The Ants That Make The Lives Of All Other Insects Miserable
There is an ant in existence that can force all other ants to vacate an entire ecosystem. This menacing ant is known as the Asian needle ant. As you may be able to guess already, this needle ant is not native to the United States. Nobody knows exactly how the Asian needle ant arrived in the US, but experts were able to determine that these ants arrived on US soil from Japan. Entomologist first discovered needle ants within American forests during the 1930s, where they were observed to be traveling through forests located within the Eastern region of the US. These ants are unique in that they are capable of migrating from forests and into residential areas without being hindered by natural predators. These nonnative ants have since been found within a variety of different environments, including people’s yards where they are often found to be hiding out within potted plants. This is problematic since needle ants cause many insects to vacate forest environments that depend on insect activity in order to maintain the health of these forested ecosystems.
Asian needle ants prefer to feed on termites. However, many insects that exist within forested regions of the US are fair game for needle ant food. Unfortunately, many of these threatened insects are invaluable to the well being of forest environments. The insects that are most threatened by the presence of needle insects include different species of forest-dwelling ants. For example, acrobat ants, winnow ants, thief ants, and smaller sized black ants are particularly threatened by invading needle ants.
As a result of this needle ant migration through American forests many other insects, especially the ants listed above, migrate out of the forests where they are native. As a result of this displacement, forested ecosystems become vulnerable to ruin. For instance, acrobat ants and thief ants consume insect pests that feed on trees. Once needle ants force the native ants to leave their natural environment, insect pests are free to destroy just about every plant and tree that exists within forests. Sadly, as with many other nonnative insect pests, there does not exist any clear solution to the problems that they cause to various North American ecosystems.
Have you ever heard of any pest-control methods that could potentially work to rid North American environments of devastating nonnative insect pests? If you have, which strategies seemed most feasible?