantly, or do they have certain seasons where they breed? 

Check out our article, where we’ll illustrate an ant’s lifecycle and how often these pests produce eggs!

Do Ants Lay Eggs?

Ants, like most insects, lay eggs that eventually hatch and mature into adult workers or reproductive colony members. These eggs are as important as the queen. Without a steady stream of eggs from queen ants, an ant colony would quickly perish. 

However, not every ant in the colony produces eggs. Most ant mounds have one queen solely responsible for laying eggs and repopulating the slowly dwindling worker ants. All ant species have different lifespans, but most worker ants can’t live longer than a few weeks. 

Some colonies have many queens capable of laying eggs, according to the University of California’s Integrated Pest Management program. With a handful of available reproductive members, an ant colony can swiftly grow out of control!

How do Ants Develop?

All ants start their life in the same fashion as an egg. An ant’s developmental period differs depending on their species, but most ants generally take a few weeks to transform into adult forms. 

After hatching from an egg, young ants exist as larvae, dependent on the elder worker ants for food. Larvae rapidly consume food to aid their growth and development into adulthood.

Once they’ve stored enough energy to transition into their next stage, young ants will become immobile. Some ants may encase themselves with a cocoon-like covering while others lay bare and vulnerable. 

During these states, worker ants diligently care for and protect the eggs, larvae, and pupae. If you’ve seen an ant colony rebuilding after damage, you could have spotted these tiny insects transporting the small growing bugs into a new area. 

Check out this video of a group of ants moving around their larvae!

Do Ants Lay Eggs Constantly?

During warm weather, it often seems like ant mounds can quickly pop up from the ground in no time. What may have been a small pile of dirt the week before has quickly transformed into a fully developed colony!

How quickly do ants lay eggs to keep up with this fast pace? Most ant queens can produce new eggs daily, but the amount a queen can lay hinges on the particular species and other environmental factors. 

Texas A&M University's AgriLife Extension reports that a fire ant queen can produce a handful of eggs when she begins her colony, but the number can skyrocket as the colony continues to grow. Some fire ant queens can lay over 800 eggs a day!

Most ant species can similarly lay large numbers of eggs each day and create colonies with populations in the thousands. Of course, pest control methods prevent most ant mounds from growing out of control, but a colony can quickly expand without intervention. 

Keep in mind that a queen ant’s primary role is to produce more young to guarantee the longevity of her colony. Newly mated female ants typically create the foundation for their colonies and care for their initial brood, but their hard work is short-lived.

Once their first generation of eggs matures into adults, the infertile female workers will spend the rest of their lives defending the colony, foraging for food, and caring for the queen and eggs. After this, queen ants can kick back, relax, and continue to lay copious amounts of offspring.

Do Ants Lay Eggs in Their Nests Only?

Most insects create hives or nests to store food or their young, while others deposit eggs near available food sources to help them develop. For example, mosquitoes don’t create shelter for their hatching eggs and instead leave them to fend for themselves in water. 

We all know that queen ants primarily deposit their young deep within their dirt colonies, but is this the only place these pests keep their maturing offspring?

After establishing a colony, most ant queens won’t move any further. They will rest deep inside the dirt colony (or wooden in the case of carpenter ants) and lay eggs until they die of age or external factors. 

A queen ant will never leave the colony to place eggs elsewhere. Only newly mated queens survey for areas to lay eggs, and they typically remain in this area unless displaced by pest control methods or the colony itself. 

Occasionally, some ant colonies may move from one place to another. If negative environmental factors threaten the nest, worker ants will begin moving everything from the current colony to a new location, including the queen.

In these circumstances, an ant queen can lay her eggs in a different area, but most ants prefer to remain inside their original home. Some species like army ants regularly move around, but most types in Washington state stay put in your home or yard!

Ant Pest Control

So, we’ve answered the question, “Do ants lay eggs every day,” but what can you do about ants on your property? There are many DIY options you can try to remove these pests from your home or yard like:

  • Borax
  • Boric acid
  • Diatomaceous earth
  • Commercial baits and poisons

For small-scale infestations, homemade treatments could be a viable option, but you should evaluate your situation and the number of ants invading your home before you make a decision. Check out this blog to help you decide when to call an exterminator!

Whenever you’re struggling with ants, you can always turn to Zunex Pest Control to handle the problem! Our general pest control services cover ant infestations, and we offer a year warranty if any ants return after our first treatment. 

Plus, the general pest control service includes FREE reservices in case these pesky ants stop by again. Don’t suffer from annoying pests! Give us a call to schedule an appointment, or contact us today with our online form! 

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